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Offset 2017: Something different

Brian McDonaldBrian McDonald
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Offset brings together designers from a number of different disciplines -illustrators to animators to film to sound and so on

As primarily a software engineer, I’ve been to quite a few tech conferences over the past number of years. This year I felt the familiar tech industry buzz
around the Dublin Tech Summit. All the other members of the team at 8bytes were going so I was free from the need to have to attend, so I didn’t. Instead I went to Offset a design focused conference in the Bord Gais Theatre here in Dublin, in hindsight a brilliant decision.

Offset brings together designers from a number of different disciplines
-illustrators to animators to film to sound and so on. Design is on the fringes of my work here at 8bytes. I certainly do some design but Adam, our resident designer, does most of the heavy lifting. My day to day design work is light but I, like most others, enjoy good design in everything and anything. Offset gave me the chance to live in a designers world for a few days, I learned about type, illustration, animation and about many industry leaders creative processes. This wasn’t only indulging my own interest in design but also thought me some valuable lessons that I can take back to my day to day work. An easy example was a brilliant talk by Bruno Maag** **about typography. He talked about the science behind type and how choices need to be made with scientific facts in mind, type is not just an arbitrary choice. An interesting example was the differing design decisions between San Francisco (Apple) and Roboto (Android). Roboto will have to look great on screens both tiny and large and also work across a large range of pixel densities. On the other hand you have San Francisco, developed by Apple for their own devices where they know exactly which screens and the resolutions it will be shown on. At times as a developer type can feel a little arbitrary but I now know thats certainly not the case.

Offset showed me the value of broadening my horizons. I most definitely learned more and gained more insight from Offset then I would have from yet another tech conference. Even if the topic is not directly in line with your day to day work you’ll find some value you can bring back to your everyday work. If you get the chance to go to something a little bit different from your norm; do it. I’ll certainly be going to more tech conferences in the future but from now on I’ll try get to a couple of conferences that are just that little bit off my radar. Switch it up and learn about something different.

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