Designer Talks, 2020–21

Designer Talks, 2020–21

Christopher Murphy · 8 October, 2020

We were fortunate to be joined by an incredible cross-section of designer-thinkers throughout 2020. We're currently putting together our 2021 season.

  • Elliot Jay Stocks, 8 Faces
  • Sarah Richards, Content Design London
  • Fabio Basile, Fortnight Studio
  • Andy Budd, Clearleft
  • Vic Bell, Iconographer
  • Emma Hauldren, Ford
  • Eva-Lotta Lamm, Designer and Visual Thinker
  • Jack Butcher, Visualize Value
  • Tim Van Damme, Abstract
  • Iain McConchie, Headspace
  • Meg Lewis, Designer, Comedian, Dribbble, SuperHi!…

The second half of my designer talks series.


Kyle Gawley Slides will follow…

Co-Founder, Get Invited; Founder, Gravity

Monday, 28 September, 10.00-11.30

I've known Gawley for nearly a decade. He's one of the most talented and generous people I know. In 2013, I co-founded Get Invited with Gawley and David Turner (also talented and generous).

Together, we secured £175,000 of seed funding to launch Get Invited and we embarked upon a startup journey that taught us an incredible amount. Gawley has since embarked on two new startup adventures: Gravity and Hackr.

His book, The Secret Formula for Profitable SaaS Ideas, is a great example of a Lead Magnet that's worth downloading. You might also want to see how Gawley cross-posted his promotion for the book to Indie Hackers. Lastly, before the talk, please explore Gravity and Hackr, in particular their landing pages and how he's promoting them.

This talk is done and dusted. Thank you, Kyle!


Charles Burdett Slides will follow…

Founder, Workshop Tactics; Senior UX Designer, BBC (Formerly)

Monday, 5 October, 10.00-11.30

Burdett first passed across my radar in 2019, when he shipped me a 'beta deck' of his Workshop Tactics cards. Immediately following lockdown (in March / April), Burdett and I had a lengthy conversation in which he outlined his research process for Workshop Tactics. His use of LinkedIn to identify potential customers – who he interviewed – is a great example of testing assumptions.

I'm very much looking forward to sharing his thoughts with you. He's very active in The School of Design Slack channels so say hello over there.

This talk is done and dusted. Thank you, Charles!


Paddy Donnelly Slides will follow…

Founder, Lefft

Monday, 12 October, 10.00-11.30

In the final year of his undergraduate degree at Belfast School of Art, Donnelly decided to make the move towards illustration. He's never looked back. I had the pleasure of teaching Donnelly at both undergraduate and Masters level and his story – and his single-minded sense of purpose – is a real inspiration.

If your work involves illustration, please make every effort to attend.

But, wait, even if your work isn't illustration-focused, come along to learn how Donnelly and his partner-in-crime, Lee Munroe, sold words from the dictionary at a dollar a letter, making £30,000+ when they were still students.

This talk is done and dusted. Thank you, Paddy!


Naomi Atkinson

Founder, Branded by Naomi

Monday, 19 October, 10.00-11.30

I've known Naomi Atkinson for a long, long time. We met originally at… The Future of Web Design, perhaps? …maybe Brooklyn Beta? I can't recall, but every time we meet we enjoy a long and lovely discussion about all things design.

Atkinson used to run a lovely design shop – Whosit + Whatsit – filled with 'nice to have' things for designers. She'll share the story of setting up a bricks and mortar shop and all the lessons it taught her. She'll also talk about Branded by Naomi, her studio, and working for LogoArchive on the GB archive.

I'd suggest you pick up Atkinson’s Unfulfilled, a zine celebrating all of her logomarks that never saw the light of day (that's it, above).

This talk is done and dusted. Thank you, Naomi!

Next up we have…

We have some of the TBCs in the pipeline. Here's hoping the various folks we've asked say yes!

Next week we have Caroline Smith, Head of Design at Amiqus, who are working on remote identity verification. I taught Smith many, many years ago on the Masters in Multidisciplinary Design programme (like most of the other graduates that are speaking in this series).


Caroline Smith

Head of Design, Amiqus

Monday, 26 October, 10.15-11.15

If you'd like to attend this talk, please DM me on Twitter and I'll fire you the login details for our Zoom. Everyone is welcome – not just students – so please do come along.

Tim Potter + Gaby Muldoon

Co-Founders, Little Thunder

Monday, 23 November, 10.00-11.30

Mostly on Footi, but also on craftsmanship and a whole lot of other valuable thinking.

This is from -ing (which I love!).


Think about how this is more visually handled in Notion, more engaging.

Upcoming for 2021…

Verbally agreed.

  • Saron Yitbarek, Disco
  • Chris Hammond, IBM
  • Dan Mall, Superfriendly
  • Mills, ustwo Games

Wish list!

If you've someone you'd like to add to this wishlist, let me know.

Tobias Van Schneider

Swiss Miss (?)

Frank Chimero

Chris Shiflett

Jessica Hische

Perhaps TBvS?

Great copywriting:

Old: Designers' best kept secret.

New: Where the designers you admire come to build their portfolio.