Red&Grey

Red&Grey is a concept-driven design and branding studio based in Dublin. Established in 2003, we engage in national and international projects of varying scale and capacity. Working closely with our clients, we help create brands that are designed to live, adapt and grow.

Process: Our design process is created by connecting our Irish strengths: conversation, storytelling, humour, empathy, resilience and our skills as designers: research, humour, curiosity, play, imagination and observation.

Research: We want to see what everybody else sees, and think what nobody else has thought. Research is about being curious and wanting to know more. It is about needing to have more information in order to create more informed solutions.

Studio Principles: Everything starts with a conversation / If you want an interesting answer, ask an interesting question / Curiosity drives research / Balance aesthetic with substance / The quality of our relationships define the quality of our work / Design for consistency, allow for change.

   


Contact:

(01) 405 3915
hello@redandgrey.ie

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Studio sketches

Creative Journeys

Creative Journeys is a two-year public art program that brings together Dublin Airport and the National College of Art and Design (NCAD).

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The installation entitled ‘NCAD Illuminated’ was designed by Red&Grey and Matthew Thompson. Over the last five years we have captured, curated and communicated the working practices and outputs of NCAD students across a diverse range of creative disciplines. The process of editing, distilling and pairing thousands of photographs was undertaken to capture the essence of NCAD inside the gates of Dublin Airport.

The series of colourful vignettes presented of past and present students and their work subtly reference the visual narrative of Harry Clarke, a famous NCAD alumni and stained glass artist.

OSI

OSI invest in cutting edge ideas that can be formed into the next generation of world-changing organisations. Their goal is to address the world’s leading challenges by bringing financial and human capital that enables Oxford University’s world-class science to go to market, and thrive.

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The identity system for OSI was formed around controlled experiments and an aperture that can be adjusted to show the vastness and details of the world through various lenses. A custom made typeface was designed to reflect the scientific edge of Oxford’s science elite. The typeface along with a series of dawn and dusk photographs as well as founder portraits give balance to the identity system. The completed visual language is an adaptable system that can be used across multiple platforms and contexts.

Six Hanover Quay

Six Hanover Quay is a new waterfront development featuring 120 luxury apartments in the Dublin Docklands. Working together with Cairn and Savils, we created the branding and promotional materials including a series of films about the city, the area and the building.

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For every project, Cairn brings together the best craftspeople, designers, architects and builders to bring the best quality so their developments stand the test of time. The architecture presents a vision for city living – from its curvilinear black & white façade to the elegant landscaped courtyard; from the residents gym to the rooftop gardens with panoramic views of the city. The development sold for €1001 million in 2018.

NCAD 2019

The prospectus showcases NCAD as a energetic institution that encourages you to apply creative thinking, ask critical questions, practice inventive making, understand new methodologies, dream, seek the unknown and look for what is beautiful in the world. The tone of the book is colourful, free and houses a series of illustrations drawn from the fabric of the institution itself.

The Laudato Si Challenge

The Laudato Si’ Challenge has been established to inspire creativity worldwide and improve the lives of one billion of the most vulnerable people. The Challenge’, supported by the Vatican, aims to become a multi year initiative convening of the best ideas through a rigorous and tested process.

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The goal is to support the development of high impact social businesses offering ways to address critical problems of our time. Nature, Mankind and Liturgy together form the central theme of the Challenge’s identity system. These have been drawn in many forms including a circle, square and cross, lines of longitude and latitude, colours, vignettes, statistics and photographs that balance the organic and the man-made. Along with the logotype, designed to always be a part of a paragraph of text, this sophisticated system gives us the opportunity to adapt over time and place.

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The Laudato Si’ Challenge has been established to inspire creativity worldwide and improve the lives of one billion of the most vulnerable people. The Challenge’, supported by the Vatican, aims to become a multi year initiative convening of the best ideas through a rigorous and tested process.

Nature, Mankind and Liturgy together form the central theme of the Challenge’s identity system. These have been drawn in many forms including a circle, square and cross, lines of longitude and latitude, colours, vignettes, statistics and photographs that balance the organic and the man-made.

