Call Us: +44 (0)203 488 0774


SDS Talks and Events

Photograph of audience listening to SDS talk

The Society offers a regular programme of talks designed to inspire, improve practice and encourage innovation. We cover a wide range of topics from design and associated disciplines to academic research, technology, processes and standards.

Our talks are usually monthly, take place in London and are often hosted by SDS members. For members that are unable to join in person the talks are livestreamed via our dedicated member Facebook page and recordings posted in the talks archive. Subject to availability and other conditions, non-members and guests are very welcome to attend.

The 2019 SDS Events Programme

To help with your diary planning we include outline details of forthcoming events in the ‘Dates for your Diary’ section, found in the right hand column.

Please Note: The details listed in the events diary (including the date) may be subject to change.

Jan Tschichold and the New Typography in Weimar Germany

Wednesday 13 November 2019 About this event Our November event features Professor Paul Stirton who will explore the influence and work of ‘Die Neue Typographie’ movement through the lens of typographer Jan Tschichold’s life and work. Paul’s talk comes hot on the Read More...

Places with purpose do better: the role of place branding

Wednesday 9 October 2019 About this event Have you ever looked at your surroundings and wondered why so much of it looks the same? Many of the places that surround us were designed by committee with only shareholders in mind. But sometimes Read More...

SDS summer party: wayfinding cues beyond signs

Thursday 11 July 2019 Blurring the lines of art, signage and placemaking About this event Wayfinding is often equated with signs. But as any experienced consultant will soon tell you, signs are one among several options in the wayfinder’s toolbox. The architectural Read More...

SDS on tour at the Birmingham Design Festival

Thursday 6 June 2019 Jamaican street signs, reinventing neighbourhoods and an interactive wayfinding/waylosing workshop About this event For June’s SDS talk we’re going on tour, heading up to Birmingham to the Birmingham Design Festival. We’re giving members an opportunity to enjoy a Read More...

Route planning in London – a taxi driver’s perspective

Thursday 9 May 2019 Image credited to Eva-Maria Griesbauer About this event For our May talk we will be exploring how the findings from research investigating how London taxi drivers acquire and use ‘The Knowledge” can inform or explain principles in wayfinding Read More...

Wayfinding design for people with hidden disabilities

Wednesday 24 April 2019 About this event For our April event, join us to hear an expert panel discuss the length and breadth of what we, as wayfinding professionals, need to do to ensure that our work is as inclusive, accessible and Read More...

You are here

Thursday 28 March 2019 About this event For our March talk and spring party, we’re pleased to welcome Despina Macris from Dotdash. Drawing on a thirty year history, she will share some of the studio’s most memorable and successful projects with a Read More...

Wayfinding for people with visual impairments

Thursday 7 February 2019 Find out more about Wayfindr, the social technology organisation, and their mission to empower visually impaired people through inclusive and accessible audio navigation.

The best of British wayfinding 2018

Thursday 10 January 2019 A celebration of British Sign Awards 2018 wayfinding category finalists      Images credited to CCD Design & Ergonomics (Simon Kennedy), Maynard and Placemarque We’re kicking off the New Year in style – celebrating the best in British Read More...

Public typography, lettering and memories

Monday 17 December 2018 Sign Design Society and Information Design Association party & talkFest Lettering and signs are an essential part of our visual experience and urban landscape. We’re surrounded by them. Some point the way or tell us where we are; Read More...

Measuring design effectiveness

Thursday 11th October 2018   About this event In a world driven by the availability of big data, clients increasingly expect evidence to underpin design choices as well as investment decisions. But design deals a lot in things that have always seemed Read More...

Billy’s big SDS debate 2: Is wayfinding relevant?

Thursday 13th September 2018 About this event Disney Studios will tell you that wayfinding began with the Polynesian community 3,000 years ago and hasn’t changed much since then. At SDS however, we beg to differ. On the 13th of September, we will host Read More...

SDS on Tour: Sensory Wayfinding, Documenting Historical Signs and Birmingham Interconnect Case Study

The SDS on Tour in Birmingham event promises a mix of academic and practice-based talks, a graphic design exhibition, Birmingham City University architecture and graphic communication graduate degree shows and a short city signage tour.

How to Improve the Usability of Maps and Plans Through Design

This seminar will feature two presentations, by PhD students Peter B Lloyd and Andrew McIlwraith, who will be talking about how design impacts on the usability of maps and plans.

Exploring Dynamic Signage

Thursday 19 April 2018 During this talk there will be two presentations. Ed Griffith (accompanied by James Sirmin, Papercast client) will present an overview of Jedco Product Design, different digital display technologies and applications, with specific reference to the Papercast Digital Bus Stop project which uses E-Paper technology. Paul Cook will argue that the design is just as important as well as the instruction message in digital solutions.

HS2: Setting the Benchmark for Wayfinding and Sign Design

Wednesday 28 March 2018 During this talk Laura Kidd, Head of Architecture, will present the HS2 vision and the impact that this has on design thinking. She will outline the design approach for stations and discuss the station common design elements and wayfinding and signage requirements.

Brick Lane Threads

Thursday 22 February 2018 Steer Davies Gleave were contracted by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets to develop a dedicated connectivity and wayfinding strategy for Brick Lane to capture and spread the footfall along the entire street. During this talk they discuss their strategy to turn Brick Lane into a key pedestrian north-south route, linking all the attractions in the area and reinforcing the street's competitiveness.

Celebrating the Best in British Wayfinding

Thursday 25 January 2018  The SDS New Year Party Come and join the party and hear from the winning entries in the 2017 British Sign Awards. We celebrate the best in class in wayfinding with presentations from two of the shortlisted projects Read More...

London Underground sign design: when good intentions get ignored

Thursday 23 November 2017  Sign design often involves integrating/extending a client’s brand and identity. Consistency of information and design is also at the heart of reliable wayfinding systems. But what about after installation? How do we ensure our clients appreciate the need Read More...

Designing for an Ageing Population

Wednesday 6 September 2017 In a departure from our usual format, September will see the first SDS Big debate. With the help of a multidisciplinary panel we’ll be addressing the role of wayfinding consultancy within the built environment.

The Big Debate – Architecture versus People

Wednesday 6 September 2017 In a departure from our usual format, September will see the first SDS Big debate. With the help of a multidisciplinary panel we’ll be addressing the role of wayfinding consultancy within the built environment. We’ll be exploring whether it’s really needed, why it’s needed and perhaps touch upon what the future holds for those practicing the art Read More...

Collaborate to Innovate

Thursday 11 May 2017 Man drawing mind map of experiential design ideas Innovation is driving the heart of our future economies. As we push for greater innovation the need to collaborate across widely different specialisms has become a requirement to gain more and more innovative solutions. The question is HOW? How do we enable professionals who have long been separate, or even incompatible, and ask them to produce something new and innova Read More...

The Adventures of a Type Tourist

Tuesday 4 April 2017 Type designer David Quay is fascinated by urban typography and how cities use typefaces to express their individual identities. Describing himself as a ‘Type Tourist’, David has visited and extensively photographed the type styles that characterise many cities Read More...

Wayfinding for industrial estates and business parks

Thursday 16th March 2017 Spaces where vehicles and pedestrians interact and interchange is no more felt than at a busy and bustling industrial estate or business park. In this talk, Jonathan Docksey from wayfinding agency Design JD will explore the different needs of pedestrians and vehicles on industrial estates. He will also explain how the agency engages with users to ensure success. Read More...