Iconic print design conference returns after 12-year hiatus

Photography by Daniel James

Photography by Daniel James

It hasn't been held since 2011! But the much-missed St Bride Conference is finally back this November. Read on to find all the details.

The St Bride Foundation was originally set up in 1891 to serve the burgeoning print and publishing trade of nearby Fleet Street in London.

Today, it's finding a new contemporary audience of designers, printmakers and typographers who come to enjoy a regular programme of design events and workshops. It's housed in a beautiful Grade II listed Victorian building on St Bride's Lane, London EC4. And now comes two pieces of great news.

First, its annual conference will return after a 12-year hiatus on Saturday 11 November. And second, it will be live-streamed. So even if you can't get to London, you'll be able to enjoy talks from an impressive line-up of speakers, including design legend Neville Brody, illustrator Jean Jullien and Alicia Martin, the lead designer on Barbie.

Other names on the list include Naïma Ben Ayed, Naomi Kent, Bob Richardson, Venessa and Vanice Scott and Dominic Wilcox. The talks will cover a wide range of disciplines, from graphic design, letterpress, illustration, design for film and television, type design, invention, product design and design history. Topics will include graphic design for movies, furthering the education and skills of prisoners and inventing stained glass driverless sleeper cars.

Attendees in person will also be able to try their hand at letterpress printing on the historic presses in the Foundation's printing workshop and find out more about some of the treasures in the St Bride Library collections with their librarian and archivist.

Sponsored by Commercial Type, Fenner Paper and Fleet Street Quarter, the conference is described as "a conversazione celebrating innovation, inspiration, imagination and invention".

"Since the pandemic, we've felt a greater need to bring our fantastic community together more often and inspire and engage with them and their creativity," says event curator Becky Chilcott. "The last conference we held was in 2011, and we've decided this is the perfect time to revive them.

"Not only will the conference keep the St Bride Foundation alive in people's creative imaginations, but it will also raise vital funds to help the upkeep of our Grade II listed Victorian building, management and conservation of our unique and irreplaceable library collections and running of our print workshop and learning programme."

David Pearson, a Royal Designer for Industry who designed the event poster, adds: "The one-day conferences are back! A full day of great talks, debate, sharing, laughter and being allowed to stay even longer in your favourite library."

You can buy tickets for St Bride Conference here. In-person tickets cost £80 / £70 / £60, and online tickets are £50 / £45 / £35.