As a way of documenting the first Challenge a promotional book was created. The theme of the book was ‘The Social Economy’. Included in the book was essays, stories, presentations and nine interviews with each of companies involved. Each interview was accompanied by an illustration drawn to tell their story. The book showcases the full adaptability of the identity in a dynamic and cohesive series of designs. All beautifully printed in four spot colours and bound in a hardback linen cover.

G7 Italia

Making the Digital Economy and Society Inclusive, Open & Secure was the overarching theme at the I7 multi stakeholder conference during the G7 Italia 2017. Our task, document the conference.

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Prior to attending the G7 Italia conference, we interviewed key members of the Italian Digital Transformation team. This enabled us to develop foundational content and an aesthetic approach for all subsequent material. During the conference we worked with the G7 team in three separate workshops (Big Data, The Future of Work and AI) helping us frame and form the final document required. The completed book is finished with a series of beautiful documentary style photographs and a conference summary generated by an ai program.

NCAD Graduate Exhibition 2018

The NCAD Graduate Exhibition is an annual opportunity to discover the latest emerging talent from the art and design world. Our approach for the Exhibition was formed by creating an adaptable system that gave colour, shape and typographic weight to each faculty.

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Directional signage was placed across the campus using simple materials, printed colour pages and purpose built wooden structures. A series of books were also produced that allowed for both consistency of form and a change of graphic.

International Literature Festival Dublin 2018

The International Literature Festival Dublin holds a series of diverse events in many unique spaces across the city. Their goal is to enrich lives, provoke new thoughts and broaden experiences through literature.

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A visual language for ILFD 2018 was constructed around the concept of diverse spaces. We printed, bound and cut a series of books that could fit together in various building like structures. The resulting photographs and films formed a unique language for there festival. The pages of the printed book took the three dimensions of the structures and flattened them into two.

Change Lab 2018

The change lab is a critical space for learning, thinking and re-imagining the possibilities of how art and design curriculum in second level can be taught through a development education lens.

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The book was created by highlighting the pedagogical approach through graphic symbols and by showcasing the various case studies from the lab, each displayed on different coloured and textured papers.

The poster was created by highlighting the various case study teams from the lab, each displayed as a different coloured ring. Together they form an engaging graphic that reflects the question of mining the past to make sense of the now.

NCAD 2017

Studying at NCAD is about learning through making, research and conceptual development. In designing the 2017 prospectus we emphasised this approach through a series of collages. The prospectus also houses a graduate gallery showcasing the success stories of NCAD alumni.

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Our aim was to attract artists and designers with the potential to apply creative thinking, ask critical questions, practice inventive making, understand new methodologies, dream, seek the unknown and look for what is beautiful in the world.

“NCAD is a special place, walking through the blue arch on Dublin’s Thomas Street brings you to a unique campus of studios, workshops and learning spaces where the community of students and staff are engaged creatively in exploring and understanding the world.“
Sarah Glennie, Director, NCAD.

For us the drive to recruit potential artists and designers starts by applying the very principles NCAD teaches and promotes. Using a a series of collages, playful typography arrangements and colourful assemblages we aimed to attract potential artists and designers with the ability to engage creatively in exploring and understanding the world.

International Literature Festival Dublin 2017

Where is your book taking you? When can words best effect change? What are you reading for? Along with the central theme of hidden characters (How many hidden characters are waiting for the time when curious eyes will find them?), these were a few of the questions used in the festival promotional campaign.

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The goal was to engage, question, and captivate potential visitors to the International Literature Festival Dublin. By not being able to see the full message, you were invited to seek out more.

Dublin Cookie Company

A small business baking and selling signature cookies and milks from a small store in the Liberties, Dublin 8. The business is built around Irish ingredients, genuine craft and the desire to create new, delicious memories.

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The design and concept of the identity evolves around illustrating moments and memories one can have when tasting various ingredients. The identity includes a language system broken into three parts:
– Dublin is the language of the city
– Cookie is the essential ingredients
– Company is the magical moments with friends.

The packaging designed specifically uses the Cookie Company’s playful language mixed with moments, ingredients and distinctive flavours.

Learn to Swim

When creating the identity for Swim Ireland’s ‘Learn to Swim’ campaign we needed to consider three audiences; kids, parents and pools. Kids seek fun and adventure, parents want value and safety and pools need standards and support.

