Orlagh O’Brien

A graphic designer with over thirteen years experience in branding, corporate presentations, annual reports and promotion for both multinational and individual clients such as Vodafone, Safefood, Tourism Ireland, Diageo, Brown Thomas, Áras an Úachtaráin, Bulmers and Toyota. She has worked for established agencies in Dublin, London and Sydney. (Deisgnworks, Language, Landor, Maxwell Rogers, Heywood Innovation) and was part of the team that won the Ireland’s top design award in 2002, the ICAD Gold Bell.

Orlagh graduated with a first class Masters degree in Graphic Design from London College of Communication, specialising in the development of research methdologies and data visualisation of emotion experience. The data visualisation was presented in the States to the innovation and social entrepreneurial conference Pop!Tech 2010 and was part of an exhibition on Darwinism and emotions in Porto in collaboration with the Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis. The methodology is the basis for on-going research by Northeastern University Affective Sciences Institute, Boston and appears in the second edition of Visual Research by Russell Bestley and Ian Noble (published by AVA)

As associate lecturer for the MA Graphic Design and FdA Design for Graphic Communication programmes in London College of Communication, she completed the PG Certificate in Teaching and Learning in 2009. She also worked with ArtsComm in the University of the Arts, London providing professional training programmes to the public on graphic design for promotional materials, as well as bespoke courses to corporate and public sector groups.

Currently based in Cork, Orlagh works as a design consultant with local start-ups, tech entrepreneurs and UK clients.

advice for students:

What advice would you give to students who are beginning their studies?
Only compare you to your self, but find inspiration in others. Cultivate a sport or hobby that trains your mind and body to focus with ease: this is the best investment you can make for the long term. Read Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. Keep a learning journal: this is the first step to being a reflective practitioner, i.e. a real professional.

And for students about to graduate?
Show your most creative and personal projects (as opposed to “real” ones). Visualise and draw your dream job in detail. Speak enthusiastically (and genuinely) about your work to everyone you meet – neighbours, relations, shopkeepers, friends, people at the bus stop etc. Doors will magically open.

What are you up to now?
I work with people to define, visualise and deliver their information, product or services. Intermittently I also collaborate with groups to experiment with visual research methodologies in the area of mental health and well-being.

How did you get there?
Good question! Design has been like a mad relationship for me: lots of twists and turns, love and hate and still we’re hanging out. Seriously though, to have access to the tools of design is so useful that no matter how often I run, my hands and heart keep returning. I’m here because of kind friends, loving family and magnificent strangers.

for more information

Web_ www.orlaghobrien.com
Web_ www.pulseofthepeople.ie

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