Posts Tagged ‘Fuzion Graphic Design’

Don’t Think Outside the Box

May 14, 2017

Think outside the box

It’s a term we hear all the time in business, and especially in the creative industry –  ‘”Think outside the box”’.

I see it in briefs, job descriptions and I hear it said in meetings.

I hate it!

The term has become meaningless, if everyone thinks outside the box then all you do is create a larger box!

The fact is there is no avoiding the box. Everything we do in business and in life has boundaries. There are laws on the street, marketing campaigns have a budget and designing a billboard always has size constraints.

The best way forward is to be creative within the box – Use the boundaries, work within the limitations and show people that you are still, more than capable of being different and creative.

I love the box!

Paul Wade

Paul Wade is part of the Graphic Design team at Fuzion Communications who have offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Raise Your Game

June 5, 2016

CiT - Architecture course

I’ve been to a few final year exhibition openings as part of my life as a student, as a college lecturer and as creative director here in Fuzion.  Not just in graphic design, but in multi-media, fashion, ceramics and the full gamut of fine art courses on offer in a number of third level colleges.

It’s a great way to see up-and-coming talent, current trends in the various fields of study, and hiring talented staff (we have taken on two graduates from the final year exhibition in CIT’s Visual Communications courses in the past few years). But its taken until this year for me to be absolutely blown away by both an exhibition and an attitude from a course in the way that the Interior Architecture course in CIT did when I visited it last Wednesday.

Titled TRANSCEND 2016, the exhibition is primarily a showcase for the graduating 4th years, with work on display also by the 3rd years (and if you wander off the beaten track a little, some incredible work by other students from other years too!).

A number of things happen from the very moment that you enter the building.

Firstly, from the exterior of the building, it’s a pretty grotty looking 80’s dull-as-dishwater brown factory. But this is the beginning of the magic show.

Marc Riain - CIT Architecture

It has been commandeered by the department a couple of years ago and transformed (by Marc O’Riain, a senior lecturer in the department and an architect in his own right http://www.ruaarchitects.ie/ ) into a multi-award winning space that starts to impress you immediately, from the large Norman Foster model at the entrance to the innovative use of space and materials.

And this is all before you get to see any of the students’ work. As a space, you can see how it inspires the students to work harder and better, to want to be more creative and strive towards a career in their chosen field. There are several shipping containers along the left hand side of the space that create offices, work spaces, physical walls/dividers in an open space that appears to be as large (and open) as a football field.

You can see how it was a factory – and in that Warholian sense it still is a factory, but now instead of manual operators creating loss prevention devices, it nurtures talent and creativity. Students within this vast building have individual spaces to design and work, with communal areas so people can see what others are doing (and perhaps be inspired by this work) and it’s a space to be immensely proud of.

You would love to come to college here.

Transcend 2016- CIT ArchitectureBut back to the exhibition itself for a moment. The work level seems incredible – a standard of finish and design skills that were very high. Again, it looked like the students themselves had pushed themselves as much as any encouragement from teaching staff. Like they wanted to succeed. Like they had a hunger for it, a passion.

The work is displayed, especially by the 4th year graduates with professional precision and with purpose (have a look for Kristina Malantsuk’s work based on the Cork Bonded Warehouses). And this is where one of the most impressive factors struck me. They wanted jobs. They wanted to become employed practitioners. They could clearly see that this wasn’t a party as a self congratulatory pat on the back for turning up a few hours a day for 4 years, this was a recruitment drive.

And at the opening of the exhibition, something that I have never seen before happened. As Katherine Keane, Department Head & Marc O Riain finished their speeches, Marc ended by pointing at a door towards one of the more private areas of the building and said that anyone who wanted to interview a student could do so in that space.

And no messing, a number of people immediately walked towards that door to do so!

I think that there is a certain irony that the model at the main door is by Norman Foster Architects, because that is exactly what they do in that space – foster architects.

Attitude is so much a part of any success story.

Of course you must want to succeed and you must have a genuine product that is worthy of success. But you must look like you want to succeed.

Whats the point in having the best service or product in the world if it looks rubbish? You are only fooling yourself, because no one else will believe in something that looks like you don’t believe in it. From the minute you step into the space that is the Architecture Factory, you want it to be amazing, because it tells you that its amazing, and you believe in it.

