Podge 26

The original no-agenda annual lunch for the creative industry is back and ready to knock your socks off after a year in hibernation.

Now, over a quarter of a century old, Design Podge has grown arms and legs and other interesting bits, but the recipe has remained the same. Friends, rivals, icons and even people given posh acronyms by HRH the Queen take time out to meet old friends, make new ones, exchange stories and indulge in good food and lots of wine.

We’re not sure if it’s the world’s longest lunch, but its most certainly the most fun, and after a year like we’ve all experienced, we can’t wait to get everyone together again for a very overdue knees up.

And this year more than ever, we want to say a huge thanks to our incredible partners. They’re generous support enables us to do what we do best and bring everyone together. Podge just wouldn’t be Podge without them.

Supported by:

In the Summer of 94, the likes of Marcelo Minale, Aziz Cami, Brian Webb, Erik Spiekermann and Alan Fletcher were among the 30 original guests that made up the first Podge Lunch. The reason for the gathering? The UK was in one of the worst recessions it had faced and the who’s who of the design industry, who back then were all clients of my typesetting firm APT, asked me to organise a gathering on neutral turf that would allow them to chew the fat.

Working together. Opening up. Sharing knowledge and dropping the ego’s at the door. Coming together as peers, all with one common goal. To ensure they were all still standing on the other side as individuals and as an industry. And to have a ruddy good afternoon too.

26 years has flown by and the lunch has grown every year. This year we are faced yet again with another blow to the industry and that of many others. This time coming in the form of a virus. One that has taken us all by surprise and made us realise the important things. The human things.

So for this year’s Podge. The 26th. We have decided to take it back to where it all began. We have shrunk it down to its more intimate former self. Not quite 30, but 100 of the industries finest. The creative has also been given a 1994 makeover of sorts, harking back to the hot metal days where founder Phil started his career and the reason Podge exists.

We don’t know what will lie at the end of the corona virus journey. It will impact everyone differently. But one thing has become clear during this unprecedented summer. It’s the people that matter.

We hope you will join us to celebrate in true podge style, amongst friends and peers, enjoying a long lunch in great company, raising a toast to the ‘new normal’.

July 23rd
September 24th
12.30 – late

The Coronavirus scuppered our plans for a Summer Podge, so we have changed the date accordingly and will now be celebrating with 100 of the industries finest, this Autumn.

Groucho Club

This year we knew a change was needed. We wanted to have a more intimate gathering, somewhere that felt like home. A place to escape and reset. The Groucho Club has been the creative industries watering hole since it opened in 1985. Now, with a new space to fit us Podgers, there was no better place to kickstart the next quarter of a century.

Groucho Club
45 Dean Street
London, W1D 4QB
City of Westminster

View map

    Acosta, Reynaldo

    & Friends

    “Is it the Design Industry? Business? Trade? To me, it’s a bunch of colleagues who share the same problems, issues, loves and hates. I consider other designers competitors last, friends first (and I’ve even been know to even fancy some of them). Every year at Podge I get a chance to reconnect with my friends in the UK and I wouldn’t miss it, ever. On my calendar Podge is a Jour Fixe, as we Germans say."
    Erik Spiekermann, CEO, EdenSpiekermann
    “I was a Podge virgin until 2006 and had honestly thought that Podge was just a bunch of old design-industry farts getting pissed. Well imagine my surprise! Seriously, Podge represents all the things that made me fall in love with our industry almost 20 years ago: great people"
    Jill Marshall, Managing Director, Bloom
    “Podge is a unique opportunity for the design industry to get together and celebrate. As design increasingly leads the way for the creative industries the role of Podge becomes ever more important and being part of it is a telling statement about your part in our future.”
    John Mathers, CEO, Design Council
    “Podge is really, really terrible. For a start, it’s full of people who are passionate about design. Then you have to miss work for an afternoon. And an evening. You have to catch up with people you’ve known for years and meet a whole bunch of interesting new people. Finally, you have to eat, drink and chat. A lot. And this is supposed to be fun?? I can’t imagine what Phil Jones is thinking of, arranging it every year.”
    Shan Preddy, Founder, Preddy & Co.
    Thank you so much for another brilliant Podge. Was as always, full of love, laughs & a general recognition that, despite all being a year older, we can still rock(ish)!Podge is a great yearly benchmark, long may it reign.”
    Jonathan Sands OBE, Chairman, Elmwood
    “I wanted to say a warm big THANK YOU for Friday. Was absolutely great fun and I met some brilliant new people and old ones too. What an amazing day, perfectly executed.”
    Ali Hanan, CEO Creative Equals, D&AD Judge
    “Many thanks for hosting another great Podge! It was great to meet friends old and new. I now also have a host of emails and LinkedIn’s to follow up this week.”
    Malcolm Garrett RDI, Artistic Director, Design Manchester
    “Just a quick note to say thanks for a brilliant day –my first ‘up north’ gig just as enjoyable as the ‘down south’ gig but with even better accents and –dare I say it –more ‘real’ people! Brilliantly run as ever, so many thanks.”
    Alan Cooper, Founder, Freestyle Interactive
    “Thank you so much for another brilliant Podge. Was as always, full of love, laughs and a general recognition that, despite all being a year older, we can still rock(ish) Podge is a great yearly benchmark, long may it reign.”
    Julie Oxberry, MD, Household Design

    Podge just wouldn’t be Podge without the support and friendship of some truly fantastic people. Everything that makes Podge what it is, is about human beings and organisations going the extra mile, having fun, and supporting the creative industry.

    Thanks to all of our friends, new and old, for keeping it Podgey!

    Phil Jones, The Podgemaster
    Frances Jackson , OPX CEO
    Podge is always about connections. It’s 26 this year, and coincidentally that’s about the same age as the relationship between Podgemaster Phil Jones and brand studio OPX. It was around that time that OPX CEO Frances Jackson was studying at the London College of Printing. There was a fella running typesetting company APT just down the road, and Frances would head there whenever she needed his talents. That was Phil, who of course later went on help to launch Real Time, one of the first digital agencies.
    Graham Bignall, Letterpressed pro
    And then there’s letterpress pro Graham Bignall (whose hands you saw in the opening video). He came to OPX as a client ten years ago, then later collaborated with the studio on the branding for Look Mum No Hands! So this year when OPX decided on an alphabet theme for Podge 26, Graham was the obvious choice to work with.
    PJ , Mallard & Claret founder
    Oh, and one more connection: Website Agency Mallard and Claret work with the selected creative agency every year to build the Podge lunch website.
    The Groucho club
    And then there’s the new venue. Phil has been a lifelong member of The Groucho Club and they have been brilliant supporters of all things Podge for years. Entering the Groucho just has that Podge feel for us. So as soon as we heard they were increasing their event space we were sold. Its only right that Design Podge as the original Podge gets to christen the new home.

    Which all sums up Podge perfectly.

    Creative relationships,
    grown over time,
    always sparking new ideas.