#WRconf. The Huddersfield Design Conference is coming!

We are excited to announce that Wilson's Republic has gone large.

From designing textiles to engineering gearboxes, Huddersfield has a rich history of world class design running through it.  Wilson's Republic #6 aims to celebrate these roots by looking to the future. Set over the course of a day we will bring together the design community to chat, work, listen and learn. 

It's a full-on design conference for Huddersfield and it's on Thursday 5th October at Bates Mill.

We have a series of inspiring guest speakers and a programme of seminars and workshops chosen to help you run your creative business. Whether you are an established agency, freelancer or student, topics will cover working with the design process, accounting, intellectual property, business development and more.

There will be space to work and the opportunity to get one-to-one feedback on your portfolio by a professional. 

Wilson's Republic #5 Speaker: Kath Shackleton, Fettle Animation


Kath Shackleton is producer of Fettle Animation, a 2D Studio based in Marsden, near Huddersfield in West Yorkshire.

She set up her company with her partner Zane Whittingham, an animator with over 25 years’ experience. They produce award winning character animation for broadcast, web and digital devices.

Their animated documentary series Children of the Holocaust, made with BBC Learning won the Japan Prize Special Jury Prize, the first Sandford St Martin’s Children’s Awards, two RTS Yorkshire Awards and was nominated for a Children’s BAFTA. They also make animation for businesses and charities. 

They have also just launched a new children's YouTube channel Little Jokers and successfully presented their latest project at Cartoon Forum where they are raising finance from international broadcasters.



Wilson's Republic #5 Speaker: Mike Lemanski

Mike Lemanski is a British freelance designer and illustrator based in the UK currently working on design led commissions, posters, iconography, editorial Illustrations, maps, book covers, data visualisations, infographics and full design campaigns.

His work focuses strongly on concepts and encompasses a number of areas within the fields of design, illustration and art, mixing experimental print making with digital and traditional mediums. Alongside his personal work he has worked with a variety of clients from global publications to international brands, utilising a playful and graphic approach to briefs and projects.

Graduating from the Bradford School of Arts in 2007 with a first class degree in Visual Communication, specialising in typographic design and illustration, Mike has been working in a freelance capacity since 2010.

His personal work explores various concepts and is created through bodies of work within the areas of print, design and art, in particular the interaction of art, design and music.


Wilson's Republic #5 Speaker: Laura Slater

Laura Slater is a textile and surface pattern designer, who creates hand printed and finished interior textile products.

Working in industry since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2007, Laura has developed and creatively directs her own design brand. 

Laura’s design practice is occupied with the engagement we have with pattern and its ability to connect us with the environments and objects we surround ourselves with. This is an integral focus in producing directional and thoughtful approaches to her work.

Selling her work in the UK, Europe and US, clients and project collaborators include, Heals, The Hepworth Wakefield, Somerset House, Harvey Nichols, Material Lab, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wrap Magazine, Pick Me Up, National Centre for Craft and Design, Le Bon Marche (Paris), and Fraser Muggeridge Studio.  


Wilson's Republic #5

Wilson's Republic returns for our fifth outing. Our theme for WR5 is 'process' and we welcome an inspirational line up of local talent to talk about how they approach their work...

Multi-award-winning studio Fettle Animation will talk us through their unique approach to storytelling, often taking complex subjects and making them easy to understand. Mike Lemanski is a graphic designer, illustrator and print maker. His strikingly simple compositions have attracted the likes of Lacoste and John Lewis as clients. Laura Slater is a pattern maker whose hand-printed work crosses products, textiles and prints. Laura was recently a finalist in the 2016 Etsy Awards and also a speaker at 100% Design in London.

We're delighted again to be hosted by the guys at Byram Arcade and music will be supplied by Boy Oliver. We'll be open from 6.30pm for drinks and food at the Blue Rooms. The first talk will be at 7.30pm.

Our process-inspired identity for WR5 has been created by designer Leo Parker from The Engine Room.

Get down early and say hello. It's going to be good!

Register for Wilson's Republic #5 now

Wilson's Republic #4 Speaker: John Lee

John Lee, Model Maker / Art Director

John Lee, Model Maker / Art Director

When, at the ripe old age of 14, John asked his School career advisor how to get into Special Effects in the Film Industry, his reply was -

“I don’t have a category for Special Effects, and in any case no one from around here ever does that kind of thing - why don’t you go into engineering like your father…..?”

After studying Illustration and Graphic Design at Batley Art College John is now in his 34th year in Film & TV, working on some of the most exiting and high profile projects around. 

Beginning his career at Manchester’s Cosgrove Hall Films on “Wind In The Willows” then shortly after Gerry Anderson’s puppet series “Terrahawks”, John then based himself in London, spending over ten years finely tuning his modelling skills on animated commercials and promos, before finally co-producing and designing his Pre-School series “Potamus Park”which ran for three years on ITV.

Since then, John has contributed his model and prop making skills on a number of iconic movies including “Aliens”, “Casino Royale”, “Moon”, “V For Vendetta”, a couple of “Harry Potter’s” , “Fantastic Mr Fox”, “Frankenweenie”, “The Martian”, and the eagerly awaited - “Rogue One - A Star Wars story - due for release this Christmas.

He recently revisited the world of animation by Production designing and supervising the model build with his team of fifteen artists over a six month period on the multi-award winning John Lewis Christmas advert - “The Bear & The Hare”. John also frequently lectures to the next generation of film makers at The National Film and Television School.

John is currently working on Star Wars Episode - 8 at Pinewood Studios.


Register for Wilson's Republic #4 here.