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We created a series of tonal voices, images, icons, illustrations and stories that could address the needs of each audience. Characters, mascots and patterns were also designed and illustrated to suit various levels of swimming adventure. The volume and intensity of these elements could be turned up or down depending on the context and audience.

Ibec, Keep Well

How important is the health, wellbeing and prosperity of your employees? What can you do to improve this?

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How can you prioritise high standards of employee commitment, achievement and excellence? Working closely with Ibec over the last twelve months we have developed a six step process that analyses, accredits and ultimately improves organisational wellbeing. Eight themes were then developed and included in a helpful information pack as a way for employers to understand, learn and improve workplace health, safety and wellbeing. Each theme is colour coded and explained through clear illustration and language.

The KeepWell Mark is an evidence-based accreditation that recognises and celebrates organisations that put the wellbeing of employees at the forefront of company policy.

Embassy of the Free Mind

“The city of Amsterdam is blessed for being a city where it is possible for merchants to be philosophers and for philosophers to be merchants.” Baruch Spinoza.

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The Ritman Library, their collection of the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica and The House with the Heads (a listed building in the heart of Amsterdam) are inseparably linked with the Netherlands and its history of tolerance, freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Building on this partnership and their combined heritage the Embassy of the Free Mind was established to share their knowledge and open up the space to free thinkers, artists, scientists and merchants.

The identity system for the Embassy was formed around the theologian concept of ‘centre everywhere, circumference nowhere’. The custom made logotypes were designed to reflect the essence of hermetic typography and the visual language was formed from the relationship between patterns in nature and codes in humanity.

Ibec, Ireland : A Model of Substance

The Irish model has been evolving over the last eighty years. In practical terms it is a program of economic, educational, political, cultural, social and taxation policies.

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Our task was to create a way of promoting the evolution of our economy today using substance, statistics and stories. We needed to be transparent about our past and clear about our key messages for the future.

Alongside the essential numbers, timelines and case studies we designed and built a series of perspex sculptural statistics. Each sculpture represented key substantial moments in the evolution of the Irish Model. Of course, being perspex models, they are also transparent.

Baan Thai

Baan Thai are a family run restaurant steeped in Thai Culture, Heritage, Harmony, Family, Flavour, Tradition, Health and Home. Both individually and collectively these eight key ingredients form the foundation for the visual approach to the identity.

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They have been developed into symbols, patterns, language and photographic systems. A logotype inspired by Thai calligraphy has also been designed for the restaurant. Folklore and storytelling are integral to Thai culture and along with the eight key ingredients have been interwoven into all areas of the identity. Together they allow us to tell the story of Thai heritage, promote family traditions or offer information on healthy eating.

Change Lab 2017

What does it mean to teach and make art that is and of our time? Working closely with the School of Education in NCAD we formed a visual and aesthetic system to represent the pedagogical approach and artefacts the Professional Master in Education student teachers created in response to the thematic of LAND and HOME.

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The change lab is a critical space for learning, thinking and re-imagining the possibilities of how art and design curriculum in second level can be taught through a development education lens. The book was created by highlighting the pedagogical approach through graphic symbols and by showcasing the various case studies from the lab, each displayed on different coloured papers.

The promotional poster for the change lab book and exhibition was designed to engage the viewer by using a variety of overlapping visual layers, each representing an different aspect of the experience. Looking closely, you can see feet walking across thorns on a gallery floor, transparent colour sheets, a pedagogical graphic representation and the main question posed to both the educators and visitors alike.

Maurice Ward Notebook

Our brief was to design a notebook to be given as a gift at a global logistics conference. Our inspiration was to comprehensively look at the Maurice Ward bi-plane logotype, Identity structure, process and products.

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It was here the idea of a notebook with a view from above was born. Logistics look at the movement of things through a macro comprehensive, mezzo empathetic and micro incisive lens. The Maurice Ward bi-plane also has this ability to move from one level of analysis to another.

The notebook’s stories were researched and edited by ourselves and supplemented with thematic illustrations, a timeline of culturally significant events and a cover wheel created to identify timezones across the globe.

