Distinctive Repetition is an award-winning independent Dublin-based graphic design studio. The studio practices design primarily in the disciplines of graphic identity and print media. Please feel free to get in touch with us:

info@distinctiverepetition.com
+353 1 668 9270

The studio’s output is driven by three core principles: education, experimentation and creativity. We are influenced by the desire to understand the fundamentals of every brief and then assess them against our own capabilities. We take the time to investigate the range of production methods and possible outcomes inherent in any brief. To this end the studio practices design outside its core fields of training, applying our philosophy that the role of the designer is to solve problems and the role of the graphic artist is to make communication and design visually engaging.

News

05.12.2017

Graphic Design is a means, not an end.
A language, not content. — Tibor Kalman

With five years having past since Distinctive Repetition was established these words by the late Tibor Kalman still resonate with us as strong as ever, reminding us of what it is we set out to do every day.

Infrastructure

Fingal County Council is embarking on a new phase of public art commissioning utilising funds generated through the Per Cent for Art Scheme. Infrastructure 2017–2021 is a local, national and international opportunity open to artists from all disciplines.

fingalarts.ie/infrastructure

We worked closely with Fingal County Council’s Public Art Co-ordinator Caroline Cowley to develop the graphic identity and accompanying printed media for this ambitious public art program. As the program sets out to commission entirely new artworks across four distinct strands we had no existing photography or project artwork with which we could work. The commissioner allowed us to create a unique identity using only form and typography. The identities logo which forms the seed for all of our designs is an abstract representation of a layered infrastructural form defined by a series of four interlocking sections intended to illustrate the program’s four strands.

A unique colour palette was selected by the commissioner to represent the strands and was then implemented into our designs to create a series of abstract compositions reflective of the commissioner’s taste and artistic influences.

Produced for Fingal County Council, 2017.
fingalarts.ie/infrastructure

Echo Chamber

Matthew Nevin, EUCIDA Curator in Residence for 2017, is taking the idea of an ‘Echo Chamber’ as the starting point for this project. An example of an echo chamber effect can be seen in social media where users engage only with people and media sources that share their particular beliefs and viewpoints. In this way the digital arts may sometimes seem like a medium which caters only to a specific tech-savvy audience. Our aim is to create an accessible Europe-wide dialogue on digital arts technology and its interpretation of politics, culture and society.

The Echo Chamber exhibition ran concurrently across three European countries (Ireland, Latvia and France) in 2017, and for this reason our commissioners – Rua Red Gallery and EUCIDA – asked us to consider fundamental aspects when delivering the project’s identity, highlighting the collaboration among the three contributing galleries. As outlined by the commissioner from the beginning the project was produced on a restrictive budget, and as a result our design solution for both the exhibition identity and the printed media needed to visually communicate the central ideas of the exhibition across language barriers.

In our project research we explored the idea of an echo chamber in terms of the online digital world and within music. We created an abstract symbol to symbolise an echo chamber drawing on three sources representing the contribution of three distinct partners. The final symbols’ orientation is a direct geographical reference to the positions of the contributing galleries.

Produced for Rua Red Gallery, 2017.

Glitch

Glitch Digital Arts Festival is held annually in Rua Red Gallery as part of the South Dublin Arts Centre program. With 2017 marking the fifth year of Glitch the studio was asked to create a new identity and accompanying print media assets for both the main festival and its subsidiary program, Glitchmaker.

Given the need for the creation of artwork on an annual basis the studio chose to focus on core aspects of the festival’s identity with a view to developing for the festival a visual language that is consistent and relevant.
Our identity designs reflect a simplistic yet accurate programming ‘glitch’. This is manifested in a minimalist ‘broken’ typographic treatment for the festival’s master mark.

We further developed these concepts by adding a distinct colour palette for all of the festival artwork. RGB tones were represented across the media using appropriate fluro Pantones. In the early stages of development we spoke at length with the project team about our concepts for the poster work and what we wanted to achieve. The resulting design featured a simple typographic poster that was ‘broken’ by inserting visual glitches determined by computer error.

Produced for Glitch Festival Dublin and Rua Red gallery, 2017.

Core Project

Throughout 2017 we have worked closely with the team at South Dublin Arts Centre and Rua Red Gallery to develop a consistent approach to the creation of both their exhibition identities and print media output. The Core Project launched in August 2017 is the latest project we have worked on for the gallery.

