Designer, writer, photographer

Designer, writer, photographer

As an experienced product designer working in Cork, Ireland, I focus on user experience, creativity and how science and psychology can work together to make good design decisions.

I am Head of Design at C&R, where I enjoy using my multidisciplinary skills and love of creative thinking to build enterprise solutions for many of the largest and most interesting companies around, including

  • Top 10 electronics manufacturers
  • Top 3 sporting label
  • Coolest gaming company
  • Largest furniture retailer
  • Foremost maker of interlocking plastic bricks

Early influences

My path to becoming a designer wasn’t conventional. At seven my father sat me down to watch 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was a formative experience. Kubrick’s vision was seared into my visual cortex. Some might think this was a cruel thing for my father to do, but I know he was only trying to teach me unconventional but valuable life lessons. I wanted to be a director after this. 

Next, I taught myself machine code and obsessively played text adventure games on an underpowered, definitely non sentient, but fun early 80s home computer called the Spectrum 48k. This inspired me to write adventure stories and an interest in writing.

At the age of 12, my sister gave me her Nikon EM, which made me look at everything differently. For some strange reason that I still can’t understand, I wanted to be a war photographer. Having a strong aversion to the sound of even the smallest Halloween firecracker, that dream was effectively over. 

Mad man

I began my creative career as an advertising copywriter in the mid-90s, writing everything from press ads, billboards to radio scripts and the occasional tv commercial. During this period, I became increasingly curious about how designers incorporated my one-liners into amazing visuals. Eventually, I co-opted a friendly designer to teach me how to make images blink nauseatingly on screen. 

Having experienced the joys of coding as a boy, I became hooked all over again and taught myself an ancient form of HTML, the fundamentals of design, and discovered a god in the form of Paul Rand.

When the first Dot-com bubble burst in 1999, and as we walked out into the bleak media landscape, a friend introduced me to the film industry, and for a brief period, I worked as an Assistant Director and Location Scout for some middling cinematic fare. I can at least say that I worked with Christian Bale, Matthew McConaughey, and Jackie Chan. 

Epiphany

After too many days standing in rain-soaked fields with shouty directors, I realised that my future lay in making things, rather than just managing them. I started at HotPress magazine as a junior designer and worked my way through several agencies where I gained design experience under some exceptional teachers. 

In 2006 I plucked up the courage and set up a small graphic design studio called Deliciously Creative, which ran successfully for seven years. I designed interesting things, built many websites, took photos of food and learnt many lessons unique to working alone.

After many years working for myself, I wanted to work with a team again and feel the buzz of an office environment. I became a lead designer to some interesting startups in the 10s, and so here I am today, not the end of the story, I’m sure.

Inspiration 

My creative heroes are many and include the visual originality of Saul Leiter and Alan Fletcher, dynamism and beauty of Vasily Kandinsky, science thinking of Richard Buckminster Fuller, grand themes of Stanley Kubrick and purity of Dieter Rams

Come, find me

Thank you for reading this far. If you’d like to know more, find me on one of these networks.