Held Design


Perfects Little Brother…

I remember when I self published A Place Called Perfect I wanted to make sure it was as polished as possible so that it didn’t look out of place on any bookshelf. The publishing world can be hard on self published authors and if you want to get out there into shops and garner reviews you need to look professional.

I decided to self published because it seemed to be the way the industry in America was going. A lot of authors self published, got reviews and sales figures then approached a publisher. I’m a graphic designer, it’s my job to design things so I thought it was a logical step to self publish. I finished the book, got in an editor and started to design the cover.

Perfect is a book for both boys and girls and I wanted the cover to not alienate anyone. I chose a neutral colour, a sea green. Then I illustrated the town and the Archers and framed them with lots of elements from the story such as eyeballs, skulls, tea, jars and of course the glasses. I chose to leave the illustrations in white outline as I felt they looked stark and slightly spooky against the green.

I was delighted with the outcome of my self published version, it didn’t look amateur at all I told myself. Now I’m rethinking that notion. As I look at the two covers together I’m beyond happy with Usborne and Karl Mountfords interpretation of the story. The cover makes the older version pale.

I can’t disregard my self published attempt though, it helped in a huge way to get a publisher. I would never take it back and it will sit proudly on my shelf alongside it’s new big brother!

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Birds of Paradise 1

This is a new series I am working on, it’s for Artsweek 2015 in Kilkenny, where I will, for a second year, take my summer holidays outside our famous Castle. This series is a work in progress but fingers crossed will have a few more pieces for August!


Loftus Hall is Calling…

Haven’t blogged here in a while between everything but did update work lately so that’s a bonus! (I’m patting myself on the back!) Anyway, the Loftus Hall brochures landed on my desk this morning and I had to post about them, I’m delighted with how they look.

They are designed to the Loftus branding and even have a treasure map inside with illustrations of all the hook’s attractions. I might just take another trip down myself!



So it’s been a while and I haven’t posted. I’ve neglected my site a little, the portfolio needs updating and my blog needs a good old post…so I found this one.

Playboy landed in my inbox this morning. Mat Dolphin a design group in the UK blogged about the cover images of the magazine and I have to say, though I’m not an avid reader of Playboy, the covers are pretty cool!

They’re from the early addition of the magazine and the handmade, cut out style looks great. I’m not sure the covers are as considered nowadays but sure what would I know, I rarely reach for the top shelf!!


Look Down and Stop the Slaughter…

To you and me it’s just a banana, an egg, a cup of tea, some spilt milk. To them, its their home, work, school, where they let their children play. Imagine if everyday was a struggle to survive, because of our ignorance and stupidity for these forgotten people it is.

A dish cloth used to soak up a liquid mess can suffocate a family on holidays. A cup of tea drank in haste can drown an unsuspecting swimmer, icing devoured greedily can rob parents of a child enjoying his first taste of snow. It’s carelessness, cruelty and down right ignorance that’s wiping this little known race from our planet and what are we doing about it…Nothing!

Look down people, you are squashing a world at your feet!

Click here to check out Christopher Boffoli’s Big Appetites project where he’s captured this hidden world.


Take a walk with me…

My posting is getting a little lazy lately, not because I am lazy (of course not) but because I am busy. Anyway I have a little video I want to post today. I took it in the Alahambra in Granada, which by the way was really beautiful, on my extended trip this summer. There is something about it that is alluring and no it’s not my feet. I hate feet and I have been advised on many occasions that my feet leave a lot to be desired. I am working on them though, making them do sit ups and push ups and all sorts of other ups. I am proud to say they are coming on, soon I will have six pack feet, and not many can boast that! So anyway the Alahambra… I wanted to take a different angle of it, show it in another light as my pictures given I was alone were getting pretty repetitive. So I videoed it from wait down…


Wherever You Roam…

Hi All,

Just a quick note to say my Kilkenny postcards are now available in Rothe House. I put them in to test the waters and they are selling really well, will be adding more to the range soon.


Animation made easy…

Johnny Kelly (artist from Dublin but living in London) and Matthew Cooper were commissioned by agency Soon In Tokyo to create 56 animated gifs for a new campaign advertising the Barcelona-based design college Elisava. Using 56 animations, the agency created an interactive website, where visitors can add their own gifs to the website by either uploading their own files or creating a gif using their webcam.

Visit the website by clicking here.

They also made promotional materials such as the poster above from the frames of the gifs. It’s really brilliant idea, I love the simplicity of the animations and 70’s kind of feel to them, the muted colours also work really. I’ll have to try some gif animations out myself.


It’s definitely a news month…Held in Prudence magazine

Prudence magazine wrote an article on Held Design in this months (March) recessionistas section. I have uploaded the spread and article above but if your in the shops grab this issue, it’s a good read (not just cause i’m in it!)

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