Check out the superb work that is happening right now in Cork by visiting the Facebook page or the website for the exhibitions.

Well done to all these hungry students and the lecturers who are inspiring them to be the best.

Jonathan

Jonathan Leahy Maharaj leads the Graphic Design Department in Fuzion with offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland 

 

 

Offset 2016 and ones boy’s obsession with design

April 18, 2016

Offset 2016

If you know me, then great… if not, here are a few starter points:

This post is like me, it requires a bit of work. You’ll have to click links. You’ll have to forgive my overuse of exclamation marks, parentheses and the Oxford comma. And possible bad language that I wouldn’t even dream of using in the company of my mother, or even more, your mother. There may be mentions of testicles (all relevant). And finally, like a goldfish needs water, I need design.

Some people watch football. Others collect stamps. Some people go train-spotting.

Me? I look at design.

It started in 1990, when Mr Nott, my art teacher recognised that I was pretty rubbish at art, but I knew vaguely how to construct things into an order that conveyed a logical sense of information. I could tell a visual story. And he showed me some work that wasn’t art, but was artistic. It was creative, it was design.

From here I figured out what I needed to do to get into college and onto a design course (mostly fail all my Pre’s in the pursuit of the perfect portfolio of 18 year old rubbish art samples that showed the slightest glimmer of hope), and over the course of many years, of different directions, of false starts, and hard, hard work, I made it!

I graduated with a degree in design, and I got a job. But since the early 90’s I’ve watched television with an eye for fonts, I’ve read newspapers with more of an eye on the layouts than the stories, and I’ve bought countless books for the covers, never ever opening them or reading the content.  

But the thing about design is – or at least was – that it was largely something that you read about in Creative Review, or Eye, and marvel at. Then the Internet happened (yes, I am that old) and a community of discussion & sharing grew where we could discover things that we’d read about them, and see more, see similar and learn more. But there was a disconnect.

What could you do with that sort of lust from a distance?

Offset 2

Offset

I don’t remember my first Offset. I just remember being mind-blown by talent, passion and determination. But I remember being in the same room as some of the people who inspired me to create, to learn, to try and try harder. I remember that sense of astonishment that someone on a stage in front of me was the person who designed something that I’d known for years and wanted to know more about.

Remember your first concert? – it’s a bit like that.  

And 5 years later, it’s all there again. that sense of bewildering, confusing, heartbreaking brilliance, where someone describes the experiences of their professional journey and the highs and lows of being a creative.

Looking back at my notes from this year, I sat through 21 hours over three days of talks by my peers, and here is a small selection of those who, as a friend of mine so eloquently described as “not so much having lit a fire inside me, more created an inferno” of wanting this more, and more, and more.

Shred of Decency

Rothco, one of Ireland’s foremost advertising agencies spoke about their structure of gangs – a less Marketing-Speak term for ‘teams’. But despite the BS, they shared their process (anyone can bring anything to any department at any time), and the creative freedom that failing and mistakes bring. And their genuine elation of being part of the defining moment that the Yes campaign helped bring to a New Ireland last year, through their involvement in their Shred of Decency campaign (see more about it here: https://rothco.ie/rothco-daintree/ or here: https://vimeo.com/124607988)

Also, their honesty in bringing a stick and a football and combining that with the incorrect use of a bus companies logo and just how on the edge of fresh underpants they all were while presenting was refreshing (this is the result: https://twitter.com/NetworkNoel )

20 euro note

Robert Ballagh told us how he sold his bass to Ireland’s first black man, and started painting, ‘cos “He thought he could”, and my admiration for him, and his talent multiplied by a huge degree. There’s a piece of his work on display in Cork’s Crawford Art Gallery – go and see it, and sure if you have ever held the last issued £20 punt note with Daniel O’Connell on it, then you’ve handled a masterpiece. 

Mr. Bingo

Closing the first day was the unstoppable Mr. Bingo. A force in modern post social-media dynamics, and a vocabulary coarser than even mine, he was a master class in rejecting the approach that everyone else follows and carving a path that others couldn’t dream of.

