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Last weekend, Pluto attended OFFSET 2017, Ireland’s premiere creative conference spanning three days of talks from the creative industry elite. Speakers ranged from graphic designers to sound engineers and everything in between; taking to the stage at the Bord Gais Energy Theatre to inspire and impart wisdom on the eager and enthusiastic audience.

When so many creative people get in one place, there is a real sense of the appreciation for the trade and an outlook of positive change to how we conduct business. Everyone was represented from the young student just starting off to the seasoned professional who rightfully still believe they have potential to learn something new.

Our standout speaker from the first day was very surprisingly Bruno Maag from Dalton Maag, a typography studio. Typography is a very hard subject to make interesting, it’s even harder to engage an audience of up to two thousand people for 45 minutes on the subject of designing fonts. However, Bruno came equipped with a fascinating knowledge of how the visual brain works and scientifically explained why some fonts work and some don’t. It seems the biology of the eye and how the brain processes words has a big influence on what kind of reaction we have to a piece of text.

Jean Paul Goude also sat down for an intimate Q&A session whereby he talked through his life and the challenges he’s faced in his long and successful career. Jean Paul is best known for his muse, Grace Jones, who he worked with extensively and created possibly one of the best known album covers – Island Life. Most recently he shot Kim Kardashian for PAPER magazine which resulted in a huge social media aftershock and essentially ‘broke the internet’.

The talent displayed by the illustrators this year was really something to marvel at. Each one better than the last and all with their own very unique style. It is this to which they all seemed to credit their success. They found their niche, developed their aesthetic through hard work and much failure to ultimately have something that is highly sought after and in turn can make their living off. We really loved Yasmeen Ismail who was entirely hilarious and Kirsten Lepore who has produced gorgeous and wacky pieces of stop motion animation for the Google landing page and the tv show Adventure Time.

Other speakers included Chemistry, the Dublin based advertising agency and Dan Perri, the title designer for the iconic Star Wars opening sequence among many other classic films. Chemistry took the crowd through some of their best known work from their beginnings to where they are now. Perhaps the first truly creative advertising agency in Ireland, they manage to be always relevant and innovative – even after so many years in business.

OFFEST once again stayed true to its reputation. While it was tough going sitting through nine talks a day for three days – the inspiration and creative energy all the attendees take home with them is truly worth it.

‘Creativity is contagious. Pass it on. – Albert Einstein’

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