At first it resembled a busy bustling day in university. Friends coming together in the preamble of lectures, sharing notes and stories, furiously scribbling down any words of wisdom shared by their lecturers and tutors. Welcome to #OFFSET2015

In the case of Offset, it was industry leaders before us, artists who changed the face of illustration and design, and whose work is capable of taking ones breath away, leaving one in a state of awe. The other main difference being when leaving a university lecture you are often filled with dread of an upcoming exam or project, I would know all too well. With Offset you are mind blown, inspired and yearn to receive your next brief for pitch or project. Hence the hash tag of the weekend: #inspired.

Lessons are taught by all. In LeCool’s Panicdotes Session we are reassured and relieved to know we are not alone in making mistakes. Us students are way too familiar with those moments where we feel the rush of blood wrapping up around our neck to our faces, the hairs standing along your spine and you let out a sigh “oh sh*t”, #scarlet. Although it would be favourable for these moments to be avoided, mistakes are made and lessons are learnt. 

In university we are constantly encouraged to reflect on our work and criticise the work of those before us and justify your opinion. This method of learning again was revived at Offset. On a personal level many of us sensitive souls can’t handle criticism, Gav O’Sullivan and his panel of ICAD industry folk remind us that discourse, discussion and critique are required to keep the industry alive, exciting and challenging.

We always have those lecturers who are a little bit crackers and have their own way of doing things. SNASK’s presentation was far from the norm, but hey, that’s what the weekend was about - standing outside the box, experimenting and understanding that not everything needs to be perfect. Chuckles and cackles rippled throughout the room of 2000+ as SNASK inspired with their energy, quirkiness and ability to be different and create a masterpiece. Part advertising agency, part rock band it was an interesting combination, a lecture to be remembered.

Case study of the day came from Forsman and Bodenfors who showcased their masterpieces, clever and calculated adverts for Volvo Trucks (including the epic Volvo split) and their genius campaign starring Zlatan Ibrahimovic for UN World Food Programme.  

Again the students are overwhelmed and I wondered, as I’m sure many others did, how they were to produce something so simple with such impact? You can ask Forsman and Bodenfors, however according to them…there is no recipe, you must let the creatives create. 

Many moments emanated in my mind when travelling home that evening, especially the standing ovation for Tomi Urgener. He challenged the norm with his controversial illustrations, his dislike of violence, inequality and prejudice forever prevailing in his art. A profound individual who could talk for hours and you would listen and engage endlessly and grasp at every nugget of advice he shared as though it were gold.

Be endlessly curious and you can do anything.
Never stop reading and collecting knowledge. It will fuel your creativity.

Tomi Urgener


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