Go to his website and click on the link about him working for free. You may know him from his hair portraits (http://www.mr-bingo.org.uk/index.php?/latest/hair-portraits/ ) but what you really should know about him is his wonderful Hate Mail project, and the insanely brilliant kick-starter project that he ran to fund the book of Hate Mail.

Click here at your peril!

Day two started well, the Assemble Studio of architects/creatives/disruptives who explained how, well, if you want to do something, then do it. They made me think of space (not the thing with worm-holes and Wookies in it, but the immediate area that surrounds each and everyone of us) and how we accept what is “our” space, and how we use it.

And then the day went batshit crazy!!

Jonathan Barnbrook

Piranha Bar, Jonathan Barnbrook and GMunk arrived on stage, one after another to literally shake the bejesus out of us.

Suffice to say this, Piranha Bar’s new film “Doom Newt” looks on fire, and their approach to doing what they want, because that’s why, reinforced so much of my own thinking. Barnbrook has had the enviable position of being the late David Bowie’s graphic designer.

His work on ★ was an eye opening 40 minute talk of working with a genius. Plus his work on the brilliant Adbusters from the 90’s was phenomenal. And then there was GMunk. I’d seen a bunch of his work over the past few years, not knowing who had done it.

At this point of the day I was pretty tired, but he bounded onto the stage, and it was like a missile going off in a fireworks factory, in about 50 minutes, blasting us through his ‘8 Pearls of Wisdom’. Click here for a slightly older version of this talk. I will never do him justice so take a long lunch and watch all 68 minutes of this, I promise that you’ll clap at your screen at the end.

The motion control projection mapping in was utterly incredible (it’s called ‘The Box’ and it’s at 28.28 in the link above), and the work on the Windows 10 and Adobe Brands is jaw dropping.

Una Burke

Sunday was wrapped up beautifully by the Studio Dunbar people, talking about (amongst other things) the misappropriation of their work for the Dutch Police, Una Burke (image above – Big Shout Out to the LSAD graduates! High Five!) spoke about how fortunate (its not luck, she’s bust her chops to get where she is) she’s been in the fashion industry.

Ok, there’s been a bit of luck but also that research is a key part of any project and how it influences your decisions and end goals.

mcBess

mcBess, a French illustrator brought a wonderfully cynical sense of humour to his talk, complete with highly inspirational quotes (“I like to draw” mcBess, 2009,”) and some great illustrations to illuminate his quotes

So what did I learn?

..so much. but I’ll try to wrap it up like this:

  1. Fail, but learn from your failings.
  2. Collaborate. More often than not someone else may bring something to the table that shakes things up for the best.
  3. Be brave. Take your hands out of your pockets, and run through nettles. People will admire you.
  4. Check your testicles. Check any outsourced work for testicles. And grow some testicles. Three different speakers mentioned testicles, and in more ways that you can imagine, this may have been the most important lesson for all of us to take away.
  5. Reference, catalogue, credit.
  6. Always try to reinvent yourself. Stay fresh.
  7. I need to design.

Bonus learning: Gifs. No matter how much we are told, it’s impossible to pronounce it Jifs. Even if 2016 was the year that gifs were in every presentation.  

Phew…see you next year

Jonathan Leahy Maharaj - FuzionJonathan

Jonathan Leahy Maharaj leads our creative Graphic Design Department in Fuzion with offices in Cork and Dublin, Ireland 

Who are you calling Mickey Mouse?

November 27, 2015

Mickey Mouse

Imagine he hands you his business card. You look at it and smile and say “You are Mickey Mouse

Imagine she hands you her brochure. You look at it and smile and say “Ye are a Mickey Mouse outfit

Imagine she asks you to check their website for more information. You look and say to her “Sorry, ye are Mickey Mouse

He pulls up in his van and hops out after travelling to meet you and you say “Ye are a bit too Mickey Mouse for me

You visit their showrooms and the enthusiastic sales person bounces over and asks if she can assist you in any way. “No thanks, you are Mickey Mouse” you reply

Did you receive our presentation they ask. “Sorry, but ye are too Mickey Mouse for us

Can you imagine being that rude to anyone?

