Print is dead! Long live the print!

Recently I’ve found myself doing more and more print work. This is scary as I’ve never had any formal training in all things print  related (or not print related for that matter) so I’m always slightly nervous. Especially so when the adverts are half page adverts.

Sunday Business Post Blacknight Office 365 pub

Still I think that they’ve been coming out rather nicely even if I am biased.

The above is currently running in the Sunday Business Post and it’s for Office 365 through Blacknight.

The below was running in one of the supplements recently

Thanks to Gianni for the photos ( You just can’t seem to pick up copies of the Irish papers here :P )

Blacknight Sunday Business Post Open For Business Pub

They seem to be turning out quite well so far. Let me know what you think in the comments below! ( oooh I went there )

Blacknight Open for Business Advert

The Stress!!!

The Stress Button

If you know what the above picture is then you possibly know the stress that comes with pressing it. When you’re writing / designing  a newsletter  you hope that you don’t screw up anything in it. Sure a spelling mistake isn’t a big deal / or is it? Does it make things look unprofessional to some people? Are all the links working. That last minute change … did it break something else. Are all the offers right? because you know someone will take an issue if it says something and they can’t get it at that price … PHEW

We sent out the Blacknight newsletter the other day (Click to read it)

Blacknight Newsletter September 2015

Lots happening chez Blacknight with a new Site Builder .. Office 365 being launched … Ranking Coach if you’re trying to get to number one in Google search … the new Status Blog and ALL of the domains. There’s a promo on .irish as well in case that’s your kinda thing.

What would Jesus do?

One last call to vote Yes

I won’t be able to vote YES tomorrow due to not being in Ireland. This saddens me. What saddens me even more is the no campaign.

When you take away someone’s rights or don’t give them the same rights as you that seems wrong. It wasn’t so long ago that women weren’t allowed to vote. They also had to give up a civil service job if they got married. Hell black people were kept as slaves and were second class citizens in the US . I mean what on earth!

Same sex sex was illegal in Ireland up until 1993. You know, what people want to do behind closed doors is entirely up to them once it’s legal and doesn’t hurt anyone else. The first time I saw two guys kissing I wasn’t entirely comfortable with it. The first time I saw a guy and a girl kissing hell I wasn’t entirely comfortable with that either as they “ate the face off each other”. You know though you have to change your way of thinking and move with the times. You don’t choose to be gay. You don’t choose to be straight either. I can hold my wife’s hand as I walk down the street. Two people should be able to hold hands without fear of someone saying something about it.

You know if you look at it there are names for a lot of things.

For example if you don’t think women should be allowed to vote? What does that make you? Sexist? A misogynist?

If you don’t think black people should have the same rights as you? Racist?

If you don’t think gay people should have the same rights as you what does that make you? A homophobe / homophobic?

Oh I went there and I said that word.

The thing is I haven’t seen one argument from the no side that is actually relevant in this referendum. They’ve deflected things constantly back to the issue of children. Well guess what! Gay people already have children and by all accounts they are doing a great job of raising them. Hell I know straight couples that probably shouldn’t have kids.

I was raised a catholic … I was married in a church and I made a graphic the other day for those of you of a religious nature.

What would Jesus do?

These are your family, friends and neighbours you’re talking about here and you may not know it because people still have issues with it. If you’re straight a vote yes will have absolutely no impact on your life. You’ll get to know you did the right thing though. You know if our society shows gay people they are accepted maybe there’ll be one less suicide next year as a person who feels different feels more accepted.

So tomorrow when you’re voting and please do vote. I urge you to step back and think to yourself. Am I a good person? Should all people be treated equally no matter their sex, race or sexual orientation?

Straight Facts - Vote Yes

Straight Facts – Vote Yes

So I ended up working on a small PDF to try and put together a small summary of the key points that people seem to be discussing or confused by in the marriage referendum. It’s an A4 PDF for no other reason than that seems like a good size. It could no doubt be tweaked a bit but I guess that’s besides the point.

Thanks to @brian_dneen, @mneylon, @damienmulley and @imisaninja for input, ideas and feedback :)

Here’s a 1200×1697 pixel png of it in case that’s more your thing :)

I call it Straight Facts!

Straight Facts - Vote Yes

Feel free to download it print it / pass it onto friends.

If you’ve got any other suggestions / corrections let me know and I’ll see about updating it.

