Friday, December 4, 2009

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Performing The Painting 1

Ladies In The Garden

The Last Supper

The Transfiguration of Christ

First Year level 7 and 8 were assigned a painting to perform as part of their Image Making module in the first semester of this academic year. Posted above are three of the seven results to date: the other four images will be posted on Friday.

All groups were asked to understand the meaning of their given painting, and re-perform it in a contemporary setting. Thanks to Paul Timoney to who did sterling work on the composition and performance elements of the brief.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

’Straying Closer To The Truth’

On Friday November 27th at 7.30pm, an exhibition entitled ‘Straying Closer To The Truth’ opens at the Franciscan Friary Multyfarnham, featuring a variety of artists who have availed of the two week residencies provided free by the Friars since May 2008.

Two of our staff members will be exhibiting. The show runs until Friday December 4th, and is open for seven days from 10am and will close soon after each evening programme has finished. A range of workshops, performances and symposia are open to any member of the public who wishes to avail of them throughout the week.

In case you’re wondering, Multyfarnham is six miles outside Mullingar off the main Dublin/Sligo road. It’ll be well worth the visit.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Alright. We’re ready for you.

We’re open for business at the AIT Open Days tomorrow, Friday 13th November, from 10am to 1pm, and again on Saturday 14th at the same time. Why not drop in to see us?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

AIT Open Days 2009

On Friday 13th and Saturday 14th November coming, the Athlone Institute of Technology Open Days are happening at the main campus on the Dublin road.

Design at AIT will have their usual space towards the stage end of the multi-purpose hall, and will be showcasing work from all year groups from the three courses we have on offer.

In our infinite wisdom, we have decided to move the portfolio advice service downstairs beside the exhibited work this year. This service is available to any student who is seriously considering applying to AIT for design in February 2010.

Some of our current cohort of students will also be on site to give you their view of the courses, as well as our staff members who will be very happy to talk to anybody interested in pursuing visual communications or multimedia as a career.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

2nd Year Design (Communications) - T Shirts

Karl Power

Ciaran Fitzpatrick

Joanne Holohan

George Beattie

Second Year Design (Communications) have just completed their first project - designing T-Shirts for a chosen topic/event/cause, and some of the results are posted above.

Karl’s Helvetica T’s demonstrate his love of that typeface, while Ciaran’s long sleeve tee folds into a face mask as protection from swine flu. Joanne’s is about the day-to-day behaviour that irritates cohabiting couples, and George’s is about mining minerals in the Congo for the manufacture of i-Pods, laptops and digital cameras that has so far claimed the lives of five million people.

More to come from this group shortly.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Catalogue Of Change

Irina Mats

1st Year Design Communications are about to complete their first project entitled ‘Catalogue of Change’, in which they were asked to choose a subject that they could inflict change upon, or would change naturally itself over time in five visually diverse stages. Irina Mats’ completed pieces are shown above - her subject was glass - and she finished a week early. More results from this to come next Wednesday.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hard Working Class Heroes

Brian Fitzgerald, a recent graduate who we’ve featured in various blogposts in the past, has just contacted us to let us know that he’s been selected to exhibit his photography at the ‘Hard Working Class Heroes’ music event happening in Dublin from the 16th - 18th October this year.

You can view his flickr album of the Notting Hill Carnival by doing the following:
Go to -
Click on ‘Photography’ at the top of the page -
Click on ‘Brian Wormeater’ in the left hand column of names - he assures me the spelling is a typo...


Darkroom Notes

James Delaney

Karen Lyons

Brendan C Ennis Jr

We’re just over a month into the new semester, and the first exercises and projects are nearing completion - our posting rate will start to improve shortly! Above are some examples of first years’ intial experimentation with photograms in the darkroom - more of these, and first handprints coming soon.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bullets For Your Brain

‘Bullets For Your Brain’ Publication

PH Typeface

The ‘08/‘09 ISTD Student Assessment Scheme briefs included a music-based project which asked the student to select two songs from two decades of the twentieth century and produce a typographic interpretation of both in on-screen or published form. Alan Casey, whose work is shown above, went one further and also designed a typeface to fully accentuate his concept - his rationale behind the project is fully reproduced below. Alan achieved a pass for his efforts.