Frontline

Frontline Ventures were in need of a rebrand, an update, a fresh look for a continuously evolving and fast growing industry. Following our brand strategy workshop, we (together) wrote a brief for their identity that focused on Frontline’s personal approach, financial experience and technical/industry knowledge.

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The main aspects of the identity are built around human and technical typographic play. A glyph system was formed from aspects of Frontline’s techniques with various combinations used to explain different processes. These glyphs were then used to form the Frontline logotype(s) and display typeface. A second typeface was created with brush and ink. Overlaying these two typefaces creates a new emergent quality. Along with the typographic systems, a grid system based on controlled environments was also designed to showcase the acceleration of exceptional founders. Added to this was a photoshoot were we created triptych portraits through questioning and conversation. Each person was asked to listen, consider and respond.

Together these items form an adaptable brand identity that aligns Frontline’s visual aesthetic with their dynamic team and growing portfolio of companies.

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NCAD 2016

The National College of Art & Design is a living environment of thinkers, makers, doers and creative voices both in the past, the present and future. For this publication (in addition to current student conversations) we decided to sit down with NCAD alumni and discuss their journey, practices and the evolution of their work.

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These conversations populate the first half of the prospectus along with quotes from previous student conversations. All remaining information is placed at the back of the book, including Director’s interview, entry requirements, application details etc.

The result is a communication tool that puts the student first, highlights the ambitions of NCAD and explores the lives and work of highly regarded Irish artists and designers.

The concept for the open day poster was Not Closed All Day = NCAD + Open all day. It’s a simple as that.

BSM

A space becomes a place with the introduction of people. Spaces are simple, but places are complicated, they can be folded, skewed, twisted and interpreted from many different perspectives. This was our approach to the BSM identity, simply take a square and play.

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The same rigour was also applied when creating a language system for the identity. Here we used ‘Built Environment’ as our foundational element to be experimented with. Examples included; People Focused, Built Environment or Visually Impactful, Built Environment. This system is incorporated across all communications from meeting minutes to major projects. Brady Shipman Martin have been building our environments since the company was first established in 1968. This identity update has been designed to showcase their work and highlight their fundamental need to remain culturally connected to contemporary Ireland.

Abrivia

The concept for this identity was found in the company’s name. By highlighting ’via’ in Abrivia we could immediately connect to the client and candidate’s ambition of reaching their destination with ease.

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This idea was also extended into the logotype, short film and photography briefs and a language system. For example, Superior Business via Extensive Research. A second photography brief ‘professional warmth’ was also developed to highlight the company’s approachable interviewing technique. Finally, a graphic system was designed from the company values, allowing us to add another visual and conceptual layer. This comprehensive identity system was initiated by uncovering Abrivia’s mission to engage new partnerships, redefine contemporary recruitment practices and secure candidate and client futures.

Art Box Worldwide

There’s art, there’s art box, there’s art box worldwide … domination. The identity for Art Box Worldwide is designed by displaying the process of moving your art in a simple, safe and secure manner.

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Clear information graphics were created, along with a strong colour palette and clever methods of highlighting the range of your art and the unlimited destinations available. From Anna to Barry. From Anchorage to Belmullet.

NCAD Access X 10 Book

Having been asked to design a book to mark ten years of the NCAD Access programme, we immediately proposed a workshop where we could discuss the past, the purpose, and the potential of the access programme.

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A day long workshop was developed allowing all participants; Access students, artists, course lecturers etc. to create content for the commemoratory publication. Everything from illustrations, statements, scribbles, milestones, portraits, facts and aspirations for the future were all collected on the day and used throughout the publication.

The NCAD Access programme is designed to promote equity of access and opportunity to pupils from primary and post primary schools.

A Place Without Walls

A collaboration with Eoin Moylan, a Madrid based photographer, and Stoney Road Press, specialist Irish printers. Together we created limited edition books for Eoin’s personal and conceptual photographic essay, ‘A Place Without Walls’.

Longford County Council Development Plan

Economic, cultural and environmental icons were created to be used across a playful topographic map of County Longford.

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These icons form an alternative landscape for each of three book covers and accompanying case folder designed for the Longford County Development Plan. Bold typographic titles are displayed amongst the layers and a simple colour system differentiates each book.

