24th March 2017


by Kat Summers, Designer

My first experience of Offset Dublin was fantastic, full-on and inspiring – 3 days of talks by some of the industry’s most relevant and talented creatives. A mixture of global campaigns and diverse personal projects, many speakers discussed the importance of their working methods, studio practises and client relationships. Some of the many highlights were Kirsten Lepore’s brilliant stop-motion animations, The Project Twins beautifully clever illustrations and Ad Agency Chemistry’s big ideas.

A must-visit for anyone in the industry, I left with a sketchbook full of notes, quotes, books to read and a brain full of creative energy.

1. Rod Hunt 


Rod Hunt is a London based illustrator, his energetic and highly-detailed isometric illustrations are commissioned across a wide range of platforms, from books to advertising campaigns to theme park maps. He also illustrates the bestselling ‘Where’s Stig?’ books for BBC’s Top Gear.

Rod puts 10% of his profits into advertising his work, and goes to a lot of effort to create and send out work to current and prospective clients.

He also spoke about the importance of personal projects, and developing your own style; “If you’re following a trend, you’re already behind.”


2. Bruno Maag

02 image-creadit-Daalton-Maag

Bruno is a Swiss type designer and founder of Dalton Maag, an independent type design studio in London creating typefaces for a diverse range of clients such as Amazon, Google, Rio 2016, Nokia and Bradley Wiggins.

He stressed that type design is a discipline built on craft and explained the extensive training that all designers at Daalton Maag undertake, of which drawing is the foundation. Calligraphy is the first step in their training programme. “No font of any worth has ever been produced without hundreds of hours of painstaking craft.”


3. Jean Paul Goude

03 imagecredit-jean-paul-goude

Jean Paul’s eccentric energy and infectious creativity came across in his on-stage interview at Offset. A short film showing a selection of his projects was a great insight into his creative life so far. A graphic designer, illustrator and art director, he is perhaps best known for his body of work with Grace Jones, citing her as his muse.


4. Kirsten Lepore

Kirsten Lepore is an LA-based director and animator. Her brilliant stop-motion animations are full of humour and imagination, and the time and skill involved in creating them is seriously impressive. She has also written and directed for Cartoon Network, creating a one-off stop-motion episode of their hit children’s show ‘Adventure Time.’


5. Chemistry

05 imagecredit-chemistry

Chemistry are an ad agency based in Dublin.

“Write for the small screen as if it were the big screen”

Their work, from encouraging support for Ladies Gaelic Football to Lidl’s heartfelt Christmas ad, has one thing in common – big ideas.

One image that stayed with me from their talk was the emblem designed for the Irish Examiner, in memory of Jonah Lomu, famous player for the All Backs who sadly died of a heart attack in 2015. The All Blacks fern emblem, with one petal floating detached from the leaf, creates a compelling testament. All image rights were transferred to Lomu’s sons and the Jona Lomu Legacy Trust.


6. Marion Deuchars

06 imagecredit-marion-deuchars

Known best for her hand-lettering and illustrated children’s art activity books, Marion is an advocate of art for everyone. Stating that all children draw, but often this stops from around age 6. Her activity books aim to teach not just children, but adults about the importance of creativity, and the different ways we can express ourselves.


7. Shane Griffin

07 imagecredit-shanegriffin

Shane Griffin is a designer who works in a variety of fields for clients ranging from Nike to Toyota. He is founding partner in Creative Studio Sunday Afternoon based in New York. My favourite example of his work is a gin brand, ‘Desgin.’ The idea came from a continual mis-spelling of the word ‘design.’ Promotional artwork for the gin was created by removing the label and projecting words ending in ‘gin’ such as ‘begin’ ‘origin’ through the glass to create some beautiful warped typography.


8. Nhu Xuan Hua

08 imagecredit-Nhu-Xuan-Hua

Nhu Xuan Hua’s photography is deeply personal and conceptual, she creates images for both editorial and commercial projects often within the realms of fashion and beauty. Within her extensive body of work, she explores her own fascination with perfection and seeks to understand and express her personal fears.


9. Project Twins

09 imagecredit-The-Project-Twins

James and Michael Fitzgerald are graphic artists from Cork who create both editorial illustrations primarily for finance magazines, where they create beautifully simple images to explain often complex themes. They also are keen screen-printers and exhibit and sell their art. The Twins were also commissioned by Facebook to paint a mural in their Dublin HQ and furthermore invited to take up a 3-month artist residency in the HQ. Like many of the other designers at the conference, The Project Twins re-iterated the importance of personal projects as a way of exploring ideas and developing a method of working. Their ‘A-Z of Unusual Words’ was a personal project that they created to showcase their skills and develop an aesthetic that helped them to win new work.


10. Aboud+Aboud

Known widely for his work with Paul Smith, Alan Aboud is a graphic designer and art director. His film ‘A Suit to Travel In’ demonstrating the ‘no crumple’ and durable quality of Paul Smith’s ‘Travel Suit’ is a beautiful piece of work. Aboud Aboud enlisted gymnast Max Whitlock to perform a routine in a Paul Smith no crumple ‘Travel Suit’. Following the success of the film it was re-created as a live performance event staged in an art gallery and then went on to tour across various locations across the world.



Kat Summers, Designer