5 talks to catch at Offset Dublin 2018

Offset takes place for the 12th time this year, and will see the likes of Gail Bichler, Ustwo and Pentagram take to the stage.

Three-day design festival Offset Dublin has been running since 2009, and sees 2,500 attendees annually. The conference hosts an illustrious selection of speakers every year, and has previously seen the likes of Paula Scher, Milton Glaser, Annie Atkins, Lance Wyman and Peter Blake grace the main stage. It has also recently branched out with annual conferences in other cities, including London and Sheffield.

Here’s a hand-picked selection of speakers to catch at Offset Dublin 2018.


Ustwo Games – Daniel Gray

Monument Valley, courtesy of Ustwo

What: Global, gargantuan digital design consultancy Ustwo is best known for its work on Monument Valley – the mystical, puzzle-turned-adventure game made unique by its colourful, geometric graphics of castles and buildings. However, Ustwo has many branches, delivering campaigns, apps and websites for all sorts of brands, so it is its games studio that really brings the likes of Monument Valley to life. The studio has also delved into technology such as virtual reality, with its Land’s End adventure game, which uses VR to explore a “lost civilisation”. Daniel Gray, head of studio at Ustwo Games, will be sharing his expertise – so if you’re a digital or UX designer, animator or visual effects (VFX) expert, he’s one not to miss.

When: 11am on Friday 23 March 2018.


Pentagram – Luke Powell and Jody-Hudson Powell

L-R: Jody Hudson-Powell and Luke Powell, image courtesy of Haruko Tomioka-Krzeszowiec

What: Brothers Luke Powell and Jody Hudson-Powell have a wealth of experience, having run their own design studio for 10 years before joining Pentagram as partners in October 2015. Before forming studio Hudson-Powell, Jody was previously design director at Wolff Olins, while Luke started out at The Kitchen. Collectively, the pair have worked with the BBC, Uniqlo, Google and Coca-Cola, and since joining Pentagram, have added to their eclectic array of clients with the Garden Museum and London Fashion Week. Head to see the Pentagram brothers if you’re interested in graphics, branding and identity work for huge clients, and digital design.

When: 11am on Saturday 24 March 2018.


Studio Frith – Frith Kerr

Branding for Alexa Chung, by Studio Frith

What: Graphic designer Frith Kerr founded Studio Frith in 2009, and is best known for her work transforming the look and feel of cultural institutions such as Frieze Art Fairs, Guggenheim Museum New York, Design Museum and Shakespeare’s Globe. She has also worked with many luxury clients, from Liberty to Selfridges. She is versatile in her approach, producing everything from new brand identities through to packaging, advertising campaigns, print materials, book covers and even films. One of her most notable projects is producing beautiful, photographic print collateral for Frieze. Before starting Studio Frith, she co-founded Kerr-Noble, and ran this studio for 11 years. Head to see Kerr if you are interested in creating unique and non-corporate brand identities, and want to learn how to design for arts organisations.

When: 11.50am on Saturday 24 March 2018.


New York Times – Gail Bichler

New York Times Magazine cover by Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaulo Ferrari

What: For an in-house design perspective, head to see the knowledgeable Gail Bichler. She is currently design director at the New York Times Magazine, having held various art director roles at the magazine for 12 years, and led the team that redesigned the magazine in print and online in 2015. She previously held her own self-named studio, was a visiting professor at Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and more recently put together an exhibition on the New York Times Magazine at the Type Directors Club in New York. The show delved into the magazine’s recent redesign, its typographic changes, and its various covers and spreads. She works alongside Matt Willey, art director at the magazine. Head to see Bichler if you want in-depth knowledge on print and editorial design, and insight into leading an in-house team.

When: 6pm on Saturday 24 March 2018.


Freelance illustrator – Peter Donnelly

Illustrated map, by Peter Donnelly

What: If you want a break from the global design consultancies with their huge clients, go see Irish illustrator Peter Donnelly to witness how successful and worthwhile being a freelancer can be. Donnelly has been working as an illustrator for 20 years, with a distinctive style that is influenced by folk-art, vintage prints and mid-20th century design. As well as being a children’s book author and illustrator, he has also curated several illustration exhibitions dedicated to The Beatles and David Bowie, and has produced print materials, advertising and branding for the likes of Zizzi and Mcdonald’s. His soothing, pastoral illustrative style has been used to depict everything from Shakespeare to craft beer and world maps. Head to Donnelly’s talk to learn about the craft of illustration, how to develop a unique style, and how to make it as a freelancer.

When: 6pm on Sunday 25 March 2018.


Offset Dublin 2018 takes place 23-25 March 2018 at the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin 2, Ireland. Day tickets cost €50 for students and €95 for professionals, and three-day tickets cost €115 for students, €145 for recent graduates and €225 for professionals. For more info, head to the Offset site.

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