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13 essential design events for 2014

There are hundreds of design events taking place across the world this year. Here we pick our essential favourites.

If you're looking for design events in 2014 you don't have to look far. From typography to 3D to web design, there are hundreds of events happening all over the world, and you can find most of them by drilling down the categories on Lanyrd or similar sites. Here, we pick our ten favourites...

01. An Event Apart

design events for 2014
An Event Apart is aimed at web designers that care about code and content
  • Date: Throughout the year, from 17-19 February (Atlanta)
  • Location: Atlanta, Seattle, Boston, San Diego, Washington DC, Chicago
  • Good for: Web designers

A presitigious design event that takes place in cities across the US, the first 'An Event Apart' of the year will take place in Atlanta next week. It's an intensely educational two-day conference for passionate practitioners of standards-based web design. Covering everything from code to content, UX to graphic design, the event was founded by web visionaries Jeffrey Zeldman and Eric Meyer.

02. Design Indaba

Design Indaba is simultcast to venues around South Africa
  • Date: 26-28 Feb
  • Location: South Africa
  • Good for: Designers of all disciplines

The annual Design Indaba Conference in Cape Town features the best of global creativity all on one stage. It is also simulcast live to cities around South Africa. More than a "how-to" conference, this is a forum fuelled by inspiration that breeds ideas, ingenuity and innovation.

03. Impact

design events for 2014
Impact gathers together some of the world's biggest experts in branding design
  • Date: 6 March
  • Location: London
  • Good for: Anyone working in design/branding/advertising

A high-end event in London's South Bank brought to you by Computer Arts magazine, Impact is all about how to achieve - and celebrate - excellence and consistency in branding. Brand visionaries from global companies like Coca-Cola and Tesco, plus international agencies like Wolff Olins, johnson banks and AKQA, will share their secrets. A must-attend event for anyone involved in branding design.

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04. SxSW Interactive

design events 2014
SXSW is always a huge hit with web designers, tech enthusiasts and startups
  • Date: 7-11 March
  • Location: Austin, Texas
  • Good for: Web/app designers

Starting in 1987, SXSWi's original goal was to create an event that would act as a tool for creative people and the companies they work with to develop their careers, to bring together people from a wide area to meet and share ideas. Amassing over 32,000 tech enthusiasts every year, this is the perfect event for those interested in networking with digital designers and the tech community in general.

05. Typo Berlin / San Francisco / London

TYPO features around 1,500 participants and more than 60 speakers
  • Date: 15-17 March (Berlin), April 10-11 (San Francisco), 19-20 October (London)
  • Location: Berlin, San Francisco, London
  • Good for: Designers of all disciplines

TYPO conference is dedicated to "the lasting values of design, which have accelerated at a dizzying speed thanks to total digitalisation – from the first draft right up to production". With around 1,500 participants and more than 60 speakers giving lectures, workshops and panels on four stages over three days, it is among the world’s most important creative events.

06. OFFSET 2014

Offset is Ireland's biggest design conference
  • Date: 21-23 March
  • Location: Dublin
  • Good for: Designers of all disciplines

In just four years OFFSET has become one of the world’s most important creative events. Hosting a weekend of presentations, interviews, panel discussions and debates with the very best of Irish and international designers, animators, illustrators, advertisers, artists, photographers and more live on stage. They speak about their work, ideas and inspirations and give incredible insights into their practices and personal perspectives. Read our interview with organiser Ben Byrne here.

07. OFFF

  • Date: 15-17 May
  • Location: Barcelona, Spain
  • Good for: Artists and creatives

Starting over more than a decade ago, OFFF festival has become one of the most enticing and exciting design events in the world. Aiming to make you 'feel today what is going to happen tomorrow,' the Barcelona based conference has already confirmed the likes of Erik Spiekermann on its list of speakers.

08. Beyond Tellerrand

design events 2014
An affordable and friendly design event hosting a number of inspiring workshops
  • Date: 19-21 May
  • Location: Düsseldorf, Germany
  • Good for: Graphic and web designers

Beyond Tellerrand is one of the most affordable and friendly design events in Europe. With fantastic talks about design, technology and inspiration, speakers this year include the likes of Jessica Hische, Jonathan Snook, Dan Mall and Karen McGrane.

09. Kerning

design events 2014
Kerning is the perfect event for passionate typographers
  • Date: 5-6 June
  • Location: Faenza, Italy
  • Good for: Typographers

Kerning features a day of workshops and a conference day full of talks that will showcase some of the most influential typographers including Elliot Jay Stocks, Ellen Lupton, Simone Wolf and Vincent Connare. It takes place in the beautiful surroundings of Faenza, Italy.

10. Generate New York

design events 2014
We can't wait to see you in the Big Apple!
  • Date: 20 June
  • Location: New York
  • Good for: Web designers

This year, we're excited to be hosting our very first event in the States! Organised in conjunction with net magazine, this web design conference features a truly stellar lineup of speakers, including the likes of Ethan Marcotte, Karen McGrane and Brendan Dawes, and there'll be some great workshops too. Check out the event website now - while early bird tickets are still available!

11. SIGGRAPH / SIGGRAPH Asia

design events 2014
Siggraph is a huge hit with 3D designers across the world
  • Date: 10-14 August (Vancouver); 19-22 November (Hong Kong)
  • Location: Vancouver, Hong Kong
  • Good for: 3D designers

The ever-popular Siggraph returns to North America and Asia, where the most influential 3D designers gather for a three-day event to discuss the latest hardware and software. The must-attend event for anyone working in 3D.

12. D-Construct

design events 2014
The 2014 website isn't up yet, but here's how last year's looked!
  • Date: 6 September
  • Location: Brighton, UK
  • Good for: Web and product designers

dConstruct has a different theme every year. In 2012 it was 'playing with the future.' Last year it was 'communicating with machines.' Neither the theme nor line-up for this year has been announced yet, but if 2013's anything to go by, it's likely to feature designers, developers, artists and researchers from the worlds of web, mobile, security, comedy and music.

13. AIGA

design events 2014
Founded in 1914, AIGA is a must-attend for any type of designer
  • Date: 23-24 October
  • Location: New York
  • Good for: Designers of all disciplines

Founded in 1914 as the American Institute of Graphic Arts, AIGA remains the oldest and largest professional membership organization for design and is now known simply as 'AIGA, the professional association for design.' With the theme of "Redesigning commerce", this October event looks at how culture, economics and commerce will converge to tackle the tough questions businesses and designers face.

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Which events are you most excited about attending? Let us know in the comments box below!

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