Print festival nurtures creative talent

31 January 2014

Leeds Print Festival celebrated its third year with an even bigger range of print activities for print enthusiasts to indulge in.

The week-long festival that champions contemporary and traditional print making processes began on Friday the 24th of January with an opening night celebration at Leeds Gallery that showcased this year’s Print Exhibition.

Leeds College of Art’s graphic design Programme Leader Amber Smith is the founder and organiser of Leeds Print Festival: ‘This year we have adopted a more in-house approach by attempting to keep all the design and production within Yorkshire’ says Smith. ‘Leeds has changed a lot in recent years with so many independent studios, events and spaces opening that we have benefitted greatly from being part of that community’.

The festival comprised of a showcase, an exhibition, a print fair and print talks from speakers including: Mr Bingo, Patrick Burgoyne editor at Creative Review, Pat Randle from Nomad Letterpress and designer and illustrator Si Scott.

Amber Smith is very keen to create opportunities for students studying on the BA (Hons) Graphic Design programme to gather real-life creative experience. The opportunity to network with and exhibit alongside members of the creative community leads to an alternative creative experience for students.  

Leeds Print Festival Image 

Both current and past students took part in this year’s festival. Leeds College of Art alumni Dutch Holland comments: ‘Leeds print festival is a fantastic event, I can't think of anything in the region that compares when it comes to bringing print designers, artists and enthusiasts together over a single weekend to celebrate and enjoy the craft of print.’

Having graduated from Leeds College of Art, Dutch has continued to stay in touch, whilst working in London, by working with Amber on coordinating the print fair. Dutch comments ‘It definitely gave me a platform for launching my career into the design industry, by immediately getting an internship in  London off the back of last year’s 2013 print festival and soon after gaining full time employment at a leading graphic design agency’, he goes on to say ‘Even though I now live and work in London it's a privilege to be involved in the Leeds based event and feel proud to represent Leeds College of Art as a graduate after being given so any opportunities whilst I was studying on the graphic design course’.

For those of you interested in the Leeds Print Festival please visit their website: