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. 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. If you are interested in contacting the studio please feel free to get in touch with us at:


View a further selection of the
studio's work at the 100archive.

As a small studio we are not in a position to hire that often, however we are always interested in talented designers and the possibility of working with them. Requests for either internships or possible positions at Distinctive Repetition should be sent to:


It was a gannet.


Glitch Festival is celebrating its 6th year and has grown into Ireland’s foremost digital arts festival. Glitch facilitates collaborations between leading media and technology artists and curators and connects them with audiences to draw out links between art, culture and technology with the aim of fostering greater critical understanding and debate around artist’s interaction, investigation and intersection with technologies.

Rua Red Gallery, Tallaght presents Glitch Digital Arts Festival 2017.

Core project

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


The Core Project
What’s going to happen next?
19 August - 23 September


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.

With the Infrastructure Public Art commissioning programme, the critical role of the Local Authority in providing supports, and a knowledge base operating from ground level outwards, will be demonstrated.

The civic role of the local authority and the arts can be traced back to the Early Renaissance, to the powerful series of frescoes painted by Ambrogio Lorenzetti in 1338, titled ‘The Allegory of Good and Bad Government’. Located in the council chambers of the Town Hall in Siena, the frescoes were commissioned by the town council, The Council of Nine. The series is considered one of the foremost secular paintings in the history of art. A utopian vision of urban and rural society, it illustrates a set of ideals by which to govern and thus to live, depicting paradigms of good ways of living in society, by championing industry, culture, the arts, agriculture and commerce.

For a number of years, Fingal County Council has established a reputation for facilitating unique opportunities for artists to explore its towns and communities in new and meaningful ways, and to tell stories about where and how we live now, through projects that have often exceeded expectations. The nature of many of these arts projects was perambulatory, or as one of our previously commissioned artists Dennis McNulty, put it, work was made by a means of a ‘derive’, a meander through the many facets of the county.

The sheer scale and diversity of the county of Fingal has always required the artist to take a broad overview of its rural, urban and coastal profiles and by way of exploration, journey through them physically and metaphorically.

With Infrastructure 2017 — 2021 we are extending invitations to artists to see anew, to visit and return, to listen to histories and people, tracing the patterns that make connections and comparisons between local and global, with Fingal placed as a microcosm of an ever-changing world.

Caroline Cowley
Public Art Co-ordinator
Fingal County Council

Echo Chamber

The EUCIDA Curator in Residence for 2017, Matthew Nevin, is exploring the idea of an ‘Echo Chamber’ and taking this 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 dialogue between the digital arts and its interpretation of politics, culture and society through technology to a European-wide public.

The parallel exhibitions, which mirror each other, will take place simultaneously across the three art centres in Ireland, Latvia and France. Six contemporary visual artists have been selected, two from each of the host countries, whose practice is rooted in various aspects of digital technology.

As a curatorial platform for the creation of new work, echo chamber has encouraged a dialogue between art and technology as a means of sharing experience and creative practice.

By encouraging participating artists to explore and reinvent material and technologies, the curator has worked alongside artists Jeanne Briand, Adam Gibney, Fabien Leaustic, Helen McMahon, Rasa Smite and Paula Vitola, to produce work that can provoke the limitations of the Echo Chamber of the normal gallery environment. The artists have produced powerful, informative and experimental new work that engages with wider audiences.

These artists will create new dialogues that challenge conventional views on politics and culture; pushing for an examination of our preconceived expectations of what contemporary art is and its relevance to the society we live in. The curator has encouraged the artists to be reactionary and politically engaged in their approach to their practice and to tease out new radical ways of viewing and reading their art works through technology.

Matthew Nevin is an Irish curator and artist based In Dublin. He is co-director of the visual arts organisation MART who create opportunities through its Gallery & Studio platforms to support artists at all stages of their careers. As a curatorial partnership with Ciara Scanlan he has curated over 40 exhibitions across Ireland, UK, Germany, Norway, Portugal, Greece, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Japan, New York, Chicago & Los Angeles.


Originally from West Wales, Williams now lives in Kells, Co Meath. She has published poems and essays widely. Her first volume, Sound Archive (Seren, 2011), was shortlisted for the Felix Dennis (Forward) prize and won the Strong (Irish) first volume prize in 2012. Williams also won the Ted McNulty Poetry Prize (Poetry Ireland). In May 2017 she was poet is residence at Passa Porta, Brussels as part of the Welsh Government’s Poetry of Loss / Barddoniaeth Colled centenary commemoration of Welsh language poet Hedd Wyn.

