What to try this weekend: Gluten-free vegan churros with a caramel dipping sauce
What to try this weekend: Gluten-free vegan churros with a caramel dipping sauce

Meg Walker

How to increase your confidence and why it’s crucial
How to increase your confidence and why it’s crucial

Niamh Ennis

The scariest thing about Halloween? Competitive parenting
The scariest thing about Halloween? Competitive parenting

Sophie White

Add some colour to your living room with these punchy cushion designs
Add some colour to your living room with these punchy cushion designs

Megan Burns

Five perfect matte lipsticks that your mask won’t budge
Five perfect matte lipsticks that your mask won’t budge

Holly O'Neill

Slightly Christmassy movies that are totally acceptable to watch before Halloween
Slightly Christmassy movies that are totally acceptable to watch before Halloween

Lauren Heskin

This Glenageary home with a charming double-height extension is on the market for €1.875 million
This Glenageary home with a charming double-height extension is on the market for €1.875 million

Megan Burns

Surrogacy: ‘As soon as I lay a foot on Irish soil I become a legal stranger to my son’
Surrogacy: ‘As soon as I lay a foot on Irish soil I become a legal...

Amanda Cassidy

Cuffing season is upon us and singletons need to know what to look out for
Cuffing season is upon us and singletons need to know what to look out for

Christina McLoughlin

Children are becoming less resilient and it is because of our parenting style
Children are becoming less resilient and it is because of our parenting style

Amanda Cassidy

Image / Editorial

Interview: The First 47’s Alex Synge


by Sharon Miney
23rd May 2016
Interview: The First 47’s Alex Synge

Alex Synge, founder of graphic design studio The First 47, has collaborated with Irish Design Shop to create a new homewares collection called ?ras, which launches this Thursday. We caught up with the designer about his favourite pieces and?’making the move to Belfast …

How did you get started originally?
I set up The First 47 during that typical lull after leaving college. I studied art history and philosophy in Dublin, followed by an MSc in multimedia. I was juggling a few different things and trying to find my feet both creatively and career-wise. I was doing a lot of music and art projects but wanted to separate my design practice from that. I like to create work that is simple and meaningful, but carefully and lovingly executed. I would describe my aesthetic as minimal.

What is your favourite item that you’ve created?
Either the 2016 Constellations calendar that I made for the Irish Design Shop or else my Everyone Makes Mistakes pencil. My Constellations calendar is printed in silver ink on a beautiful black paper stock, and includes 13 tearaway prints to keep – it was a lot of work, but I’m delighted with the final product, and the reaction it got. I’m still very proud of my Everyone Makes Mistakes pencil, too – a simple reminder to be less hard on yourself when you mess up.

Constellations calendar 2016
Constellations calendar 2016

How you define good design?
For me, the definition of good graphic design is something that does what it sets out to do – whether that is to be a beautiful decorative print hanging on your wall, or to tell you what time your bus is due.

How has your move to Belfast been?
I’m fairly new to the city, so I’m excited to explore it more. There are some great shops like Kiln & Loom and Maven, a pretty unique florist called Best Buds Belfast, and new caf’s and bars are always popping up. Belfast had its inaugural Design Week in 2015, and I was glad to be around for that – it definitely feels like an exciting time to be in the city.?I grew up in Dublin, so it’s very close to my heart. There’s a really supportive creative community in Dublin, and it’s an inspiring place to be right now. I have a lot of friends working in design, food, art and beyond too, so it’s fun to see an increasing overlap between these disciplines.

Pink Rose print
Pink Rose print

 

What’s does your working day look like?
The bulk of my typical working day is spent behind a computer – with lots of coffee and lots of music. I try to get out whenever possible, see an exhibition, visit a friend’s studio, or sit in the park or a caf? with a pen and paper in hand. The Palm House in the Botanic Gardens and Black Mountain are two of my favourite places to go when I need to clear my head.

?

A sneak peak at the ?ras collection
A sneak peak at the ?ras collection

What are you working on next?
Quite a few things. I’m working on a clothing-label identity, an exhibition design, a record sleeve, a photobook, two children’s books and a few new prints. I’m in the process of getting a new studio space in Belfast too, so I’m excited to see where that will lead me.

Portrait: Al Higgins

 

Also Read

Interview: The First 47’s Alex Synge
EDITORIAL
‘Romy & Michele’ actress Cortney Wolfston on being fired while pregnant

“I was confused. Hadn’t I just been told this was a perfect time to be pregnant?” she questioned. Actress Cortney...

By Sarah Finnan

Interview: The First 47’s Alex Synge
EDITORIAL
8 easy ways to keep your brain healthy that you can do right now

Your brain health is just as important as that of the rest of your body, says psychologist and neuroscientist Dr...

By IMAGE

Interview: The First 47’s Alex Synge
EDITORIAL
Trinity Tales: ‘Front Square was her garden, and the city was her playground’

Annie Gatling, now Colleran, knew Trinity College was for her when she saw Front Gate from the top storey of...

By Amanda Cassidy

Interview: The First 47’s Alex Synge
EDITORIAL
5 houseplants we guarantee you can keep alive

For those who buy houseplants with the best of intentions and end up killing them, here’s a selection you’ll be...

By Hannah Hillyer

Interview: The First 47’s Alex Synge
EDITORIAL
Attending multiple weddings this year? How to save money as a guest

These days, going to a wedding is the equivalent of going on a short holiday in terms of cost. From...

By Jennifer McShane

Interview: The First 47’s Alex Synge
EDITORIAL
This spatchcock chicken recipe will make your weekend

This is a great way to get a juicy roast chicken, bursting with flavour.     Bord Bia’s Spatchcock Chicken...

By Meg Walker

Interview: The First 47’s Alex Synge
EDITORIAL
Sarah Harding’s heartbroken mum announces the singer’s death aged just 39

Sarah Harding has died at the age of just 39, her heartbroken mother revealed today. The Girls Aloud star had...

By Amanda Cassidy