Inkwell Media, formerly Inkwell Design


I started as a graphic designer in the early nineties. Back then, although computers were widespread, artwork for print was a combination of output from typesetters and digitised scans from scanning services. The final artwork was often still pasted up by hand. Designers of a certain age will remember the “joys” of Letraset and Rubylith.

Photoshop 2.0 had just been released and I could work with CMYK files for the first time. Quark Xpress ruled the roost in publishing, Freehand was the king of Illustration programs. Neville Brody was the go-to influence in type and David Carson was just a surfer.

Two and a half decades later, it seems that everything and nothing has changed. Tools are at once more powerful and accessible, trends come and go, but fundamentals remain. Design is finally becoming a valued commodity, with industry seeing the value of getting creatives in at the start of the commercial process to provide mentoring and direction, instead of merely adding a pretty face to their product.

Arranmore Folklore

Arranmore is an island off the west coast of Donegal and is one of the few remaining Gaeltacht (native Irish-speaking) areas left in Ireland.

The Arranmore project was conceived by Taobh Tire, an initiative of the Donegal Library Service, as a method of recording some of the local history, traditions, folklore, stories and poems.

Arranmore Folklore

The solution was based on a weathered old tobacco tin, such as a fisherman of bygone years might have carried. Elements of flotsam and jetsam, keepsakes and found objects feature throughout.


Edge of the sea — Imramh Theilinn. Edges was an interesting musical and artistic collaboration between Donegal and Icelandic musicians and artists.

The project was based on a series of sea journeys by early christian monk from Teelin, Co. donegal to Iceland.


Imramh Theilinn imagines a currach journey by monks from Teelin Bay; northwards to Scotland, the Faroe Islands, Norway and ultimately, to Iceland, or Inis Tuile, as it is known in medieval Irish texts.

Along the way they encounter many dangers including sea storms, Vikings and the charms of Otherworldly forms.

Taobh Tíre

Taobh Tíre is a bilingual research initiative of Donegal County Council and Library that seeks to provide library and information services to areas that are too remote to sustain a branch library.

Local and community centres keep a small collection of books, but also have a connection to the online catalog of library books.

Taobh Tíre

The Taobh Tíre reports were originally released as quarterlies and had a seasonal design. As the project continued, reports were more sporadic so a non-seasonal colour code evolved.

Ulster Scots

Ulster-Scots, also known as Ullans, is a dialect in use in Northern Ireland and in some parts of Donegal. The connections between Donegal and Scotland are both historic and current.

The St. Johnston & Carrigans Youth Project collected a vocabulary of commonly spoken Ullans dialect and created a dictionary.

Ulster Scots

While linguists disagree as to whether Ulster-Scots is a dialect of English or Scots, the UK government has recognised it as a minority language.

The Good Friday Agreement recognises Ulster-Scots as “ part of the cultural wealth of the island of Ireland ” .


For many years, I handled the various invites, publications, posters and websites for the Design Department at LYIT.

In more recent times, and more appropriately, the students themselves brand and market their exhibitions. They have also created a successful annual conference, DICE (Design, Innovation, Creativity, Enterprise).