The Core Project exhibition is a large-scale installation featuring over 150 videos from participants across the globe, filmed live and answering a question that they had not previously seen.

Our work for this exhibition saw us developing the galleries’ output, including a new booklet format. The booklets themselves were created by overprinting the exhibition content and an interview with the artist Matthew Nevin onto the exhibition’s A1 poster. We printed the poster using two spot colours and swapping out one of the printing plates with new content before folding the poster down to A5 and saddle stitching. The posters featured imagery from the project’s participants which when folded down, resulting in the creation of abstracted page spreads married with a refined approach to typography.

Produced for Rua Red gallery, 2017.

ICAD Call for Entries 2017

Our brief from ICAD was to design a striking poster that would be distributed to their membership as well as design and advertising agencies and studios throughout Ireland to announce the annual awards submission process. The brief itself was left somewhat open in terms of its graphic design, albeit with a number of considerations: to deliver it within a tight budget, to focus on the ICAD bell as an aspect of its design and for it to be considered the first building block in a larger identity project for the 2017 awards program.

This key graphic was created using a simple architectural perspective in order to bring texture and depth to the piece – a symbol that visually invites the viewer to ‘enter’. We then used this symbol as a unit from which we could create a strong yet abstracted typeface that would conform to the typographic grid we were designing for. A choice made early on in the project to screen print the poster (in order to add a greater sense of value) allowed us to further develop the typeface across four designs. This let us create a visually cohesive series whose individual posters were abstract enough to act as discrete designs yet clear enough to convey their respective content.

ICAD ‘call for entries’ posters were screen printed using four spot pantones over four designs on FSC-certified curious skin black 140gsm paper in editions of 40.

Down through the years work produced for ICAD has featured the ICAD bell in a variety of graphic manifestations, and while we were conscious to adhere to the commissioner’s request we also wanted to provide a new graphic take on the bell, allowing us to build a strong visual approach to our designs. We took an internal perspective on the bell, meaning that the main graphic reflected its proportions while reminding viewers that the reasoning behind a bell’s shape is relevant to its function: to make noise.

Produced for the Institute of Creative Advertising and Design, 2017.
Awarded Silver ICAD, 2017.

Third Circle

Since its inception Distinctive Repetition has worked closely with Third Circle and its founding directors to create all of the visual assets surrounding the brand. The studio created the Third Circle identity toward the end of 2014 and has spent the intervening time overseeing the brand’s printed assets.

thirdcircle.ie

Third Circle is an independent microbrewery that has its beginnings in Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow, where Third Circle director and brewmaster Jon Grennan grew up. Much like other craft beer enthusiasts, Jon spent several years home brewing, all the while developing a passion for the craft. With his background in freshwater biology, Jon has always taken a scientist’s precise approach to brewing his beer, mixing this with a healthy disrespect for convention.

Our priority for Third Circle was to create a simple yet unique label that clearly identified them within their rapidly expanding marketplace. Third Circle’s label carries the brand’s logo (foil blocked) as its main visual asset, with the company’s various beers being identified by their own individual mark. Each mark is designed to represent the beer’s primary ingredient in a clean and modernist fashion.

For each new beer the company creates we rotate the colour of the foil block to best represent the beer in question and develop a new symbol accordingly. This approach keeps the label fresh and allows for individual beers to be easily recognised through both colour coding and iconography, while being printed in a cost effective and sustainable way – the latter being a fundamental aspect of our original brief.

Resort Revelations

Resort Revelations is the combined output of artists who have completed the Fingal Arts artist residency project located at Lynders Mobile Home Park on the Portrane/Donabate peninsula. In acknowledgement of the importance of time to the incubation of the site specific idea the residency is offered in two parts: an initial visit and a return research development and production phase. This year the artists have continued their enquiry into the very depths of this concept, drawing on history, fiction, geology, communication and community. Resort Revelations provides a platform to make the artists’ experience of the area visible to the local and wider audience.

Distinctive Repetition was commissioned by Fingal Arts to design a poster to both showcase the residents’ processes and serve as a schedule for Resort Revelations events. The studio worked closely with photographer Brian Cregan and writer Suzanne Walsh to create a piece that explored the area of Portrane. Suzanne was commissioned to write a piece of text while on residence to commemorate the program entitled ‘Who will silence them at last’. Embedded in the piece are a series of fragments from the Samuel Beckett short story ‘Fingal’ published in 1934 and quotes from an undelivered letter written by a patient in St Ita’s hospital in 1912.

