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Design A to Z – Ampersand

We’ve decided to write a series of weekly posts on some of the terms used everyday in the design world.

Sometimes designers can forget that the lingo we use on a daily basis in our studios may be unfamiliar to the general public. So we will take one term every week and explain it, starting from A and ending up at Z. Our first term is ampersand or the & symbol.

Most of you are more than familiar with the symbol & and probably use it quite often, but do you know how and why this little swirly mark came to represent ‘and’?

Not so long ago the ampersand was part of the Roman alphabet and sat comfortably for many years after the letter Z, but the history of the ampersand dates all the way back to the 1st century A.D. The & symbol as we know it today originates from the joining of the letters E and T, representing the Latin word ‘et’ which means ‘and’. While this original combination of the two letters is still visible in some ampersands, in most they have evolved and become so stylised that they are not recognisable as E and T. The E and T are more noticeable in the italic versions.


Ampersands are generally used in titles and company names these days rather than in body text. They also feature heavily in text messages and emails. The & symbol is included in every font. Why don’t you have a play around and try out the different ampersands that are part of your font collection! Don’t forget to try out the italic versions also – some of the most beautiful ampersands are italics. Below are a few of our favourites…

What is your favourite ampersand?

Curious Clients: Gearóid Farrelly

Rain getting you down? In need of a mid-week giggle?

We recommend lifting your spirits with some video clips of comedian Gearóid Farrelly – we had great fun watching them all (for research of course!) while working on his new website.

Gearoid Farrelly website

For those looking for a fun night out – details of Gearóid’s upcoming gigs are also available on the site.

Father’s day treats

With Father’s day fast approaching, we thought we would inspire everyone to really treat their Dads this year. Father’s day falls on Sunday the 19th of June so you have plenty of time to plan some nice goodies and surprises.

Usually Dads don’t have as much fuss made of them as Mums do on Mother’s day. It’s much easier to think of a present for Mums – flowers, perfume, a pampering day and of course the trusty box of chocolates. Chocolates have always been associated with Mother’s day, but why not break with tradition and spoil your Dad with a yummy box of chocs this year?

We discovered The Chocolate Garden of Ireland when we were on the hunt (excuse the pun) for some Easter eggs for the egg hunt we organised for our launch party in April. We were looking for an Irish chocolate company to sponsor the hunt, and we very luckily found The Chocolate Garden. We instantly fell in love with their deliciously moreish chocolates and were delighted that the owners Jim and Mary supplied us with some of their gorgeous eggs.

We would highly recommend having a taste of these yummy chocolates yourself, and while you’re at it, buy a big box of chocolates or a lovely lollipop for your deserving Dad!

Curious Clients: Maple Moose

I love pottering about in the garden so I’m very excited to be heading off to Bloom this weekend.

As well as all the pretty plants, I’m looking forward to treating myself to some yummy ice-cream and maybe a crepe from Maple Moose – a client of ours who’ll be serving up waffles, crepes and ice-cream all weekend in the picnic area.

They were a big hit at Slane recently – this was only a part of the queue!

You can check out their new website which we launched yesterday for more information on Maple Moose, their menus and locations.

maple moose website design

How will you be enjoying the sunshine over the bank holiday weekend?

Curious Clients: Fight Night

There are a few days to go to the weekend but you can still squeeze in some mid-week culture with a lunchtime trip to the theatre!

Fight night by Gavin Kostick, starring Aonghus Óg McAnally is currently showing in Bewley’s Cafe Theatre until June 11, 2011.

We went to see the show recently and thoroughly enjoyed the performance. We were treated to jellybeans, lucozade and an action-packed journey through the life and trials Dan Coyle Jr., a failed amateur boxer from a long line of successful fighters. Dan must come to terms with the fraught relationship he has with his father while learning to be a father to his own baby son as he prepares to re-enter the ring.

Aonghus Óg won Best Actor for his performance in Dublin’s ABSOLUT Fringe 2010 and you can certainly see why, as he delivers a moving and at times hilarious performance while skipping, boxing and jogging his way through the show.

We worked with Rise Productions and the Lisa Richards Agency on the promotional material for the play. We split a photo of Dan Jr. across both sides of the flyer to show the different sides of his character – on one side a boxer, on the other a new father and a troubled son.

Fight Night runs Monday – Saturday until the 11th of June at 1.10pm, we would thoroughly recommend treating yourself to a more interesting lunch break by watching the show! For further information click here.

PS. There are still a few days left to enter our clinky competition to win one of our commemorative postcards – just comment on this post to be in with a chance to win!