Held Design


World Book Day

So today I’m writing a post meant for yesterday but that’s good for me, normally using my excellent time keeping skills, I write posts that were meant for months or even years previous!

It’s a short post to tell you that on World Book Day I’ve started reading the first in “His Dark Materials” series. I’ve heard of it so many times and never dipped in so now feels about the right time! Also I heard Philip Pullman is releasing another series and everyone seems really hyped about it and I couldn’t read it without reading the first. Interesting fact, when I asked for the book, as I couldn’t find it in Sci Fi, I was directed to the children’s section… I didn’t realise it was a children’s book and this makes me more excited as I’ve only heard recommendations from adults. It’s a cross over and I love those!!

Updates on Perfect…

The book has gone through a tough copy edit and is now back with Usborne. I visited them a few weeks ago and met a few other first time authors who’s books will be out this year too! They are Imogen White with her Rosemuddle series, Tamsin Winter and Being Miss Nobody, Susan Wilson and her Extinction Trials series and Mitch Johnson with his book Kick, if you’d like to check them out! It was really nice to meet others in the same position and to have a catch up dinner with my editor Anne, she’s really nice, not at all what I imagined for an editor (don’t mean to insult editors but I had this image of a person in a high powered business suit ripping pages from a manuscript as the author stood by in tears! Very dramatic I know!!)

Anyway she’s not like that and neither is anyone else in Usborne, I genuinely think I’m extremely lucky to be there and I’m excited now for the year to come. Next up will be the cover reveal…


Muckalee and Meee!

Last week I was kindly invited by Ms Simpson, teacher extraordinaire, of the most amazing 3rd class in Muckalee school Kilkenny to come and answer a few questions about Perfect. To say it was a grilling is an understatement. The questions were amazing, way too advanced for me and I tried my hardest to answer them all to the best of my abilities (I have a feeling that third class might be reading this so I hope I did a good job for you all!)

Anyway before I sat on their lovely questions stool I had a look at all the amazing projects they’d completed about “A Place called Perfect”. It blew me away, I can’t believe the work that was put into all of them and the imaginations that literally jumped from the walls. I can’t thank Ms Simpson or 3rd class enough but I’ll try once more… THAK YOU!!!!

P.S Muckalee 3rd class please proof read above blog post for me and email any mistakes back… you’re my editors now 😉

Below are some pictures of the amazing projects!!

IMG_2965 IMG_2966 IMG_2967


Life in the Trees

When I’m speaking in schools I often tell the classes that I live in the trees, they rarely believe me but now I can tell all the doubting Thomas’s that I really do… I live in the trees (sometimes!)

My boyfriend Robbie Heffernan along with his brother Billy undertook a work of love for the past year and have recently launched The Braille House, a treehouse that sits down the bottom of our very long garden!

They called it the Braille House as they had to literally feel their way through the project and so in the branding I used Braille to spell out the word home and this became an installation of stars above a treehouse.

The website has just been made live and you can check it out The Braille House. I’ll also have the branding up on my portfolio soon!


I’ve just been signed to Usbourne!

I’ve just been signed to Usborne Publishing (when I say just it was a few months ago but I’m slow at the blogging, I resolve to solve that issue!)

I went over to London to visit them in March and had an amazing experience, not anything I had imagined. To give you an insight into my imaginings, I had thought I’d meet black suited, white shirted corporates holding files and drilling me on everything from what Violet ate for breakfast to the colour of Boy’s sock (he doesn’t own any!) as I sat at one end of an enormous polished table and they sat stern at the other. It wasn’t at all like this (and probably never is) it was very informal, Anne and Sarah (my editors, sounds very surreal to say!) had lunch ready and we ate and chatted before going over the story. It wasn’t at all like a Leaving Cert exam, much more of a “Mocks” situation!

I’ve now to finish another round of edits and then send it back via the invisible interweb. Fingers crossed.

(As this post was written postdraftmously the said draft has been finished and sent to Anne due to a lovely and much missed stay at Annamakerrig in Monaghan thanks to Kilkenny Arts Office)

Above is a picture I drew to celebrate! (the signing, not the draft finishing!)

For a friend…

A friend of mine passed a few weeks ago,  the only (long suffering) male in our writing group. He was an amazing man, that’s not said lightly. I drew this little bird for him.

The Celts looked up to the Wren as they valued it’s way of life for how well it took care of it’s young. Pretty apt!


A Sneak Peek…

Just working on some new illustrative work for a client… here’s a sneak peek!


Edward Archer’s head in the post…

james-1 james-2

Imagine how I felt when I opened a very normal brown envelope one day in work to reveal Edward Archers head…I was terrified. Luckily it was a drawing from James of Mr. O Flahertys class in  St. Johns National School, Kilkenny, phew is all I can say to that.

Thank you James I love it, very creative!


Wherever You Roam, always bring a window from home…


As a graphic designer I’m always trying to think of new ideas…this one came to me a while ago and I’ve been messing with it since!

When I went traveling it was for the craic but nowadays it’s for something else altogether, it’s for work. So I began to think about all the things that made Kilkenny what it is and imagined that everyone leaving the country could bring a window from home with them. That’s how I came up with “Wherever You Roam”, the tagline reads “Wherever you roam, always bring a window from home…”. The poster is designed to sit on the wall so that everyone can have a piece of home with them, the postcards are the same, just smaller :)

The postcards are €1.50 and the posters €10, please contact me on helena@helddesign.ie if you’d like to buy some, there’s also one of Ireland as you’ll see above, so I’m not catist!



TV3’s Great Irish Bake Off…





So I’ve been doing a bit of work for the last few weeks with TV3 and last night I was delighted with the launch the TV3 Great Irish Bake Off website, where you can get exclusive clips, images and gossip from behind the scenes and … drumroll…it’s mine design!

I was given free rain in TV3 to come up with a design and I was delighted with the results… above are my original designs and here is the link to the current site with a few tweaks… it’s all baker related and with a bit of a fun vibe, just the tone on the program itself.

The program went off with a bang last night and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series!


Sworn Virgins of the Balkins…

fascinating-portraits-of-women-living-as-men-to-escape-oppression-in-the-balkans-1 fascinating-portraits-of-women-living-as-men-to-escape-oppression-in-the-balkans

I was just listening to Radio 1, yes I’m getting old, and heard an interview with the photographer Jill Peters who took this shots. They are of women in the Balkins who because of necessity became men. You can read more about here on Feature Shoot, worth a look!

Goodreads Amazon Etsy google linkedIn facebook twitter GoodReads Amazon Etsy google linkedIn facebook twitter