OFF(SET) we go again

A closer look at OFFSET Dublin

As a designer, I am always looking for new ways to be inspired, whether it be day to day shapes and signs or annual events that I mark in my calendar at the start of the New Year. Offset Dublin is just one of these events that inspire me and a few weeks ago I was sent by The Neighbourhood as a part of my Personal Development Plan.

The Event

This annual design event is based in Dublin’s creative hub and draws in a crowd of over 2500 every single year. The festival is quickly becoming one of the most educational, vocational and inspirational festivals not just in the UK but worldwide.

Offset aims to represent all members of the creative industry, from industry leaders to those just breaking out on the scene, offering a valuable insight into the hard work and thought provoking ideas that are needed to succeed in the increasingly competitive world of design.

The festivals’ multi-disciplinary approach includes Graphic Design, Photography, Animation, Illustration, Fashion, Film, Industrial Design and Art, gifting the audience with expertise not only from their own field but also encouraging them to branch out and try their hand at new disciplines.

The speakers at the various events gave the audience personal and professional advice on their specific challenges and took an interest in how they got to where they are today and where they want to be.

It was incredible to see and listen to designers who I have admired for a long time and those who I had never heard of. The biggest names at the event were often the most humble, incorporating humour and approachability into their workshops and talks.

Personal Highlights


GMUNK - “You have to take risks in order to move forward—I feel very passionate about that. I always say that if you feel uncomfortable, then you know you’re doing something right.”

His passion and ‘can do’ attitude towards each project and his desire to constantly push himself was clear in his enthusiasm about taking on new projects and challenges. His diverse portfolio demonstrates his eclectic talents demonstrating his skills in motion design, direction, 3D illustration and projection mapping.

He clearly invests a lot of time into personal projects and collaborations, demonstrating how this is often the best way to learn innovative techniques and meet other inspiring creatives. This personal development is displayed on his Pinterest page, where he fills his boards with anything and everything that inspires him, demonstrating his desire to constantly reinvent himself.

GMUNK is an ambitious visionary whose creativity and innovation transcends all platforms of design and believes that as a creative you must constantly reinvent yourself and build up new skills to be as diverse as possible even if it makes you feel uncomfortable.

Stephen Kelleher

Stephen Kelleher - “I came to realise quite some time ago that the best design is never informed by design itself but rather life”.

Stephen Kelleher is a freelance Irish artist based in Brooklyn, specialising in illustration and motion design. During his eye-opening speech on day one, he discussed his career and the impact of battling testicular cancer.

His roller-coaster life journey as a successful artist with a difficult personal life instilled a sense of determination in the audience, demonstrating how your life battles give you your personal style and rewards you with the drive to be the best you can be.

Kelleher’s style is instantly recognisable due to its simple yet rich detailing. Often working in motion design, his work combines figurative, cartoon-like illustration with minimalist typography and texture to simplify and clarify the message.

The talk taught the audience to design in a way that will make a difference and to use your own personal experiences as ideas for future projects. Having worked at leading animation studio Buck as a motion designer, Kelleher moved away from long days spent on a computer to instead getting involved with more tactile mediums.

Self portraiture and photography has become a large part of his portfolio, dealing with themes surrounding health, masculinity and sexuality. The talk concluded on a positive note, Kelleher explained that after a dark period, he has found a new purpose to his work and showed the importance of asking yourself “why are you doing what you are doing?”.

In Conclusion

To end I will leave you with a speech by one of my favourite talks of Offset 2016, which was by 4creative:











Emma Stott

Date published

11 May 2016