For 24 Hours Only

For 24 Hours Only

Kaleidoscopic Positivity from our City's Creatives

I admit it.
When I close my eyes and picture my childhood in Birmingham in the 80s, the overriding colour is grey. Not that I wasn't happy, I absolutely was, but this city, honestly? It was gaunt in its concreticity. Was it really, or was that the outcome of an entire nation's imposing opinion? Probably a bit of both. Look, I don't mind grey, hell I pretty much spent lockdown going completely grey, but to see the results of an exhibition (which will physically be live for just 24 hours in the Custard Factory) so bold and bright, vivid and vivacious, suggests there's a new breed of Brummie. Just three words were sent to the city's designers, illustrators and typographers as a brief: 'The Creative City'. A hundred posters were returned for the one-day only physical exhibition and the lip-tremblingly beautiful umbrella message is one of kaleidoscopic positivity. The posters kickstart the city's annual Birmingham Design Festival (Aug 16 to 20) for which tickets are available now. But chances are you're not a designer. Chances are you're a Brummie. And whether born so or honorary, you presence is requested sometime between August 16 at midday to August 17, midday. Here's just five of those fabulous posters and more will be popping up across the city...

Ravnita says: In celebration of colour, “BullCity” is a digital illustration representing the city of Birmingham. The community, the pride, the ‘city of 1000 trades’. Here’s the second city, with a futuristic twist.

POPPY SMALL (Instagram)
Poppy says: Inspired by the colourful LGBTQ+ community of Birmingham, I wanted to turn the iconic Floozie into a rainbow drag icon, complete with obligatory pigeons. With some of the Midlands’ very own queens becoming more well known in recent years and with the gay village being my favourite place in town for a safe and groovy night out, it felt right to create a nod in this direction as I feel our LGBTQ+ culture is thriving so much from louder and bolder acts of support, love, and pride.

ASH O'BRIEN (Twitter)
Ash says: I’ve always disliked the term ‘the second city’ as it makes us feel a bit second-rate to London. In the spirit of celebrating Birmingham and focussing on some of the massive achievements and highlights of Brum — I’ve selected four facts that will hopefully make people reconsider using the phrase and the idea that we’re 2nd, when we’re actually first for so many good things.

JIM HOWELLS (website)
Jim says: For my piece “Architek” I was inspired by the ever changing, diverse architecture of Birmingham city centre. My teenage memories of shopping in the brutal concrete monoliths of the past mix with the multicultural, forward-thinking ideals that make Birmingham feel like such a modern, vibrant city.

Cairo says: Despite its disparities, many Brummies do have something in common: a typical conversational exchange often had with a non-native. This piece seeks to capture this interaction which also stylistically reflects my personal perception of the city’s aesthetic.

If you can't make it to the exhibition at The Factory Works in the Custard Factory, all 100 posters can be found at from 7pm on August 17, when they'll be up for online auction.