OFFSET 2014: My Highlights

Ok here goes, my OFFSET 2014 highlights. I attended my first Offset at the weekend; a full 3 day event crammed with the very best in the field of design, illustration, typography, motion graphics, film and animation. I was not let down by my experience. These are some of my highlights of the event.

Sarah Mazzetti

I travelled up alone, in quiet anticipation of what to expect. Because it was my first time, my plan was to keep to myself, mingle in and out of the various lectures and take it all in. Day one started with illustrator Sarah Mazzetti, who I actually knew little about. Her talk was witty, very relaxed and showcased her amazing illustrative style. I absolutely loved the colour and chunky appeal of her illustrations. Humour seems to be a big player in a lot of her creations.

Next up was Ingi Erlingsson of motion dynamos Golden Wolf. This talk was really refreshing. Their presentation alone was visually stunning, highlighting a very strong graphic design core base. Ingi himself was hilarious and cool at the same time. He gave no bullshit and real world advice. The recurring moral of the presentation for me was “work hard enough and anything is possible”


After Golden Wolf’s presentation I stayed put and waited for Marina Willer of Pentagram London. Pentagram are juggernauts of design, huge clients, amazing work – what more can be said! Marina was nothing short of brilliant. Even through the curiously German sounding Brazilian accent, nothing was left amiss.

She covered how she handled taking care of her twins, her work life, inspirations and style – all in extremely witty humour. Her short disclosure of how designers can ruin the natural flow of design via shop signage had me in hysterics!

Illustrators Ireland

Later that day I went to Illustrators Ireland present “Collaborative Journeys from Concept to Completion” with Alan Clarke and Steve Simpson. As this was on the Magenta stage, It felt very personable, plus I felt I could relate coming from a commercial / client based field. Alan detailed his dealings with the Body and Soul festival and Steve with Mic’s Chillis bottled sauces. I really enjoyed this talk. It was great to hear such seasoned creatives explain their process, a lot of which I nodded along to going “yep, I know that feeling!”. What I loved was how different both their styles were, yet the similarities in experiences popped up.

Jessica Walsh

The next talk I went to was Jessica Walsh of Sagmeister & Walsh. I was really looking forward to this – and thankfully, I wasn’t let down! She presented her presentation like every bit the superstar of design she is; quirky, edgy, hilarious and slick as fuck! To the point of upsettingly so. I think again the theme of “work hard enough and anything is possible” was present. Plus the important role of play in our work. Something that I definitely need to do more!

Sarah Illenberger had a tough time starting off her presentation. She had the whole thing set up in keynote, but unfortunately had some frames timed and anytime she clicked forward, it would jump multiple frames or jump back. An absolute worst nightmare – on stage – in front of 2,500 people! But my hat goes off to her for keeping her cool and keeping up the humour with the audience (albeit before she realised the error she thought she was making us laugh organically). Her work is massive. Her work is impressive. Her work made my head hurt and hurt even more thinking how some of it could even be achieved.

Neville Brody

Neville Brody was another obvious choice to attend. I distinctly remember doing a WIT first year project on him back in 2001. He comes across very down to earth and funny, but by god he knows his stuff. He showed slides on his recent work and type endeavours. Still as experimental as his 80’s designs in my opinion.

Tom Hingston was quite interesting too. Although mainly motion and video production, I thought his theories on work ethics were excellent. Jon Burgerman was exceptional also. Extremely colourful and mind boggling doodles, I remember him featuring a lot in computer arts over the years.

Serge Seidlitz is crazy. For someone who filled in at the last minute to come out with a presentation showing all his work was impressive. He discussed his work with an air of nanchalaunt and wit all rolled in to one. A huge body of work ranging from indie films to Coca Cola.

Overall, as it was my first time going to Offset I was more than impressed.

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