Bullets For Your Brain
Given that everything was to stem from the lyrics of two songs selected from different decades of the twentieth century, it was vital that they harbour a depth of meaning that led far beyond themselves. The song If You Tolerate This Then Your Children Will Be Next (1998 - Manic Street Preachers) shares the inner struggles of an individual who answered the call to confront Fascism in the Spanish Civil War. An exhortation to oppose evil and involve oneself with life, it succinctly exposes the fear and disillusionment that accompany, and all too often are all that remains of, ideology and courage. In complete opposition, Tomorrow Never Knows (1966 - The Beatles) expresses the belief that life and all its pains are illusory and that by involving oneself in it one is merely reinforcing the illusion and prolonging the torment. John Lennon apparently wrote the song having taken LSD and read The Psychedelic Experience.

This contemporary reworking of The Tibetan Book of The Dead (from which it freely quoted), claimed that the ego-death experienced under the influence of LSD and other psychedelic drugs is essentially the same as the Tibetan forty day process of death and therefore requires similar guidance.

I decided that the lyrics to both songs would act as a beginning or jumping off point from which concepts, quotations and possibly imagery would radiate. Thus the final design would emerge from, but be far more than, an interpretation of lyrical content. Wishing to steer clear of mockpropaganda, Buddhist mandalas or overt psychedelia the idea of texts balancing/neutralizing/reinforcing one another came to dominate my thinking.

The juxtaposition of seemingly incompatible truths if handled sensitively and with restraint might capture in print a measure of the uneasy equilibrium these apparent contradictions possess.

Monday, September 14, 2009

And We’re Back.

It’s September, all our students are back, and we’re into the swing of things relatively quickly and with great ease. A sincere thank you to Karen, Lucy, Simon and Darren who wrote such great profiles for us for the first crop of ‘Past Graduates’ blogs - we see they’ve been very popular with our regular visitors to the site.

In keeping with promoting our Alumni who’ve gone out into the world and made their mark locally, nationally and internationally, listed below are the awards, student assessment schemes, and publications our current students and recent graduates have been involved with over the last five years. As you’ll see, they've been busy and very successful.

We’ll post some first year photography shortly, as image making is something we haven’t blogged much about in our sophomore year in operation.

IDI Graduate Designer of the Year
Niall Moran

GDBA Student Design Awards
Fiona Fox, Edel McMahon

International Society of Typographic Designers Student Assessment Scheme

Ciara Fitzgerald, Andy McManus, Jude Flynn, Olivia Browne, Edel McMahon, Shane O’Reilly, Emma Perry

Samaritans Cinema Advertisement

Linda Galvin

Bank Of Ireland Design A Credit Card Competition

Elaine Meehan

RDS Printmaking Award

Shane O’Reilly

Vaseline Lip Therapy ‘Put A Lid On It’ Student Design Awards
Alan Geoghegan

Sligo IT Centre For Sustainability Award

Nicole McKenna, Yiran Wu, Emmett O’Malley

International Society of Typographic Designers Student Assessment Scheme

Hosted by Design at AIT, April 2007
Eric Greene, Christopher Lee, Jude Flynn, Edel McMahon, Fiona Fox, Linda Galvin

Tri-Athlone Graduate Exhibition and Student Awards

Sinéad Ni Cádhain

Karma Nightclub Student Competition
Barry Smyth, Michelle Lavelle-Glynn, David O’Carroll

Hot Press Published Illustrations

Hazel Weigl, Christopher Foley, Edwina Hoey, Lauren Blake, Jonathan Barr, Kerri Doyle, Michelle Lavelle - Glynn, Pamela Higgins, Lee Harris

International Society of Typographic Designers Student Assessment Scheme

Nicole McKenna, Alan Geoghegan

Dare 2b Drink Aware
Michelle Lavelle - Glynn: Winner of the Public Vote
David O’Carroll

Hot Press Published Illustrations

Jamie Keegan, Aoife Farrell, Susanne Sweetman, Edel Flynn, Kamila Bartuzi, Alan Casey, Anne-Marie Smith, Michaela Murphy