Wilson's Republic #4 Speaker: Shay Moradi


Shay Moradi is a partner at Running in the Halls, where he dabbles in this and that. He sometimes provides the digital duct tape that glues uncommon technologies together and when he's not writing proposals or designing, he is the rubber duck that breaks your code, fries your Arduino and mangles your robotic arm, all in the name of learning. His passion is fusing the eclectic fields of consultancy, interaction design, user experience and common sense. 

With his partners in design and development at Running in the Halls, (Sam and Alison), they've done work for Ford, Rolls-Royce, Channel 4, The Gadget Show and the Open University—Everything from apps and interfaces that are used by thousands of users daily in the fields of education and healthcare, to a Battlefield simulator, a gesture controlled demolition machine, a remote controlled BMW mini and a realtime dog bark translator.


Register for Wilson's Republic #4 here.

Wilson's Republic #4. Our first birthday!

wilsons republic 4

The Huddersfield Design Network is one year old!

Wilson's Republic returns for it's 4th event on Thursday 23rd June and this time we are hosted by Bates Mill.

It's our first birthday and we have two outstanding speakers lined up.

Shay Moradi from Bates Mill-based Running in the Halls will be talking through some of their amazing and varied portfolio of work for clients as diverse as Rolls-Royce to the Gadget Show. We are also privileged to welcome Huddersfield-born model maker and art director John Lee who will shed light on a career that has seen him design sets and props on an unbelievable array of films from Harry Potter to the forthcoming Star Wars spin-off Rogue One. 

We are also delighted to be joined by Artisan coffee roasters Bean Brothers who will have coffee tasting and food on sale.

A big thanks to our partners on the night Foilco who will be on hand with lots of touchy feely freebies for you to take away.

As ever there will be a licensed bar and DJ Boy Oliver will supply the tunes. We'll be kicking off at 6.30 through til 10pm, so feel free to stay a while, chat to fellow creatives and celebrate one year of the Huddersfield Design Network!

A massive thanks to Peter O'Toole for crafting the WR#4 visual identity. We'll have limited copies of his screened artwork to give away on the night.

You really don't want to miss this. We look forward to seeing you there!

Register to attend now on Eventbrite

PLEASE NOTE: Access to the Bates Mill Photography Studio is through the Colne Road entrance. 

Wilson's Republic #3

Wilson's Republic returns for our 3rd event on Thursday 24th March

We are delighted to welcome designer Nick Bax (Designers Republic and Human Studio) and Huddersfield-based Fashion Designer Benaiah Matheson to give us an insight into their work.

We'll be hosted again by The Blue Rooms/Byram Arcade with a licensed bar and food available to order. 

Our WR#3 visual identity has been crafted by designer and illustrator Mike Lemanski www.mikelemanski.co.uk

We're looking forward to seeing you all again. We really hope you can make it!

Register now for WR#3 on Eventbrite

More info to follow soon...

WR#3 Speaker: Nick Bax

Nick Bax was born in Huddersfield in 1970. For over 25 years his career has spanned the fields of graphic design, creative direction and art.

Nick was part of the Designers Republic team for 15 years and launched the creative agency Human in 2007. The studio collaborates with institutions and global brands on commissioned artworks and design solutions, including MTV Europe, Swatch, Roewe (China), University of Sheffield, Seaborn and SCI+TEC (USA). 

From CGI animation to virtual 3D galleries, the team use the latest digital technologies to explore new means of communication and creative expression. Human have exhibited work in galleries and venues in Europe, Japan, Brazil and the United States.



Nick Bax

Postponed: Wilson's Republic vs PechaKucha

Thursday 28th Jan 2016
7.00pm - 10.00pm
Cafe Ollo, The Media Centre,
7 Northumberland St,
Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD1 1RL



Unfortunately, due to this date not working for some of our speakers, we are having to postpone this event until a later date. Details tbc.

Sorry for any inconvenience, we hope to see you at our next event, WR3. Full details for which will be posted here soon. 

Keep up with all the latest from Wilson’s Republic on twitter @wilsonsrepublic

Feel free to drop us a line if you have any questions or suggestions at hello@wilsonsrepublic.com.


Wilson's Republic

Wilson's Republic

Wow. Wonderful venue, amazing turnout and brilliant speakers combined to create a memorable evening. The Huddersfield Design Network is truly up and running and the bar well and truly set.

Our thanks go to Anna and Peter for their inspirational insight into unicorns, how hard work pays off, collaboration, isolation and knowing that if you trust your gut you won't go far wrong.

We look forward to seeing you all at Wilson's Republic #3

Anna Mullin AKA Sneaky Raccoon

Anna Mullin AKA Sneaky Raccoon

Peter O'Toole

Peter O'Toole

Photos courtesy of Neil Herke.

WR#2 Speaker: Peter O'Toole

Wilson's Republic welcomes Peter O'toole, an illustrator born and still based in Huddersfield. His work takes inspiration from all things nostalgia and he has a keen interest in 1950s advertisements and print. Peter's distinctive work has been commissioned by Adidas, Microsoft, Disney, Universal pictures, MGM, Clarks originals, the Telegraph, Computer Arts and Ministry of Sound to name a few.



Wilson's Republic #2

After a successful launch event in June, Wilson's Republic returns on Thursday 22nd October. We'll be hosted by The Blue Rooms/Byram Arcade. We have a licensed bar and tunes will be supplied by Boy Oliver.

We are delighted to welcome illustrator Peter O'Toole and Graphic Artist Anna Mullin A.K.A Sneaky Raccoon to give us an insight into their work.

Our visual identity for WR#2 has been beautifully crafted by A.N.D. Studio www.and-studio.co.uk

We're looking forward to seeing you all again. We hope you can make it!

Register for WR#2 now on Eventbrite.

More info to follow soon...