NCAD Graduate Showcase 2016

The NCAD Graduate Showcase is an annual opportunity to discover the latest emerging talent from the art and design world. Our approach to create an adaptable system for the Showcase emerged from our research into geology; time, layers, landscapes, beauty, discovery etc..

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The idea of hidden gems waiting to be discovered was subsequently used across all online and offline communications. A series of rocks were photographed, separated by colour and assigned to each department via archaeological site grids.

Ermacora

Danish-Italian urban, technology and futurist focused, Ermacora prioritise social impact design, open source thinking and the circular economy. As part of our design toolkit for the upcoming Ermacora identity we have developed four display typefaces, each with three separate weights.

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The typefaces use NB Grotesk Std Regular as a base, which we have manipulated to align with the creative direction of biomimicry. The typefaces ‘tech’, ‘adapt’, ‘grow’ and ‘protect’ increase in intensity depending on the context for which they are being used, the weight always remains consistent.

Homebeat + 34

An independent Irish music promoter moved in next door to our studio and decided to sell coffee from his workspace. The owner tasked us with designing a duo of versatile identity logotypes/systems that underlined his adaptable methods and creative approach to public events.

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Both identities, Homebeat and 34 (Homebeat HQ/Café) needed to compliment each other whilst remaining independently distinct. The process began by looking at music manuscripts and the constant movement and evolution of Homebeat’s events. Through a series of physical research techniques; making, painting, stretching, photocopying stretching, scanning etc. we began to develop an aesthetic that matched the fluidity of Homebeat.

Maurice Ward Group

Established in 1968, Maurice Ward are an independent global freight-forwarding and logistics organisation.

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Working together we clarified the company’s message, further developed their creative strategy, product and service system, modular presentation and introduced an adaptable brand toolkit. Everything that we created was directly influenced by the colour systems, photography, typographic style and aesthetic of 1968, the year the group was formed.

Safurex

The collaborative partnership between Engineering company Stamicarbon in the Netherlands and Steel manufacturer Sandvik in Sweden developed a family of high pressure stainless steel solutions, named Safurex.

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Our task was to create an identity system, suite of materials and an animation using the theme ‘Precision Resilience’ which was uncovered through a series of strategic sessions with both clients.

Having established the design brief of ‘Precision and Resilience’ our research led us to diamonds as a basis for all communication items. A logotype, display font, and sophisticated graphic language were designed to include all areas of the identity. Throughout this process we worked closely with the clients to develop a product system, adaptable materials booklet and set of cards. Finally, we created an animation for the product launch and celebration of Stamicarbon and Sandvik’s twenty five year partnership.

Swan ELT

Swan English Language Training is a Dublin based school delivering quality courses, employment opportunities and social programmes to students from all around the world. We created a vibrant and colourful identity system for the school.

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The identity system includes diacritic patterns, a graphic language based on balance, colourful portraits and an adaptable language system. The language system is formed around the ability to play with the letters ELT, giving both students and staff the space to use and enjoy the identity for themselves.

Stamicarbon

Stamicarbon are a global chemical engineering company who design the technology to create fertiliser from the gas extract urea. We were contracted to design a dynamic identity and product and services system for the company.

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As Stamicarbon’s clients currently operate in over 256 countries worldwide, one of their key requests was to create a communication partnership system. We did this by grouping their clients location, the various technologies in their plant, their identity colours and their gas capacity. With these elements we can create individual flags for each plant.

Maynooth University

Our goal for Maynooth University was to create a culture of conversation, a space where new connections are made, new ideas are created and new knowledge is formed. Our aim was to talk with, not at students.

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The concept for year one of our undergraduate print work was ‘Points of Conversation’, year two, ‘Lines of Conversation’ and year three will be ‘Spaces of Conversation. For each phase we host a conversation day were we use physical, virtual and facilitated methods of conversation. The material gathered informs NUI Maynooth’s communication materials and is based on participants’s true experiences.

For year one, ‘Points of Conversation’ we set up fourteen tables each designed to allow for an open conversation over a cup of tea. Menus of conversation were created to encourage participants to speak openly about their own views on life, love and education.