Straight Facts – Vote Yes PDF (1.4MB)

Children Deserve Equality

Children Deserve Equality

Children Deserve Equality

You might not recognise the people in the photo. They are however being used by the No campaign on Marriage Equality.

I can’t honestly say what their views are hence I included a disclaimer at the bottom of the image. What I can tell you is that apparently the Stock Photographer and the models involved in the original no poster graphic aren’t happy. You don’t have much choice as to where your images appear when you’ve signed a model release and distribute your stock images to multiple stock image sites. I can try to do my part though.

Here’s what Adam Hills ( who I’ve never heard of before ) has to say about things (hat tip to )

Adam Hills on the Vote No Poster

You can also read what the stock photographer has to say about things.

There’s a post over on the Blacknight blog about it

I won’t be in Ireland to vote. I’ve never really taken that much interest in Politics in the past but this isn’t about politics this is about equality. I’ve donated to the Yes Campaign and I’m trying to encourage people to vote. I have two small kids and when they grow up I want them to have the same rights I have no matter what. So I can only hope that everyone goes out and votes yes on the day.

Game Of Domains

The Blacknight SME Awards Design

SME Awards Design

You know when you can only say for so long that you don’t do print design? :)

I guess I can’t say that anymore.

This weekend saw my 4m x 3m baby unrolled at the Blacknight SME Awards in Cork. I have to say WOW it’s a nice feeling to see your work at that size. Mental note … check check and quadruple check your work zoomed at max. That awkward moment when you see a small issue after everything has gone to print = ARGH

Oh well you can see the stage design (Though it’s rather dark) as well as a few of the popups / swords and other props I put together. All in all it was pretty great to work with Gianni Ponzi on this. Good feedback / Great ideas (could we do cutouts) and even if he was screaming for Blood … we left that out.

Personally I think with the launch of the recent season of Game of Thrones my Game of Domains concept was rather fun. It’s always tough to make domains “sexy” and to make people think outside of the .com or ccTLD ( .ie / .fr )

Game Of Domains

PS: In case some people ended up with some bizarre heat sensitive mugs, they weren’t meant to be given away at the awards. They were concepts / experiments I was running. ( le sigh )

La Redoute Meuble

Redesigning the Kitchen …

Slowly .. slowly we’ve been getting things done around our flat.

Today I got rid of the hidious corner.

Truth be told Val can take credit for it all. I just did the cutting / building.

First up we’ve got 1 icky corner. Yes it needs a lick of paint but the main issue is with the pipes which well we can’t move ( not without some major remodeling no doubt ) They are connected to the gas boiler which sits just on the wall above.

Take 1 icky space

Of course Val knows exactly what she wanted (Hint: check the price)

La Redoute Meuble

That’s €529 before the dicount. EEK!I’m not sure about you but I could never spend that amount of money on that.

So of course it’s some MDF and some counter top to the rescue :)

Build one set of shelves

Val added the final touches / painted it and we’ve now got a great space for water / drinks bottles / cans and so on :)

Get Val to put in all the final touches

I just pray the cats don’t get at the curtains :)

A Quick Turkey Faijtas Meal

Quick and simple Turkey Fajitas

I ended up buying a few Tortilla wraps the other day … I didn’t however plan on using them tonight. Still quick and simple meals are the name of the game at times. Especially when you’ve got two little people to take care of.

A very  simple mix. Chop some turkey strips / courgette strips / tomato and add a splash of tomato sauce. Very simple … very quick and just add in some smokey paprika.

The Veg Mix

Of course certain little people aren’t too big on pepper. So those get cooked on the side again with a splash of tomato sauce and some smokey paprika so they keep a consistent enough flavour.


Left over rice can get nuked in the microwave and makes a lovely filler.

Left Over Rice

The Tortillas are quick and easy only needing 40 seconds in the microwave.


and hey presto … just add some cream and grated cheese.

The Final Product

It’s a really quick and simple Turkey Fajitas meal and you could spice it up more with some red onion … cumin … or anything really.

15 years …

It’s strange you want to mark the occasion in some way but you don’t really want to come across being related to “oh god he’s posting that again” type comments. Still it’s something that deeply affected me. I lost my mom 15 years ago today and to this day I still miss her like crazy. In previous years I’ve felt very down in the month or so leading up to this time. This year … maybe it’s a little bit different I’ve not felt so down. I have a beautiful wife I love to bits and 2 amazing little people who I really wish could have gotten to meet my mom. I see them and I just have to smile.

Mom I miss you always