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Introduce yourself

My name is Colm, I'm a multidisciplinary award winning designer with a focus on brand design, digital, illustration, and packaging. In September 2019, after 5.5 quick and extremely successful years in the design industry, I decided to quit my lead designer role and set up SOMY Studio in Wexford, Ireland.

The switch went a lot better than expected and since opening the doors there's been a nice mix of work, a steady flow of clients, and some really interesting projects. It's a one man operation at the moment but SOMY Studio is a full-service graphic design and branding studio delivering clear, elegant design solutions across multiple platforms. I pride myself on being easy to work with, and I work closely with every client, large or small, to create beautifully crafted visual identities, engaging websites, and unique illustrations.

What's your background?

I’m a graduate of Waterford IT, where I studied and completed a BA(Hons) Degree in Design (Visual Communications). Upon graduating I was awarded a 9 month internship with TrueOutput:, an international award winning design consultancy based in Waterford, Ireland.

I was with TrueOutput for 5.5 years, quickly rising from intern to lead designer. For the first few years it was only myself and John so I had the opportunity to soak up any knowledge that was available. It was a small office so we worked closely on projects large and small, and over the course of that time won numerous awards, both national and international (IDI Awards, Webby Award, 100Archive selection) we also had a number of logos featured in the Counter-Print publication Art Marks.

Over that time I continued to take on freelance work outside of office hours and I was fortunate enough to have my own double page feature in IDN Magazine, an international design magazine, based off of personal work.

Explain your creative process?

Every job is different but when it comes to a new brand identity I immerse myself in the industry. I'll research the audience, competitors, and the brand itself, figuring out what makes this brand different, how can we elevate the brand above its competitors, and more importantly speak to the intended audience.

I'm a firm believer in the power of type so that is usually my first step. Where possible I will customise the logotype and develop out a full consistent visual identity through colour, typography, and imagery. All of this paired with quality printed stock and a strong online presence.

What does your future look like?

I've already had a taste of success through awards and publications, so if work keeps going the way it has I'll be more than happy. Over time bigger clients would be nice, but I also love to dip in and out of the smaller, hardly any budget, work from time to time.

What tools can you not live without and why?

Pretty much everything I do is in Illustrator, but in terms of online work I use Semplice a lot. I've been using it for a few years now and love the ease and flexibility.

Any other resources you find useful?

I purchase a lot of books from Unit Editions, and Counter-Print is always a good website to visit when looking for printed reference material. When looking online I would usually have a look through BPANDO and HTTPSTER.

Any advice you would like to share?

Never be afraid to ask questions.

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