Our design for the piece was implemented as a B1 poster divided into four visual. The sections respectively contained the program information, Suzanne’s piece, Brian’s photograph and a minimalist graphic overlay of a dotted grid. The patterned grid appears on the side of the mobile home that is used for the residency. As part of the piece’s overall design we printed Brian’s photograph in its entirety using both the front and back of the poster. The full B1 sheet was then cut down into two sections that carried all of the poster’s information on either side. The resulting image was effectively cut in half, providing two finished schedules with a different section of the image on their reverse.

Our work with photographer Brian Cregan involved investigating various locations around Portrane before selecting a local cave that was to be used in a performance by artist Alan James Burns during the showcase. The cave’s deep-red-coloured rock formations are unique to the area, a result of the peninsula’s volcanic geology. Our intention in selecting the cave was to reflect the sentiments of the residency by looking more closely at the surrounding area. We used a highly detailed and abstract image photographed by Brian using a Mamiya RB67 Pro SD with Kodak professional 100 Ektar film, creating a photograph of incredible depth and richness of colour.

In order to retain the richness of the image’s colour we swapped out the standard process cyan, magenta and yellow inks and replaced them with their fluro Pantone equivalent. Finally we printed the grid over a section of Brian’s image on both the front and back of the poster using a metallic ink which added a layer of depth to the photography and reinforced the idea of looking deeper to find something that may at first be obscured.

Produced for Fingal County Council and Fingal Arts, 2016.
Commended, ICAD awards 2017.

Christian Aid

We have worked with Christian Aid over the last number of years with a view to providing a greater sense of visual identity for the Irish-based section of the charity.

Christian Aid’s work spans the globe as the development organisation pursues its ultimate goal of ending poverty. In 2016 Christian Aid Ireland took the global lead for the international charity’s Tackling Violence, Building Peace program, launching its global strategy for this campaign in Dublin in November of that year.

In our work with Christian Aid we create visual communication informed by both its heritage and goals while being contemporary in its design and implementation, working with the charity to introduce a new style and format for its published content, encompassing magazines, reports, strategy documents, etc. Our design proposals include the creation of a single format for each publication, ensuring that each is environmentally and economically sound.

The format designed for the charity allows for prediction of publication costs while reducing unnecessary printing and creating a consistent visual and physical output for their work. As work progresses we establish essential rules governing typographic style, use of existing imagery and creation of new imagery and graphics, and in implementing a style we spend a great deal of time researching and developing our approach to communicating the charity’s overall identity.

To complement our designs for the report we commissioned new photography by Dublin photographer Sean Breithaupt. We chose to focus on the ‘peace’ element of the report’s title by producing a series of images of sunflowers. This formed the overall backdrop for the report’s design and launch event, utilising a positive image with both a fundamental Christian relationship and a universal contemporary message.

“Violence and conflict affect almost one fifth of the world’s population or 1.5 billion people. The daily fear, uncertainty and suffering borne by people living through violent conflicts is immeasurable and unimaginable.

The fact is most of the world’s poorest people live outside any form of protection, and remain vulnerable not just to war and conflict, but to violent criminal organisations, gender-based violence, police abuse, forced labor and violent theft of land and assets.

‘Tackling Violence, Building Peace’ is Christian Aid’s pledge to work tirelessly and collectively towards a safer future that secures justice and human rights for all”

— Rosamond Bennett, CEO, Christian Aid Ireland

Produced for Christian Aid Ireland, 2016.

Epoché

Epoché is the professional practice of child educational psychologist Patrick McCaughey. We worked with Patrick to develop a strong and measured identity for his practice.

epoche.ie

Our work included assisting in the naming of the practice as well as developing its traditional corporate identity assets. Having researched various possibilities, the word ‘Epoché’ was arrived at by Patrick: ‘Epoché is an ancient Greek term which, in its philosophical usage, describes the state where all judgments about non-evident matters are suspended.’ Given Patrick’s background in education and in classical Greek studies the name felt incredibly apt for the practice.