International Society of Typographic Designers Student Assessment Scheme

Alan Casey

Monday, August 31, 2009

Past Graduates - Karen Hanratty, Pixel Design

Website Design: McMahon Architects

Website Design: Lighthouse Cinema, Dublin

Website Design, Dance Ireland

Website Design: Kilkenny Arts Festival

Karen set up her design company, Pixel Design, in 2006 and now specialises in designing websites for the arts, not-for-profit and advocacy sectors. She is the talent behind the sites of - among others - Dance Ireland, Kilkenny Arts Festival, DIT, Light House Cinema and Poetry Ireland. A number of her designs have been nominated for Irish Web Awards and in 2008 she won the Web Designer Excellence category in the Irish Internet Association and Enterprise Ireland’s net visionary awards. 

So, how did Karen go from humble AIT student to award-winning designer running her own design studio? Well, after graduating in Design Communications in 1997, she spent five years honing her design skills at Webfactory, Ireland’s largest web design company. Here she had the opportunity to work on a wide variety of projects which was great experience and was lucky enough to work with many talented designers.

In 2002, Karen became Creative Director at a smaller design company that focuses on design for both print and web. Along with heading up a design team this gave her an insight into running a small business as well as more direct contact with clients and gave her the confidence to strike out on her own.

Throughout her career, Karen has been an active member of the Institute of Designers in Ireland which is the professional body representing and supporting designers in Ireland. She is currently New Media representative on the IDI council and would encourage design students and graduates to join!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Past Graduates - Lucy Carter, Lucy or Robert

Holocaust Exhibition, The Imperial War Museum, London

Darwin Centre, Natural History Museum, London

Spectrum - Trade Exhibition Stand

Landscape: Hardwick Park

Historic Houses: Kew Palace
Top: Letterpress homage to the C18 seditious pamphlet
‘The North Briton’
Centre: Caslon Ornaments


Workplace Graphics: Praxis Banners

National Portrait Gallery, London

Lucy studied Design [Communications] at AIT from 1991-94, along with Simon Roche (see Simon’s profile below…). She then went on to gain an MA at Central St Martin's School of Art and Design, and although the MA course was in a period of upheaval it did at least instill a measure of resilience and self reliance in her. A year in publishing gave Lucy a huge grounding in the technical aspects of production that is rarely taught at college. It also convinced her to go freelance - to work for herself.

Lucy formed the London-based design studio ‘Lucy or Robert’ in 1998 with her partner and husband Robert Carter. The studio's first two projects couldn't have been more different from each other: one was a fine art photography book, Venise; the other a trade exhibition stand for a sign company, for which Lucy or Robert devised a narrative based on the communication between worker bees, transposing the human office worker for the bee with fees instead of honey, using all manner of signing techniques to deliver the story. The latter project shaped the studio's direction taking them out of the familiar comfort zone of print and into the 3D environment.

Their current projects almost always involve words and images in the built environment: museums, galleries, workplaces, gardens, public spaces: they do a stunning line in toilets too. Complex projects can take up to four years to complete and are undertaken as part of a team which can comprise of any or all of the following: architects, exhibition designers, lighting designers, sound designers, illustrators, A/V companies, curators, writers, historians, case dressers, conservators, picture researchers and access forums. Production work varies with every project: one led to designing crockery; another to selecting young lime tress for an avenue.

Two new projects are opening soon. The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford will open 39 new galleries to the public; Lucy or Robert have worked with the Museum's team since 2005, beginning with masterplanning a graphic strategy and culminating in the detailed design of six of those galleries, while the remainder are detailed by the Museum's own in-house graphics department. The studio produced the design concept and much of the detailed design work for the Natural History Museum's Darwin Centre which opens in October.

The Holocaust exhibition, which was Lucy or Robert's first major exhibition project, remains their yardstick. The project was identified by the National Lottery Commission as a benchmark for interpretive exhibition design, received a D&AD commendation in 2001 and was commended by the European Museum Forum in 2003. The studio moved from London to Bruton in Somerset two years ago, where the country air is doing it good.