Straight Forward Design Global Design Forum London Design Week
2nd October 2019

Founder & Creative Director Mike speaks at the Global Design Forum

Our Founder and Creative Director Mike joined an impressive lineup of speakers at the London Design Festival event.

Part of London Design Festival, Global Design Forum is a curated thought leadership programme for design industry experts. It celebrates the creative minds and leaders shaping the future of design through a mixture of talks, debates and workshops.

Impressed with the Skittles pack designs that we created to celebrate this year’s Pride season, London Design Festival invited Mike to speak on the ‘Telling Stories Through Design’ panel at the V&A. Through presentations and discussions the panel explored how design can communicate truths and narratives. In addition, how designers can cross geographical, cultural and generational boundaries through their work.

Telling the story

To kick things off, Mike shared the story behind the Skittles Pride project. Having worked on the rainbowless Pride packs for the last three years, he explained how Straight Forward helped move the story on and create a deeper, more meaningful connection with the LGBTQ+ community. Our creative concept was to collaborate with artists from the community to create a collection of limited edition designs. To do so, we asked each artist to create a piece of art that captured what Pride meant to them. The result, Mike concluded, was four original, limited edition packs that demonstrate the power of collaboration in creating the meaningful connection we set out to achieve.


Following the talks was a panel discussion with acclaimed figures from across the industry. Joining Mike was Product Designer Tomoko Azumi of TNA Studio, Set Designer Luis F. Carvalho and Kwame Kwei-Armah, Creative Director of the Young Vic. They shared their thoughts and experiences on the power of design in communicating stories and truths through their work.

Congratulations to all of the panelists and chair Zezi Ifore for a great discussion. We’re already looking forward to next year’s event!

Find out more about the Global Design Forum here.