How could anyone say such a thing and while I have come across plenty of rudeness in my time you just wouldn’t hear anyone saying something quite so blunt and I guess, hurtful.

However the truth is we do actually say these things the whole time except (unless we have an odd condition) we say them quietly to ourselves. Literally the second we see something we process it and if it is cheap and unprofessional looking we immediately dismiss it as being “Mickey Mouse“.

We can quickly get into an argument that says “looks aren’t everything” and the point will be made that professional looking material is no guarantee of quality and professionalism. Furthermore, isn’t the proof in the eating as the popular saying goes?

All of this is true but from my experience anything that has come across as “Mickey Mouse” has rarely pleasantly surprised me and has never ended up being successful with one big exception!

Walt Disney with Mickey MouseThat is Mickey Mouse himself who was created by Walt Disney in 1928 who knew a thing or two about creating fantastic brands.

If you are serious about what you are doing then don’t let your branding make you look Mickey Mouse!

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion PR, Marketing and Graphic Design, with offices in Dublin and Cork

 

Eircom, Eir and when do you re-brand?

September 22, 2015

Eircom changing to EirIt seems that with every re-brand there is an avalanche of criticism to immediately follow. In recent times we have seen a lot of online activity with people giving their opinion on the company or associations new logo. I tend to notice that once some time has passed it can be a very different story.

So far this year we have seen some big name re-brands. Some of the more notable ones have been Facebook, Google and just last week Eircom, who not only changed their logo but also their name to Eir. So it got me thinking, why re-brand in the first place?

Firstly, it is important to understand that a brand is a whole lot more than a logo or a “mark” that appears on your stationery or website. It is whole heartedly who you are as a business. It is what you stand for and how good of a service or product you provide.

We can stare at a logo for hours and still not comprehend what it is trying to communicate.

However, when you pair that logo with the company, you make that mental link as to whether it is a good brand or not, one that you would possibly use or walk a mile from and find someone else to do business with. Branding can communicate what your business is about and what it delivers to it’s customers. Implemented in the correct way and supported by great products and services it can establish your business as a leader and build your reputation.

Lets look at Eircom’s reason to re-brand:

The old logo was introduced in 1999 when the old telecom monopoly Telecom Éireann was privatised and renamed. To me it looks its age, I personally never liked it, a big orange circle with some swoosh marks that look like the cat got at it. Then offset against this some writing that is trying to be modern but still retains some Irish heritage, forget it. I’m afraid it just never worked for me. Now I am sure at the time it served its purpose and was bold in its visual presence.

Telecom Eireann Another major factor is that a lot has happened since then, the biggest being that broadband and internet has become an extra limb for us. So much so, that whilst it’s handy to have a landline phone in the house we communicate mostly using our laptops and mobiles. Also in 2013 they started providing a TV subscription.  So what was once predominantly a telephone service provider, has now become a major broadband service and TV provider as well.

Also they are no longer the only duck in the pond, they now have to battle it out with other major players in the market. When you consider all these factors, you can see why a re-brand is necessary.

So how do you know when its time to re-brand?

  1. Do you think your brand looks dated? A good way to tell is by comparing it to the outright market leaders in your industry.
  2. Does your brand work consistently across all touchpoints? Its important to look consistent and have the same visual language everywhere.
  3. Are you expecting market growth? Is your brand still delivering the same products/ services as it did when you first started out? As seen above Eircom has changed massively, hence the new look brand.
  4. Are you still engaging with your target audience? Past methods of engaging with your target market might not be still relevant.
  5. Are you moving into new markets? International growth may require a new brand identity
  6. Is your business about to undergo a merger? This is no easy task and finding the correct brand to reflect this is a key element.

A complete re-brand might not always be necessary, certain elements of  your existing brand might just need some modifications. In the past a brand’s logo was the keystone to everything and had to be simple, work in black and white and work at any scale. The modern brand has to be agile and adaptive to new platforms. Basically in today’s world, brands have to be resilient enough to cope with fast changing markets that can change in months.

Oh yes, one last thing. I do like the new Eir brand and I feel it ticks all the right boxes. I like it because it is forward thinking, I like its fluidity and I love the bold colour scheme that they have used which suggests a vibrant company. This is also reflected in their packaging where they use bright vibrant colours confidently. Finally I can see it being responsive and resilient enough to last for a very long time.

