A new year means a new calendar of events to look forward to. There are dates every designer needs to keep in mind, from major national and international events that can inspire commissions to industry events where designers can network (see our how to network (opens in new tab) guide), meet colleagues and catch up on the latest trends. Here we round up ten dates for the diary that will be setting the agenda for 2020, in date order.
01. Vertex 2020
- 27-28 February
Supported by Creative Bloq, ImagineFX and 3D World, Vertex (opens in new tab) is the ultimate conference for 2D and 3D artists, even if we do say so ourselves. Taking place at London’s Olympia Conference Centre in February, it's the place to brush up your skills and learn from leading industry artists and the world’s best creative studios, whatever area you specialise in. Themes cover video games, VFX, VR, concept art, real-time creation and much more besides.
02. The UX Conference
- 2-3 March
The theme for this two-day London conference (opens in new tab) for UX and UI designers this year is collaboration. It's a good place for it, since a limit of 300 guests make it intimate enough to allow quality networking. There are 16 speakers invited to give talks on day one and hands-on workshops on day two.
03. Generate JS
- 2 April
- 3-5 April
The eleventh edition of OFFSET (opens in new tab) Dublin is the perfect excuse for a visit to Ireland with 2,500 other creatives. Presenters include leading graphic designers, photographers, animators, and illustrators as well as people from the worlds of fashion, film, making it a place to get very varied perspectives on creativity, inspiration, trends, collaborations and practice. The event offers a packed agenda of panels, debates and demos, plus a marketplace and networking spaces.
05. Euro 2020
- 12 June-12 July
Whether you’re into football or not, there’ll be no escaping the beautiful game this summer as Europe goes football crazy for a month during Euro 2020 (opens in new tab). To mark the competition’s 60th anniversary, games are being held not in one host nation but in 12 cities scattered across the continent, including London, Glasgow and Dublin.
England, in group D, are being tipped as having a good chance to make it through to the final at Wembley on 12 July, so expect to receive design commissions with St George’s flags flying high. Scotland also still have a chance to qualify through play-offs in March.
06. Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
- 24 July-4 August
The sporting event of the year though, will be getting underway in Japan just a couple of weeks later. All eyes will be on Tokyo for the Games of the XXXII Olympiad. This year’s summer Olympics adds a few new twists with medals in softball, karate, sport climbing, surfing and skateboarding. Expect clients to be asking after Japan-themed commissions, so get ready to dig out the Kaneiwa and Fat Sushi fonts.
07. London Design Festival
- 12-20 September
London Design Festival (opens in new tab) makes a bold claim to celebrate and promote London as the design capital of the world. The Festival returns to venues across the city in mid-September promising major large-scale installations and commissions from some of the world’s best designers and events across 11 design districts in the city turning the capital into a source of inspiration. The festival also features trade shows including Design London, formerly 100% Design, and the London Design Fair at Truman Brewery.
08. Design Matters
- 23-24 September
Run by designers for designers, Design Matters (opens in new tab) is a two-day conference focusing on new movements in digital design and the role that designers will play in shaping the future. Particular themes of interest this year include the design possibilities opening up in the areas of immersive worlds and mixed realities. On top of that, it's hosted in the design capital Copenhagen, which is worth the trip alone.
09. Adobe MAX
- 20-22 October
Adobe Max (opens in new tab) is the annual Adobe bash that brings together 10,000 graphic, web, and multi-disciplinary designers as well as creative and art directors, film, video, and motion graphics pros, photographers and other creative leaders in Los Angeles. It's one of the world's biggest design gathering for networking, and there's the option to head into town early for two days of immersive pre-conferences full of productivity tips and tricks. It's also the place to hear firsthand of new Adobe product updates.
10. Expo 2020 Dubai
- 20 October-10 April 2021
Held every five years, the world expo has previously witnessed the unveiling of the telephone (Philadelphia, 1876), the Eiffel Tower (Paris, 1889), the Ferris wheel (Chicago, 1893), the X-Ray machine (Buffalo, 1901), the ice cream cone (St Louis, 1904), the commercial broadcast television (New York, 1939), IMAX (Osaka, 1970), touchscreens (Knoxville, 1982) and the humanoid robot (Nagoya, 2005), so just what will Expo 2020 (opens in new tab) in Dubai have in store?
Incredible futuristic architecture for sure, while the major themes include mobility, sustainability and communication. World expos were originally designed to showcase the achievements of nations and may seem like a quaint anachronism in the 21st century, but Dubai is planning to make a splash as the host city of this six-month event running from 20 October. This is the first time that what is one of the oldest international events on the planet is being held in the Middle East, and the organisers are expecting a record 25 million visitors for what they promise will be "the world's greatest show".