Margate Festival of Design logo

Last year the festival took place in September 2022. We’d like to thanks all, contributors, participants, guests and supporters. These are some last years highlights. 

Opening Party

Make the Wave at The Margate School

@ The Margate School

Featured: Welcome announcements, drinks, keynote talk. Join us for talks and drinks to celebrate the opening of the first Margate Festival of Design. Free to attend, everyone is welcome!

The Margate School Tour with Becky Thomas

@ The Margate School

Featured: A tour of The Margate School spaces and facilities – a 4 storey old Woolworths department store in Margate High Street which has been regenerated into a busy art hub and postgraduate school.

Margate Typography Tour, Andrew Hudson

Andrew Hudson Profile Picture

Meet @ 180 Northdown Road

Featured: A walking tour exploring the history, context, design and techniques behind some of Margate’s period signage.

Faery Fellers, THOMAS SHARP

Tom Sharp profile picture

Institute Studios, 114 High Street

What kind of magic is language and design? Can you creatively seed an idea that will change a system? This is an hour about trying to introduce a new meme into culture – that City traders are the faery folk the old tales warned us against. You’ll hear a capitalist folk-horror faustian faery tale poem and discover the truth about how and why thirty of us planted the world’s largest faery ring around the City of London’s Square Mile on Leap Day 2020.

Design and Reason in a Digital Age, Mary Leonard of MRLD (More Reason — Less Decoration) 

Mary Leonard Profile Picture

@ The Margate School

Our world is constructed by design — it helps us understand, interact and navigate our environments every day. At its best, design is a public service that considers all aspects of its brief, audience, and impact.

Mary explored the core principle that has become the founding aim of her practice; More Reason — Less Decoration. She examined the responsibility, and opportunity, design has to be more than just aesthetics in a social media age.

In 5 Years’ Time… Mini Zine Making Workshop, Greta Sharp

@ The Margate School

Cut, stick, draw, write, scribble, collage. In this workshop, we created our own zine, creatively expressing our visions for the future: what we hope our community will look like in 5 years’ time. We learnt how to make an 8-page mini zine, and created a master copy and several photocopies of our zine to take home.


Autistic & Neurodivergent Friends in Thanet logo

@ The Margate School

Featured: A panel discussion with neurodivergent people and creatives on visual communication’s role in (in)accessibility for neurodivergent people; as well as being neurodivergent as part of the creative industry. This was an interactive panel discussion which was open to engaging directly with the audience and questions raised throughout the event.

The Outside In: from designing outputs to outcomes

Greg Bunbury profile picture

@ The Margate School

Can a single image change the world? Graphic Designer Greg Bunbury discussed his journey from navigating marginalised spaces in the creative industry, to social activism, anti-racist advocacy and shifting cultural narratives through design, exploring his Black Outdoor Art project, which uses billboard space as a platform for Black British creativity.

The World’s favourite colour, GF Smith

GF Smith Logo_Speaker

@ The Margate School

G . F Smith is the world’s most respected and remarkable fine paper company. At The Margate Festival of Design, the G . F Smith team presented their findings from the World’s Favourite Colour campaign and held drop-in sessions throughout the day to answer creative paper questions. 

The Margate School Tour with Estelle Rosenfeld

@ The Margate School

Featured: A tour of The Margate School spaces and facilities – a 4 storey old Woolworths department store in Margate High Street which has been regenerated into a busy art hub and postgraduate school.

Sample Surgery, GF Smith

GF Smith Logo_Speaker

@ The Margate School

GF Smith was at The Margate School with a selection of paper and print samples whilst offering advice on projects.

Sea Sagas of the North, Jules Pretty

Jules Pretty Profile Picture

@ The Margate School

In the course of writing Sea Sagas of the North, Jules Pretty visited 150 ports, coastal settlements and islands facing and edging the North Sea and North Atlantic: in Denmark, England, the Faroe Isles, Iceland, Norway and Scotland. He travelled on Viking longship, oyster smack and spritsail barge, lifeboat and post boat, iron ferry and wooden ferry, trawler and whaler, rowed and motored painter; and visited trawler and ship museum, whaling station, shipyard and dock. The stories centre on the kindness and stories of coastal people, the cruelty and beauty of a northern sea.

Lecture, Jade Spranklen

Jade Spranklen Profile Photo

@ The Margate School

Jade Spranklen, the Founder and Creative director of Sprankenstein Studio gave us a spitfire breakdown of some do’s and don’t’s of taking the jump to being a freelance creative and some tips on how to transition from a solo to a creative studio setup including self worth, work/life balance and boundaries.

Margate Tech Club: Genetic Moo, Matt Mapleston of The Geekery and John Hislop

Children sitting with laptops drawing smiley faces with code

@ The Margate School

Margate Tech Club is a free drop-in within a safe and welcoming space where you and your family can explore and play with tech, under the supervision and guidance of helpful experts. Margate Tech Club ran a Design special for Margate Festival of Design. Our regular experts Genetic Moo (Nicola Schauerman and Tim Pickup), who specialise in making interactive art, John Hislop, a STEM Ambassador and retired physics teacher, and Matt Mapleston, founder of The Geekery, facilitated the day.

Margate’s High Street between Nature and Society

Sam Causer Profile Picture

Under Terrace of Waverley House

Margate’s High St connects the harbour to the c12 Church of St John; an ancient highway continually mediating between the gathering and sharing of food, and society’s need for judgement and regulation. Architect Sam Causer led us on a walk across the High St, exploring its historic and future meaning between Nature and Society.

Typographic Truthiness

Louise Sloper profile picture

@ The Margate School

‘Typographic Truthiness’ was a workshop led by creative director and designer, Louise Sloper, alongside TypoCircle’s Alice Tosey and Antony Long. We explored the psychological powers of typographic persuasion in advertising, with playful, hands-on exercises based around the eye-opening Errol Morris/New York Times typeface experiment. Can one particular typeface command more gravitas than another? It was all analogue and no computers.

How to find inspiration anytime anywhere

June presenting at TMS in front of screen

@ The Margate School

MAMIMU (June Mineyama-Smithson) loves uncovering delights from everyday life and turning them into bold joyful patterns. Inspired by the 17th century Kimono artisan, she shared the creative process of finding inspiration from the seemingly mundane nature scenery and distilling them into playful patterns.

TMS Community Garden Tour

Estelle waters the TMS Community Garden

@ The Margate School

Estelle Rosenfeld, The Margate School’s Garden + Studio Coordinator hosted a tour of the Margate High Street Community Garden, offering an insight into how this project started in March 2022. Estelle showed us how The Margate School is looking to establish a garden with and for the community, using permaculture design principles.

The Margate School Tour with Estelle Rosenfeld

@ The Margate School

Featured: A tour of The Margate School spaces and facilities – a 4 storey old Woolworths department store in Margate High Street which has been regenerated into a busy art hub and postgraduate school.

Design Society Nature Installation

@ The Margate School

Featured: An amalgamation of images drawn from students work produced on the Visual Communication: Design Society Nature programme, curated and produced by tutor Phil Gomm, award-winning writer, director and producer.

Photography credit: Susanne Hakuba