Williams lectures in American Literature at University College, Dublin. Other authored books include, A Guide to Contemporary Poetry (Edinburgh UP, 2011) and a study of contemporary poetics and Language poetry – Reading Error (Peter Lang, 2007)

On Type

Jonathan C. Creasy

Thought belong to Him who gave it —
Then — to Him Who bear
It's Corporeal illustration — sell
The Royal Air —

— Emily Dickinson, 788
(“Publication – is the Auction / Of the Mind of Man”)

Flowing type — that is, written elements lined up in a regular fashion — corresponds to flowing speech, to the uniformly stressed linguistic representation. Epic language requires its purest application.

— Josef Albers, “Regarding the Economy of Typeface” (c. 1926) (trans. David Blocher)

In the essay cited above, Josef Albers argues that the speed of the age—rapid acceleration in the wake of industrial explosion across Europe and America—would cause us to move away from the book. He uses the image of a commuter train or automobile zooming by advertising posters, noting that the designer’s task is to condense and accentuate in order to capture such fleeting attentions.

Such was the evident visual landscape in the 1920s, when the Bauhaus revolutionised the relationship between art, craft, and technology, giving us, to a large extent (with De Stijl), modern design, our visual culture. In founding the Bauhaus, Walter Gropius determined that the future of design was a marriage between disciplined craft and industrial production—speed and economy fundamentally reshaping ordinary people’s relationships to well-made objects and visual signs.

Yet what I sense in our own moment, nearly a century later, is that the well-designed book, with its type, paper, ink, cover, and binding, is of renewed interest precisely because it is an object that forces us, upon encounter, to slow down. It prompts a heightened attention and consideration alien to the habits increasingly pervasive in our lives.

While our digital technologies pressure us constantly to go, flitting from one half-thought or action to another, the book (the well-designed book that is) should stop us in our tracks.

Dickinson’s poem, from the mid-nineteenth century, rejects the commodification of the writer’s activity of thought, her white “Snow”, to the point of rejecting publication entirely—refusing to have poems typeset in regularised forms and published in the day’s periodicals for pay.

Instead she made her own booklets, the famous fascicles she circulated to friends and family. Few knew she wrote poems at all until after her death. A century and a half of critical debate surrounds the representation of her verses in print. She was, in a pure sense, her own designer: the fact of her genius irrepressible even by her self-silencing.

Her work rejects written elements lined up in a regular fashion, though the typesetter penned her in margins for over a century. As Susan Howe writes in My Emily Dickinson (1985), the Amherst poet’s work “penetrates to the indefinite limits of written communication.”

Howe continues in The Birth-mark (1993):

The trace of [Dickinson’s] unapprehended passage through letters disturbs the order of a world where commerce is reality and authoritative editions freeze poems into artifacts. Why isn’t there [an] editorial project working now to show the layerings and fragile immediacies of her multifaceted visual and verbal productions? Why is there still no substantial critique of the history of these authorized and unauthorized texts?

These are different visions of the way words—and especially whatever we might call literature— are dealt with as visual communication. (Since the publication of The Birth-mark, editors and scholars have heeded Howe’s call and looked to the manuscripts and fascicles for an intimate, and maybe more accurate, reading of Dickinson’s oeuvre.)

The writers most interesting to me seem to understand the inseparability of their activity in words and the forms of book design, even if those books are handwritten and hand sewn. In print, if they don’t possess the skills to execute what they’ve imagined, they approximate.

Writers don’t write books.

The book fixes the writer’s activity to that of the designer, typesetter, printer, and binder, a fusion that perhaps ought to be subtle and go largely unnoticed, but which constitutes the unique collaboration known to anyone who has worked a book into shape.

We reach beyond the drafting of literary work (our activity of words) into the compass of craft.

The disciplines of the writer and designer are mutually instructive. Any writer would recognise the imperative Albers lays out for work in type:

The typographer, just like the first printers, must invent our form anew, because he most often encounters worn-out forms. To stand on his own two feet, he must reflect on the elements of layout, perhaps also study the ancients in order to recognize how they arrived at their form and why it no longer belongs to us.

Much the same is our insistent push toward writerly novelty: our battle with history through the pages of books.

