On Friday 21st June we attended the second annual Here London event. Taking place at London’s Royal Geographical Society (RGS), Here is a one-day “fast-paced festival of creativity”. A creative symposium of “inspirational talks, experiments and live elements”. Curated by the team behind It’s Nice That, this year’s event boasted a healthy roster of thirteen speakers all drafted in to share their practice, process, ideas and expertise with an attentive audience of designers and industry types. Creatives speaking at this years event included Adam Buxton, Wayne Hemmingway, Kate Moross, Mark Porter and Andy Rementer.
Talking to a sold-out crowd in the stunning auditorium at the RGS, Pantone’s vice president of the Pantone Colour Institute Laurie Pressman got things underway discussing the “impact of colour in design”, outlining the iconic moments in colour over the past 50 years and indicating the key influences affecting colour in tomorrow’s world.
Wayne Hemmingway picked up the baton from Pressman and with his informal quintessentially British style, he highlighted the value of good design and how he thinks designers have the power to change the worked for the better. Hemmingway also stressed on what would become a recurring theme through the day, that regardless of experience, fortune favours the brave and trying new things will only help with your development as a designer. As an example, Hemingway cited his design for a new housing development in Gateshead which he’d been asked to design by Wimpey after criticising them for creating “soul-destroying dullness” and coining the phrase “The Wimpeyfication and Barratification of Britain”. Having never designed a house before, Hemmingway explained that “if it feels right, just go for it” and that the rest would work itself out. Using his childhood and family home as reference, Hemmingway set out to create affordable housing which would bring the community together through it’s design, a philosophy that his design agency Hemmingway Design was built on: “Design is there to improve things that are important in life”.
Designer, illustrator and director Kate Moross echoed the sentiments of Hemmingway’s talk saying “if you can’t do it, learn how to”, and stressed that the limits we have are only those that we set ourselves. Born from her fascination with the women’s punk movement ‘Riot Grrrl’, Moross’ ethos towards life and her work is ‘Do It Yourself’. She talked about how “simple is cool” and that both “speed and bullshit” have driven some of her best work for international music clients such as Jessie Ware, Simian Mobile Disco & Sony.
From design in the music industry to editorial design, Mark Porter of Mark Porter Associates and former creative director of the Guardian talked about the value of research, analytical thinking and “designing for your audience”. Porter discussed in depth his involvement in the redesign of The Guardian, the extensive grid and colour systems that had to be designed and the huge responsibility he felt in delivering a product that he hoped would resonate with the publications loyal readership. Porter also shared his priorities for good editorial design in order of accessibility, engagement, personality and beauty.
After afternoon tea and biscuits we were treated to a live jamming session with Adam Buxton, the self-titled “Timeless Musical Genius”. For Buxton’s talk, we were invited into his creative process in creating iconic jingles from the Adam & Joe show as well as producing a track live on stage using Garage Band entitled ‘Wednesday Shag’. Unlike other speakers throughout the day, Buxton’s talk didn’t have a strong underlying message, however what it did highlight was how new technologies are making it easier than ever to discover and create new work instantaneously.
Last onto the stage, Illustrator and “life long doodler” Andy Rementer gave us an insightful look at how he developed his style and tone of voice from working as a designer at an agency to his time at the Fabrica Collective and his subsequent success as a freelance illustrator. Andy also highlighted how personal projects like ‘Techno Tuesday’ have helped to hone his style and how he reapply’s that process into his client work.