Fundamental to our brief was the fact that Epoché’s identity would have to cover a large number of areas. The practice’s work spans a wide-ranging number of services and so our identity solution needed to be highly adaptable. We wanted to create a logo for the identity that could grow into a sequence of logos and also reflected our client’s beliefs and philosophies of practice.

We created a logo based on the kaleidoscope, which when directly translated means ‘beautiful form’. Designing a system for the logo based on the mathematics of the kaleidoscope means that Epoché’s logo can take an infinite number of forms depending on the elements within it, while at the same time retaining its fundamental structure and visual form. Furthermore the logo itself is an acknowledgement that every human being is individual; there are sometimes slight, sometimes great differences between each of us, yet regardless of those differences we all deserve to be treated equally.

Produced for epoché, 2016.
epoche.ie

Waves

Waves is a partnership program between Fingal Arts Office and Cleo Fagan, curator of Superprojects. The project has seen Irish artists Clodagh Emoe, Sean Lynch, Ruth Lyons and Eoghan Ryan devise a series of compelling workshops for second-level students in response to the rich context of the 1916 centenary.

The studio was commissioned by Fingal Arts and Superprojects to create a limited-edition poster that would serve as a commemorative graphic piece for the project. Our brief was incredibly open and straightforward; the project commissioners specifically requested we produce a stand-alone piece of design that would complement the work completed on the project to date.

Printed using three-process colour and two spot Pantones on FSC-certified Olin Regular Cream.

Our design goal was to produce a striking piece of poster design that reflected energy and movement in a simple abstracted style, with the project’s title being our focal point. Various wave frequencies were explored and expressed visually using a vibrant colour palette and attention to detail in both the overall compositional work and the printing methods used in the poster’s production.

Alongside our design work, Fingal Arts commissioned a new text by artist and writer Sue Rainsford (titled ‘Disperse’) concerning both the overall project and the themes explored by the participants and artists throughout its workshops. Our finished design incorporates Sue Rainsford’s text undisturbed and in its entirety on the poster’s reverse.

The final composition for the poster was completed on the afternoon of Sunday 24 April 2016, the significance of the date only truly becoming apparent after the work was completed. This commission gave us an opportunity to reflect on the remarkable courage, strength and perseverance of individuals who contributed to the creation of our unique nation.

Produced for Fingal County Council, 2016.
Awarded Bronze ICAD, 2017.

Imagines

‘Imagines is an edition from New Dublin Press that gives one faith in the ability of artists from different genres to meet with a common cause to deliver a certain enlightenment on a subject that might at first seem obscure, but in fact touches upon contemporary reality. Every little detail on every page is astonishingly beautiful and out of the ordinary. One cannot fail to sense the ultimate care and love which has gone into this production.’

— Barry Guy and Maya Homburger, Festival Directors Barrow River Arts

The studio developed a bespoke geometric musical typeface for Imagines. Benjamin Dwyer’s score was then re-created using this new typeface, giving the project a unique identity. A strict baseline grid was created and adhered to for the entire project, forming the basis for the book’s layout and composition.

The photography for Imagines was taken by the studio in October 2014 on the island of Achill, Co. Mayo. The compositional work and poetry that form the basis of the project were produced by Benjamin Dwyer and Kimberley Campanello while in residence at the Heinrich Boll cottage on Achill island.

‘This is how performance, composition, poetry, sculpture, sketches, field work can all interact to create a work of art.’

— Jonathan C. Creasy, Director, New Dublin Press

Azouro

The studio was commissioned by Azouro founder Stephen Firth to design and implement this new brand’s identity. The first milestone in the brand’s application came in late 2014 when Azouro’s new bottle arrived from Portugal.

azouro.com

The studio was asked to create the identity and consequently a bottle design that reflected the culture of the oil’s country of origin, Portugal. A cornerstone of the client’s brief was to take inspiration from Portugal’s unique heritage of decorative tiling used extensively within its architecture. Our designs were intended to reference this cultural aspect while at the same time providing an abstract design that conveys the fluidity of the actual product, PDO olive oil. Significant consideration was given to how the bottle(s) would eventually be displayed in the marketplace. To this end the pattern’s design was developed to create a continuous effect when displayed in multiples.

The bottle’s 360° design was a first for the studio and the bottles’ printers. During the development process the printers excelled in their dedication and patience, developing their own new printing techniques in order to ensure our design was implemented to the high standard we had envisioned for the project.