Designers and writers share elements of form, and—in Bauhaus style—Albers relates both to the three-dimensional work of the building. He says of type, “The unprinted portions do not remain simply blank, but rather become active negatives, just as empty spaces are structured positively in architecture and sculpture.”

To go further, a typeface’s figure-ground relationship is analogous to the musical spacing that essentially forms a composition. It interests me that the post-WWII push to rationalise type design, with typefaces shaped by negative space, coincides with the way post-WWII poets (second generation Modernists like Charles Olson, for example) used the space of the page as poetic material as effectively as words and stanzas themselves. He imagined poems as words dancing in page-space. The so-called “concrete” poetry of the twentieth century saw poets making typographical word shapes that challenge any direct meaning of the words and lines themselves separate from their visual markers.

With or without print or type, we come back to Howe’s “passage through letters”—activity that is focused but not bounded, like place. A landscape, an architecture of page space.

Print, and especially the proliferation of accessible hand press type, changed the means for distribution of poetry and other radical literatures outside the mainstream. Dickinson’s Auction gives way to a steady stream of self-publishing that shaped the twentieth-century literary landscape. In a sense, the book has always sat uncomfortably in Commerce.

A designer’s job is not to trap or hold literary texts, and it is not just to help package and sell the writer’s Thought; rather, it is to bind type, thought, and material in subtle, sure, intuitive ways. There should be lightness and intelligence, a formal conversation between letter, word, and space; writer, designer, printer, reader.

Though I don’t necessarily see poetry as a “Blessed rage for order”, typography surely is.

The perfect illustration is the first Shakespeare & Co. edition of Joyce’s Ulysses (1922). Commissioned by American expatriate bookseller and novice publisher Sylvia Beach, the first edition of Ulysses was printed by Frenchman Maurice Darantière, who didn’t mind (or couldn’t make out) the “naughty bits” of the book that had already caused Joyce and his supporters so much trouble.

In his Dijon studio, Darantière hand set the voluminous work in an Elzivir typeface, sending the proofs to Joyce as they became available. By some estimates (based on studies of the manuscripts), Joyce added a full third of the length of Ulysses by hand in the margins of Darantière’s proofs.

Can we even imagine the printer’s feelings at opening the return package from Joyce? Can we conceive the test of type to contain Joyce’s wild accumulations?

Then there is the controversy over printer errors in the text of Ulysses. In the world of literary criticism, the history of this transmission from manuscript to type supports an industry of academic inquiry, with painstaking excavations of the printed structure down to its foundations: type disassembled, passing backward through letter forms.

Is the more important (the more iconic) Ulysses manifest in Joyce’s spidery handwriting or Darantière’s edition for Sylvia Beach (or in one of the many other authorised and unauthorised texts)?

Joyce himself refused even to use a typewriter.

Type design is a process of vision and revision, of shifting shape slightly over time to find new forms rooted in old habits—reluctant to let letter shapes rest. Likewise with the poem, and with the novel accumulations of Ulysses, restlessly expanding.

Here in Dublin, I go to the National Print Museum. I bring my students there to see — to feel — the weight of handset type.

I follow that visit with one to my book designer’s studio on Raglan Road, and there is a symmetry. It’s through the medium of the book, the concrete object of the writer’s thought and activity (and possibly now through its digital analogue) that the reader, the writer, the student experience the incandescence of lives lived through writing. As discipline, as craft.

In the books I’ve helped create (in collaboration with world-class designers), I have aimed at a reconciliation between Albers’ and Dickinson’s positions—to accommodate technological speed and the might of machines, while heeding the poetic demand to slow the mind and quicken emotional response.

What this says about type is that it is both object and agency: rigid bars, or a hand in the dark.

Such pieces collectively.

ICAD Call for Entries 2017

Our brief from ICAD was to design a striking call for entries poster that would be distributed to the ICAD membership and 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 with a number of significant 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.

Awarded Silver ICAD, 2017

This key graphic was created using a simple architectural perspective which was intended to bring a texture and depth to the piece. A symbol that visually invites the viewer to “enter”. Our intent was then to use this symbol as a unit from which we could create a strong yet abstracted typeface that would conform to the typographic grid and division of space we were designing for. Given that a choice had been made early in the project to screen print the poster (in order to add a greater sense of value) this allowed us to further develop the typeface across 4 designs. This allowed us the ability not to overload a single poster in a numerical fashion rather create a series that when viewed as individual posters were abstracted enough that stand alone as individual graphic compositions that conveyed their relevant content and are yet part of something bigger in keeping with the idea that individual members are part of a larger organisation.

