Offset - Day two

Doug Powell - IBM Design Studio

As I work in a corporate environment I was really keen to hear Doug Powell of IBM Design speak. He was in Dublin to help officially open their new design studio in their Irish office and to announce major plans by IBM to employ up to 2,000 designers over the coming years. The GM of IBM Design, Phil Gilbert had also been in Dublin that week at the IBEC CEO Conference. This conference was in partnership with Irish Design 2015, an Irish government initiative which promotes design and creativity as a key element of competitiveness and innovation.

"Design is more than how things look and feel, it's how they work. Design and innovation are increasingly recognised as a key means to support businesses and improve the effectiveness of the public sector." IBEC CEO Conference.

Up until now, IBM hasn't been known for it's design culture but with the development of IBM Design, Doug Powell is building internal design departments across all of their business with the aim to employ anything from 1,200 - 2,000 designers from all aspects of design. IBM is 100 years old and a very 'corporate' environment, so he said that they have been blown away by the buy in and belief from all the main partners in to the programme. This has been done by changing the hearts and minds of these individuals, in particular by doing design workshops with them and making them see and feel what design is, the areas it can help solve and the processes involved in taking something from a brief to a finished job. In these workshops he said they experienced the 'light bulb' moment that all designers feel and it was ultimately the best way for them to explain what they actually do.

IBM Dublin has a small team and they are focusing on their Healthcare sector. All new designers who make the grade are then sent to Austin, Texas to go through an intensive 3 month design camp where they learn all about IBM and its products so when they go back out to their teams they are better equipped to do their job. An excellent example of 'on-boarding'.

I have to say out of all the discussions I went to over the weekend, Doug's was by far the mosr relevant to me in my carerr now but also the most interesting. Just the scale of the task in front of him to lead this change in IBM is astonishing. We saw examples of some of this new design lead process in the Work of Sue Murphy, an Irish Art Director. In particular her work with IBM on the US Open Music.

Visit IBM Design here

ICAD - Where's the unlike button?

The Institute of Creative Advertising and Design (ICAD) is made up of the best creatives in Ireland. Their primary aim is to support creative excellence in Irish Advertising and Design and those working within the industry.  They chaired an interesting discussion on the lack of critical discourse in the industry today and how the platforms for it are getting fewer as well as the industry's inability to form a critical opinion on design and advertising.

It was also the launch pad to announce that after a 52 year absence, their own publication Campaign will be published in October of this year, issue 12. Taken from their website they describe its purpose as the following: "We plan to issue the publication annually to help sate the appetite for intelligent and sound discourse and critical thinking in the fields of advertising and design, both local and international. The publication will reprint key texts from the original Campaign, revive some of the regular features and provide contemporary critical comment, supported by expert contributions. Like its predecessor, the publication will be dedicated to the promotion of high standards of creative excellence in Irish visual communications."

Forsman & Bodenfors

These guys were a total laugh out loud bunch! Their approach to the new Volvo Truck launch was inspired and so creative. Every ad they launched online just spurred on the next and the next. Most definitely my favorite from the series was this one...

But there was also a serious side to the presentation. They are currently working with the United Nations Food programme and have just released this very powerful advert...

If you want to see how the campaign was developed and rolled out then have a look at their website.


Oh. My. Word. What a crazy bunch! Seriously, any design company that has their own rock band is always going to a bit of entertainment and boy did they deliver on that score! A real, don't give a shit, type of presentation, cursing, jokes, making fun of everyone and anything. A childish but grown up and capable studio who do some really creative and interesting work. What blew me away was the majority of graphics they do actually involve them making 3D models, life size, photographing them and then putting them in to their collateral for clients. The major example of the show was the 2014 Malmo Festival.

Made totally out of wood and placed in to the correct position, the structure was photographed from a crane and then used in all their advertising throughout Scandinavia. The structure was then used an an installation in Malmo - to which we were told a child actually got stuck in one of the words.

As they said "Being grown up is the most childish thing you can do!" - I agree :)

To see more about this please check out their website.