29.7.07

About me / my CV

I've been fully self-employed since February 2009, having spent 15 years working in Northern Ireland’s biggest advertising and communications groups.

Anderson Advertising, now Anderson Spratt Group
(1993 – 1997)

GCAS Group
(1997 – 2006)

Managing Director of GCAS Design
(Jan 2000 – April 2006)

AV Browne Group
(April 2006 – June 2007)

Being Communications / design consultant
(August 2007 - January 2009)


I have a BA (Hons) in Design from the University of Ulster. The biggest chunk of my career so far was at GCAS, where I:

- designed the acclaimed corporate identity for the Northern Ireland Executive and its departments.

- created the packaging for a number of multi-million pound food brands (such as celebrity chef Paul Rankin’s “Rankin Selection”)

- forged links between GCAS and Conran Design Group in London, with their Managing Director David Worthington. (David is now Chairman of Media Square). GCAS and Conran Design Group ran 12 joint projects in Northern Ireland during this time.

- led GCAS Design’s appointment in 2006 as the only Northern Ireland design practice rostered to provide brand design and brand creation services to Bord Bia, the Irish Food Board for the Republic of Ireland.

- led the brand creation and corporate identity process for Firmus Energy, the new Northern Ireland division of Bord Gáis Éireann.

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Awards
Clients sometimes ask about awards, but to be honest for a while there were so many different design awards schemes around that I lost interest in them a good few years ago. For the record I have:

- a PANI Gold Award (2002) New Media Digital Publishing with GCAS Networks
- an Institute of Designers in Ireland runner-up (2003) for Rankin Selection
- a European OPP Silver Award (2003) again for Rankin Selection

Since then I've preferred my work to be judged on its commercial effectiveness, not whether other designers are impressed by it.

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GCAS was acquired by the AV Browne Group in June 2006, where I worked for just over a year following the acquisition. During this time, my “Northern Ireland: Take A Closer Look” promotional brochure for OFMDFM was launched at the 2007 Northern Ireland Bureau St Patrick’s Day reception in Washington DC.

In June 2007, I was appointed to Tourism Ireland’s brand review Expert Group, and was involved in the initial stages of the joint Design Council / Creative & Cultural Skills forthcoming Northern Ireland “Design Skills Agenda” strategy, in partnership with DCAL and DETI.

Outside of the world of design, in June 2005 I was appointed to the board of the Ulster-Scots Agency (one of the cross-border bodies established following the Good Friday Agreement / Belfast Agreement). I was appointed Chairman in October 2005, a post I held until June 2009, having completed my full four year term. Had the option of staying on, but decided I'd done my bit.