ICAD call for entries posters were screen printed using 4 spot pantones over 4 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 and its inherent colours in a variety of graphic manifestations, whilst we were conscious to adhere to the commissioners request we also wanted to provide a previously unseen graphic take on the bell that would allow us to build a strong visual approach to our designs. Our view of the bell is one of an internal perspective, the main graphic unit is designed to reflect the bell and its actual proportions whilst reminding viewers that the reasoning behind a bells shape is entirely relevant to its function, to make noise.

Christian Aid

We have worked with Christian Aid Ireland 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 has taken the global lead for the international charities ‘Tackling Violence, Building Peace’ program and in November Christian Aid launched its global strategy for this campaign in Dublin.

In our work with Christian Aid we have continually strived toward creating visual communication around the charity that is informed by both its heritage and goals whilst being contemporary in its design and implementation. For all of its’ printed media (which encompasses magazines, reports, strategy documents etc.) the studio has worked with Christian Aid to introduce a new style and format of publishing its content. Our design proposals have included the creation of a single format for any publications that is both environmentally and economically sound.

The format designed for the charity allows for forward prediction of publication costs whilst reducing unnecessary printing and creating a consistent visual and physical output for their work. Essential rules governing typographic style, use of existing imagery, creation of new imagery and creation of visual graphics to name but a few have been laid down as or work has progressed. Alongside the fundamentals of implementing an identity style we have spent a great deal of time researching and developing our approach to communicating the charities overall identity.

To compliment our designs for the report we commissioned new still photography by Dublin photographer Sean Breithaupt. We chose to focus on the peace element of the reports title, illustrated by producing a series of images of sunflowers. The sunflowers formed the overall backdrop for the reports design and launch event. We chose to focus on a positive new image that has both a fundamental Christian relationship and at the same time a simplistic contemporary message.

To compliment our designs for the report we commissioned new still photography by Dublin photographer Sean Breithaupt. We chose to focus on the peace element of the reports title, illustrated by producing a series of images of sunflowers. The sunflowers formed the overall backdrop for the reports design and launch event. We chose to focus on a positive new image that has both a fundamental Christian relationship and at the same time a simplistic 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


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. Our work included assisting in the naming of the practice as well as developing its traditional corporate identity assets. Having spoken about and 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 particular 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 over a wide-ranging number of services and so our identity solution had to ultimately be highly adaptable given that the practice would be working in so many varied areas. We wanted to create a logo for the identity that could grow into a sequence of logos and also one that reflected our clients own beliefs and philosophies of practice.

Our decision was to create a logo or mark that is 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 and yet at the same time retain 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 fundamentally deserve to be treated and viewed the same.


Waves is a partnership programme 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. During this enquiry students and teachers from Fingal Community College and Hartstown Community School have explored ideas of zeitgeist, civic agency, collaboration, collectivity, public art, memorialisation and cultural representation.

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 that had been completed on the project to date.


Awarded Bronze ICAD, 2017

Our design goal was simply to produce a striking piece of poster design that reflected energy and movement in a simplistic abstracted style with the projects 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 posters 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 un- disturbed and in its entirety on the posters reverse.

The final composition for the poster was completed on the afternoon of Sunday the 24th of April 2016 the significance of the date only truly becoming apparent after the work was completed. The poster represents the studios only contribution to the canon of work being created by Irish graphic designers concerning the Centenary of the 1916 rising. The poster itself is a modest piece of graphic design work however its commission by Fingal gave us an opportunity whilst working on the project to reflect on the remarkable courage, strength and perseverance of individuals who contributed to the creation of our unique nation.

Printed using 3 process colour and 2 spot pantones on FSC certified Olin Regular Cream.


“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.

We are very privileged to have had the official launch of this book at our Barrow River Arts Festival, and it was wonderful to witness how everybody involved in the production of this very special book was very moved and full of joy that their intense labour of love which lasted for over two years has finally become a touchable reality.”

The studio developed a bespoke geometric musical typeface for Imagines. Benjamin Dwyers 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, this forms the basis for the books layout and composition.

The photography for Imagines was taken by the studio on Friday the 31st of 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 whilst in residence at the Heinrich Boll cottage on Achill island.

Barry Guy and Maya Homburger Festival Directors Barrow River Arts


Awarded Silver ICAD, 2016
Selected for the Irish 100 archive, 2015

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