Mandy and Danni here!

At the start of April we jetted off to sunny Barcelona to attend OFFF Festival, the largest showcase and window of contemporary visual creativity and design.

We thought we’d share some of our highlights….

“The stand out stars of the festival for me were Ben Tallon and Stefan Sagmeister. It was refreshing to see a talk focussed on more personal practice over corporate process. As a designer it is crucial for me to feel connected to my work through personal values and exploration, which can often be achieved through self initiated projects. If we feel connected to ourselves and our work we have better outcomes for clients, do better work, enjoy the process and achieve greater social impact.

Ben and Stefan spoke about the importance of optimism and social change, and raised an interesting provocation that stuck with me: what if we use design for personal expression (not just professional)? Along with a stark reminder that many people will choose the importance of meaning at work over compensation (which I always have and always will). It was a refreshingly honest, personal and bold talk that left me feeling energised, hopeful and ready to ideate some personal projects.” Mandy

“I took a lot of inspiration away from the Koto Studio talk with James Greenfield and Dan Witchell. In a fast paced industry full of deadlines, budgets and pressure it can be easy to get bogged down in the day to day, so it was joyful to hear them speak about optimism and how this can create exciting and inspiring creative pathways.

They talked about optimism having stigma around it, that it can be viewed as being overly positive without real depth or grounding. However optimism can and should feel uncomfortable, it is a constant fight to push creativity forward, wether its trying to sell a idea or pushing for change, optimism is about finding a stimulus that ignites new thinking and ways of approaching creativity.

Inspiration brings the possibilities of optimism, something Koto are not short of, from using AI as a starting point of conceptual thinking to absorbing and combining dark energy with the joyful aesthetic of illustration styles like Superflat, they reminded me of the importance of finding and harnessing the personal inspiration we collect and absorb throughout our lives as creatives. As Koto said, ‘creative minds like a think’, and I thought this talk was joyfully optimistic, colourful and inspiring in what are arguably grey and bleak times.” Danni

Visit our Instagram to see what else we got up to in Barcelona!