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The West of England Design Forum was formed in 2006 by a bunch of passionate designers and people working in the industry who wanted to create a place for designers, and those interested in design, to come together, be inspired and promote design.

Eight years on this is still our aim. Together we will grow a dynamic, connected and thriving local design community. To be involved, get in touch!

Next Event

John Hegarty on Creativity: There are no rules

7 May 2014
Watershed, Bristol


The changing landscape of registered designs — how's best to ensure protection? via @WithyKing


Wanna be part of Nature’s Marketing Department? @wearewildthing need designer minds at their Bristol Swarm


The Power of Design

To design (verb) is to create or to devise. It is a process and a way of thinking. A design (noun) has form and function; it is the result of the process of designing. As a people-centred, problem-solving process, design is a strategic tool, and a way to address challenges facing both public and private organisations. 

Bristol opens its first Open Device Lab

Bristol’s first and only Open Device Lab (ODL) has opened with 17 free-to-use devices and 8 …

Bristol’s first and only Open Device Lab (ODL) has opened with 17 free-to-use devices and 8 different operating systems including Linux, Symbian, Android and iOS. Bristol ODL was the 100th lab to open across 26 countries.

Digital Marketing Agency, Noisy Little Monkey, sponsors the lab which is open to everyone to use for free because the company wanted to help Bristol’s creative industry.

Jon Payne, Director of Noisy Little Monkey, says: “Bristol has a wonderful heritage in advertising and creative technology. Enabling clever people to do their jobs better means that Noisy Little Monkey plays a small part in turning that createch heritage into a legacy.”

ODL Bristol is the place to test your website across different platforms for free while enjoying a cup of tea at the same time. The ODL is based at the Noisy Little Monkey offices, inside the Aardman building.

Jon added: “Developers and marketers can come in and test their new websites and apps on multiple popular devices. No more online emulators. No more testing it on your phone and your partner’s when you get home.”

Having a mobile-friendly website is key and essential to digital marketing strategy. Mobile sales have pulled ahead of desktop sales and mobile internet usage is steadily climbing; it’s expected to overtake desktop internet usage this year!

And just in case you need more convincing of the importance of having a tried and tested responsive website, Google has been placing a significant emphasis on user-experience as a ranking factor.

It is all about giving visitors a quality site on every device. Not giving the user a quality experience may negatively impact your ranking. If a mobile user searches for a website and finds it but it is not optimised for mobile devices Google is unlikely to rank that website for mobile.

After all, what is the point of having great content if nobody can find it? Responsive web design provides the best user-experience for every visitor’s device, whether that’s a smartphone, tablet, smart-TV, or a desktop computer.

So you’ve designed your website to be responsive on every single device known to man. But, have you really? How do you categorically know that it works? Before you start panic-buying every device available on Amazon, let us help.  

You have one website, and ODL Bristol has the many devices. With mobile sales leading over desktop sales, can you afford not to test your website’s mobile responsiveness?

Book a visit at and follow ODL Bristol on Twitter @ODLBristol.

Want in on the action? Noisy Little Monkey are running a logo competition for ODL Bristol. If you’re a graphic designer and want to get your work out there, enter here. The winner of the competition will receive £100!

Wanna be part of Nature’s Marketing Department?

Wanna be part of Nature’s Marketing Department?

On April 25th/26th we’re hosting a Swarm - a two day creative collaboration event in Bristol - to …

On April 25th/26th we’re hosting a Swarm - a two day creative collaboration event in Bristol - to help create tools and ideas to help The Wild Network grow, and get more kids re-connecting with nature out on the streets and in communities across the land.

Event details can be found here.

We’re seeking a diverse mix of brilliant makers, designers, do-ers and developers, wild folks and nature geeks, to come together and work rapidly to develop ideas against a number of challenge areas.

Basically, we're hosting a self-organising gathering of Nature's Marketing department.

We will have the Marketing Director of Nature himself David Bond in attendance and we’ll be seeing how much we can make happen in 48 hrs.

We will release the specific challenges next week, but broadly there will be:
- A technology meets nature challenge - a hi-tech hi-nature hack zone
- Creative toolkit development to help the movement spread,
- Prototyping an innovative membership offer for The Wild Network
- An exciting prototyping challenge with a network of Bristol schools to help teachers make Wild Time part of school life.

And dreaming up ways to measure the impacts of more kids playing outside.

There will be music and food and kids and surprises and we'll be making a short film too.

This will be a very special gig and places are super limited. We need all kinds of skills to help us make this happen.

If you've got the skills and would like to apply to attend and be a part of Nature’s Marketing Department then please apply here.

More information
Following the Swarm we will be producing a number of tools and concepts and making them available for the community to use in their own ways, to help make the Wild Summer come to life up and down the land!

If you're an organisation that's interested in getting more involved in the Swarm then please email us at

Keep it Wild!



@ODLBristol Did you say biscuits?? Try to stop us visiting….

Call for entries to the international Joseph Binder award

Call for entries to the international Joseph Binder award

This is the twelfth time that designaustria organises the Joseph Binder Award, an international …

This is the twelfth time that designaustria organises the Joseph Binder Award, an international competition with a focus on graphic design & illustration. Designers, illustrators, and students from all over the world are invited to submit their works realised between 2012 and now.

The entries will be assessed by an international jury in thirteen categories: Corporate Design, Communication Design, Information Design, Editorial Design, Type Design, Poster Design, Packaging Design, Book Illustration, Media Illustration, Commercial Illustration, Storyboard, Illustration in Miscellaneous Applications, and Design Fiction.

The deadline for entries ends on 31 May 2014 (postmark date).

Click here for more information, entry conditions and to register online!

Enter the James Dyson Award for a chance to win £30,000

Got a clever idea that solves a problem? Enter the James Dyson Award for a chance to …

Got a clever idea that solves a problem? Enter the James Dyson Award for a chance to win £30,000.

The James Dyson Award is an international award open to current and recent design and engineering university students. It's part of the James Dyson Foundation's mission to celebrate and inspire the next generation of engineers.

We're looking for student projects which address real world problems. Natural resources are dwindling, the world population is growing, the climate is changing. It's designers and engineers who will create the solutions.

Your project might not be ready for commercialisation – but that's ok. We're not looking for perfectly polished projects. We're after great ideas that demonstrate design thinking and prototypes that reflect an iterative process.

To find out more information or to enter the Award visit Entries close on 7th August.

Need inspiration? Check out an example of a good project.

Good luck!