Laghdú

Two specific fiddles, two specific players, one specific outcome. The primary request when creating the design for Laghdú’s album cover was to produce something that could stand alone as a piece of art, where information takes second place to overall composition. The materials and methods used in the production of this piece juxtapose both a distinctive tactility and importantly a responsibility toward the environment in the way it was printed by our colleagues at Generation Press England.

The integral and unique relationship between Dan Trueman and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh that makes the album what it is ultimately provided the focus for its design. They speak using the ten strings of their Hardanger d’Amore fiddles, and the sounds created by the players endlessly cross, expand, redirect, contract and ultimately lessen. Laghdú is a conversation between friends, and the cover is our attempt make visual that conversation.

Custom 220mm x 280mm CD sleeve, Printed one spot pms on 650mic 100% recycled Cairn Board Charcoal, Finished single bespoke die-cut and blind emboss.

Produced for Dan Trueman and Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, 2014.
Awarded Bronze ICAD, 2015.

Mobile Art School

Mobile Art School runs artist-led workshops and in-school artist residency programs that connect artists, students and schools in a shared educational and creative context that is always evolving and dynamic. Mobile Art School provides a structure of communication and elucidation between artists and schools, and a lateral conduit between contemporary art networks and new audiences, which extends from participating students to their parents, families and wider communities.

The identity created focuses on the collaborative processes of the project. The Mobile Art School seeks to create a connection between contemporary artists and educators through the programs it develops. The ability to create a diverse range of unique programs gives the project its mobility, and to reflect this diversity and structure the studio developed a simple process for creating a logo using three elements.

B1 poster printed both sides three PMS Colours on 70gsm Olin smooth. Booklet information overprinted and finished as a B5 32pp self cover.

Childrens' Mental Health Coalition

Someone to Care: The Mental Health Needs of Children and Young People with Experiences of the Care and Youth Justice Systems is a 208-page report into the experiences of young people who have found themselves within state care and youth justice systems in Ireland. This extensive report examines the impact current state systems have had on the lives of these young people.

The report employs the use of the CMHC logo (which is a green isosceles triangle) as the primary element in its graphic design. Using the triangle as a single base unit and the children’s game of tangram as a structural influence, the report contains a series of colourful graphic compositions that divide each of its sections and internal chapters.

The compositions are intended to communicate the commissioner’s primary brief: ‘a report about children but not for children’. The typographic approach to the report had to be sympathetic to the way in which the report was written. Given that the report is a comprehensive piece of academic research its typographical layout had to be highly considerate of the way in which such information is traditionally imparted.

190mm x 285mm 208pp Thread-sewn report. Printed using three PMS colours on 100% recycled cyclus offset 100gsm internal pages and 400gsm cover.

Produced for Chldren's Mental Health Coalition, 2013.
Awarded Bronze ICAD, 2014.
Selected for the Irish 100 archive, 2013.

Restaurants

The studio has worked with a variety of restaurants, delivering design work that ranges from the creation of new identities and interiors to the implementation of our designs to the associated print media applications inherent in this sector. Our work has included the design and production of interior artworks, signage design and custom lighting features.

As is the generally the case within this sector any design work completed is incredibly transient in its nature, with a constant request to deliver design solutions in short time frames on incredibly low budgets. Projects where designers can look to develop detailed design solutions can be implemented once and disappear without notice. Restaurants by their nature have to be constantly changing and evolving to retain the interest of their customers and working within or for this environment can be incredibly challenging. The featured project is a case in point.

We were asked to design branded paper for a south Dublin city restaurant in 2015, the purpose of which was multi-functional. The design could be used to wrap the restaurant’s products for taking away, and the A2 sheets could also be cut into smaller sizes for menu printing or in-house posters and, even further, the typographic patterned sheets could be used as A3 place mats.

Our design solution for the project was to redevelop the restaurant’s chosen typeface. We spent a great deal of time redrawing it to create a more geometric and clean single-weight typeface whereby it could have new weights introduced through simple line changes. A core element of the work was to allow the typeface to work in more abstract typographic ways, where different characters could interlock to create playful compositions expressed in different colours and line weights, expanding on the existing brand identity.

We saw this as a straightforward brief that we could resolve in an interesting and cost-effective way as well as believing that it may end up being an element of print media for the restaurant that wouldn’t need to be changed.