David Airey

A graphic designer and writer in Northern Ireland. Welcome to my blog.

Latest articles

Why Design Tokyo

The aim of Khoi’s talk was to encourage designers in Japan to “get out of their daily routines and take a new step” in their practice. He shared his slides and they give a good, quick lesson in the value of design. Here’s a nonconsecutive glimpse. Khoi mentions Uber and Lyft as examples of firms where design has been instrumental, but where change...

Citizen Designer

So, what is the responsibility of a designer when the design is impeccable but the client is tainted? Being accountable to some moral standard is the key. A designer must be professionally, culturally, and socially responsible for the impact his or her design has on the citizenry. Indeed, every good citizen must understand that his or her respective...

The iconic film posters of Bill Gold

One of America’s most successful poster designers began his career at the age of 20, after graduating from an illustration and design course at Pratt Institute. Gold got a job in the poster department in the New York office of Warner Bros, and his first two projects were for the hugely successful 1942 films Yankee Doodle Dandy and Casablanca (both won...

Pricing Creativity: A Guide to Profit Beyond the Billable Hour

Pricing Creativity, Rule #2: Offer Options One of the biggest pricing mistakes that creative professionals make is to put a proposal in front of the client that contains only one option. In such a take-it-or-leave-it proposition there are only two outcomes, 50% of which are positive and 50% of which are negative. If you resolve from hereon to always...

Canada Modern

Canada Modern is a physical and digital archive of modernist Canadian graphic design, focusing on the period 1960—1985. It’s the culmination of Blair Thomson’s long-held ambition to curate a comprehensive national cache, whilst addressing the absence of any such resource on a singular thread. “Canada Modern exists to preserve, document, educate and...

Next book project

Since starting the Identity Designed website as a side-project in 2010, it’s been a bit of a labour of love to collate the 500+ design projects that have been contributed from around the world. Fast forward eight years and I’m delighted to have signed a book deal with US-based Rockport to bring the name to print. The switch should bring something more...

Ivan Chermayeff, 1932-2017

Tom Geismar and Ivan Chermayeff.I was saddened by the news that Ivan Chermayeff passed away on December 2nd, 2017 at the age of 85. While we never had the pleasure of meeting in person, Ivan and his colleagues Tom Geismar and Sagi Haviv have been gracious enough to share their thoughts and advice with me in my much shorter time as a graphic designer....

First Annual Brand of the Year

In 1964, the late Marshall McLuhan coined, “The medium is the message.” He ushered in the notion that both the message and its medium influence how any communication is perceived. But in the Insta-culture of the early 21st century, it’s not as straightforward to find the cream of the crop. In an effort to understand, measure, and mark the brilliant,...

Desk space

I’ve worked from home since 2005, and while the home’s changed six or seven times, it’s definitely been easier to focus when the desk’s clean. There’s some standard equipment that tends to stick around, though. BenQ PD3200u For years I used a 27″ iMac as my main screen, but the glare off the glass wasn’t great, and I’d always be increasing/decreasing...

France passes law that says Photoshopped images must have a disclaimer

Lady Gaga called out Glamour for Photoshopping her cover image.France isn’t the first country to legislate on image editing in advertising (Israel did so in 2012), but it’s good to see more awareness on the issue. Fines of €37,500, or 30% of the cost of creating the ad, can be given to those caught out. Studies have shown that, out of all Western Europeans,...

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