All of the content captured to date has helped us punctuate the University documentation with true experiences but more importantly given us the platform to promote an ongoing culture of conversation for NUI Maynooth.

For year two, ‘Lines of Conversation’ we mapped lines across the campus and asked those working, teaching and studying along those lines to submit their questions for further conversations. Where the lines crossed we placed suggestion boxes as a means to gather further questions. The suggestion boxes were in fact student’s, each wearing a t-shirt that read ‘Suggestion box’ on it. This gave us a platform for gathering even more conversation material. These questions were then used in a long table conversation and workshop, which we documented and illustrated live.

All of the content captured to date has helped us punctuate the University documentation with true experiences but more importantly given us the platform to promote an ongoing culture of conversation for Maynooth University.

NCAD 2015

Our approach for the NCAD prospectus is to dedicate the prospectus to student interviews. We discuss their methods, influences, research techniques and aspirations.

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Every department is represented to give a complete overview of the NCAD student experience. All other information, including director’s message is placed to the back of the prospectus.

Re Think + Re Act

Re Think + Re Act was a open forum for discussion, an exhibition of the PIVOT Dublin bid to become World Design Capital in 2014 and a reading room filled with favourite books and visual curiosities.

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The goal of Re Think + Re Act was to discuss design as a response to challenges and opportunities across a spectrum of scale and society and to forge new connections between the attendees and participants of the project.

The Reading Room was held in Film Base in Temple Bar and then moved to the National Library of Ireland for St. Patrick’s Festival. As a collaborative partner in the project we developed the identity, invitations, posters, promotional magazine, exhibition space and concept for the Reading Room. For the Reading Room we asked people from across the city, from the Lord Mayor to our next door neighbours to lend their favourite book to go on public display as a part of the project. The book owners each left notes and letters in their books explaining why they had chosen them as their favourite book. Each book and comment became part of a free magazine that was handed out throughout the Re Think + Re Act project.

PIVOT Dublin

The World Design Capital (WDC) is a city promotion project established to celebrate the aims and accomplishments of cities using design as a tool to reinvent themselves socially, culturally and economically. PIVOT Dublin was Dublin’s bid to become World Design Capital in 2014.

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Each city entering the competition are given forty four questions to answer by the WDC committee. Our brief was to develop a theme/strategy, collate all content and produce a coherent bid document around the forty four set questions.

Our bid comprised of research, writing and design that focused on; Why Dublin? Why Now? Why PIVOT?

Included in the document was a vision for the future, an Irish design timeline and essay, ‘Irish Design: History, Context & Possibilities’, three conversation films, ‘Place, Well-Being & Systems’ (each filmed in a different home. The films were included on a USB ‘house’ key as well as being transcribed to be used as punctuation throughout the book) and a dialogue film that moved across 25 Dubliners and started with the question, ‘If Dublin was a blank canvas, what would you draw on it?’. For the cover we asked thirty different creative Dubliners to design thirty different covers.

We also included a selection of photographs, illustrations, projects and stories kindly submitted from the creative community.

Let’s Go Disco

Let’s Go Disco is a call to arms regularly heard in the kitchens of The Cliff House Hotel. It’s also the title of the Michelin-star chef Martijn Kajuiter’s new book.

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The aim of the book was to illustrate why The Cliff House Hotel has been at the forefront of Irish gastronomy and why Kajuiter is widely considered to be amongst the most accomplished chefs working in Ireland.

Working over a twelve month period we helped create, form and edit the final book as a collection of 200 photographs, detailed instructions on how to create 36 dishes, as well as essays, interviews and an extensive behind-the-scenes look at the life of a high-intensity, high performance kitchen that Kajuiter calls home. 100 laser-etched brushed aluminium special edition copies of the book were produced for the official launch. The standard editions used a gold material cover with disco foil embossing and a silver disco bind. Let’s Go …

Wild Atlantic Way

The Wild Atlantic Way is Ireland’s first long distance driving route working its way all the west coast from north Donegal to west Cork.

The consistent elements of the identity together form an identity toolkit to be used openly and creatively. The colour palette for example is taken from nature and can change with the colour of the landscape. The graphic language includes stone textures, topographic lines and weather symbols.