I am however disappointed that in Irish Design Year 2015 this lucrative contract was won by a UK firm – without sounding too parochial surely we have enough talent and creativity in Ireland to have matched this work?

Ultimately how we view this brand will be very much dependent on the companies delivery of it’s products and services and not on the logo, which after all is just a tangible expression of the renamed company.

Ray Keohane - Fuzion Graphic Design, Cork DublinRay 

Ray Keohane is a graphic designer with Fuzion Graphic Design who have offices in Dublin and Cork

Online Trading Vouchers – Could be worth up to €2,500

June 10, 2015

Instead of us going into all of the detail about this scheme have a peep at the quite brilliant infographic that Ray Keohane of our Graphic Design team prepared to explain it easily!

Well done Ray …

Online Trading Voucher Scheme Inforgraphic

 

Ray Keohane is part of the Fuzion Graphic Design team operating from our Dublin and Cork offices in Ireland.

Things you didn’t know about Basia Kozlik!

July 17, 2014

Surfing in San Diego

In this series of blogs we thought it might be a good idea to let you get to know some of our team a little bit better…already we have told you about Edel Cox and Ali O’Brien and  this time round we have our really talented graphic designer, Basia Kozlik from Poland!

My favourite holiday…

Was my 3-month-long journey around the western part of the United States. My friend and I worked our behinds off doing promotions and catering gigs (some that lasted 24 hours straight!) for months before that, but we managed to save up enough money to not have to work in the States and only worry about enjoying ourselves.

We spent 5 weeks in San Diego surfing, riding low riders along the beach – living like real Californians. After that we travelled to almost all the national parks in California and Nevada, slept in a tent in Yellowstone and woke up to a winter wonderland in the middle of July, made a wrong turn and landed in Aspen, swam in Lake Tahoe, gambled in Vegas…

We saw almost everything there was to see and managed to finish off our holidays with a week in Honolulu and a week in NY on the way back!

Oh, those were the days…

My dream car…

Land Rover DiscoveryI am absolutely in love with Land Rover Defenders! Especially the older ones!

The first car I drove after I got my licence (many moons ago) was my parent’s Discovery. I’ve lived near mountains for most of my life and loved taking the car for a spin off the beaten track, through woods and streams, and up mountain trails. I was even planning to take part in the Camel Trophy Competition (that’s how long ago it was)!

Not all of my excursions ended well, but that’s another story…

The part of my job I love most…

I love the fact that each project we do is a completely new experience. Almost every day and every client brings something new and exciting. I also love the fact that I can physically see and touch the effect of my work.

I am currently working on a very big packaging project that will hit the shelves of most large retailers in Ireland very soon and I’m just giddy with excitement to see the outcome of many months of hard work!

My worst habit… 

NEXT!

My best habit…

I’m a perfectionist and pay huge attention to detail, which in my line of work is a good thing.

My Hobbies… 

I really like to get crafty in my spare time.

RoxetteCrocheting, learning how to knit, embroidery, calligraphy…. I just like trying out new things and then making little presents for my family and friends. I also enjoy foraging for wild food and I love gardening (unfortunately I’m still dreaming about a vegetable patch to call my own here in Ireland).

My first album… 

I can’t really remember but I think it was a double cassette box of Michael Jackson and Roxette (cringe!) My taste in music is much better now!

 

If you could be invisible for a day what would you do?

I would love to sneak into the studio of Sagmeister & Walsh (one of the most creative and inspiring design agencies in the world) and just see how their regular day of work looks like!

If you were stranded on a desert island what three items would you bring?

A kindle with access to unlimited books, Mojitos & my cats!

Describe yourself in 5 words…

Friendly, shy, hard working, ambitious and smiling

The best advice I was given…

It’s never too late! 

Basia

Basia Kozlik - Fuzion Graphic DesignBasia Kozlik is a Graphic Designer with Fuzion

Fuzion offer a full range of Graphic Design services from our Cork and Dublin office in Ireland including Branding, Logo Design, Marketing Materials and design for all digital channels.


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