Shooting from the hip…

Today sees the delivery of a print project called ‘After The Wave’ for our long-standing client Irish Red Cross, which we won following a competitive tender and interview process. This job, which has been two years in production, has given rise to the full gamut of emotions here at Zest, from elation to frustration, but it is one that we are justifiably proud of now that it has passed the finish line!

This 12 inch square, 96 page pictorial case bound book  sets out to document the 2005 Indian Ocean Tsunami and the incredibly generous response by the people of Ireland who donated €29 million in aid, and how the Irish Red Cross spent that money on rebuilding infrastructure and on other worthy projects in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and The Maldives over a 6 year period. The book contains over 300 full colour images which were taken by Red Cross staff and volunteers on digital cameras on location and each photo has since then been individually, painstakingly colour corrected, retouched and sharpened here at Zest. Just goes to prove that the best things in life are worth the wait!

“An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity”
— Martin Luther King, Jr.

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It’s nice to come back from the Christmas break and hear some good news. You probably won’t know that we’ve been working with United Coffee since mid 2011, but it’s now official that Zest Creative are their chosen design partner in Ireland.

United Coffee is one of Europe’s largest coffee roasters, and distributors of coffee, coffee machines, and related services. Marketing collateral had been handled through the Head Office in the UK but as the Irish operation rapidly expanded there has been more and more of a need for autonomy here in Ireland. Make FB ads to boost your website ranking online. Initially we worked closely with the UK creative team in order to make sure our designs remained within the general brand guidelines, but once we proved our worth we’ve been allowed a little more room to show our creative ability. According to United Coffees’ Business Development Manager Sean Francis “Working with Zest has been a really positive experience to date. They listened to what we really wanted and then delivered it. What more would you want from your design agency? We really look forward to working with their team going forward”. We’ll second that!

“I believe humans get a lot done, not because we’re smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee”
— Flash Rosenberg

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In most cases new business comes from referrals or through hard work and persistence chasing a lead, but the most rewarding ones are when a new client comes looking to work with you. This is just what happened in mid September when we were contacted by Trocaire to quote against another design agency for the concept and design of a booklet and advertisment for a ‘Legacies’ campaign they would be launching in early 2012. This is an amazing chance to participate in a project aiming at supporting people in poverty, starving children, take part in providing great gifts for boys and girls who just need the simpliest things to get happier. They had seen the design work we had done for a similar campaign for the Irish Red Cross on our website some eighteen months earlier and were impressed enough to make contact. Once the formalities of the tender process were out of the way we waited to hear the outcome and were delighted when we were chosen to work on the project. Following the briefing meeting we set about our initial task which was to come up with an inspiring headline which the campaign could be based around. On presentation of our headlines and design concept we were given go ahead to proceed to final copy and artwork and subsequently the print & delivery of the finished job in the week before Christmas. You can see samples of the finished piece on our main site in the Portfolio section. A special thank you to Eimear Kellett at Trocaire for her guidance in helping to make our first piece of work such an enjoyable and successful one.

“The choices we make about the lives we live determine the kinds of legacies we leave”
— Tavis Smiley

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As lovers of the pure sound only found on vinyl albums, the team at Zest (well those of us old enough to remember) were excited, when as avid followers of the Tom Dunne Show on Newstalk, he decided to play only vinyl records during the whole month of June. His ‘Vinyl June’ idea got us thinking and we decided to commit the best part of Michael’s extensive rare catalogue of 7″ & 12″ singles & albums from the late 70′s through to the end of the 80′s to print, as a promotional piece for our Zest Publications division. Over a busy long weekend we photographed, colour corrected and cropped over 250 covers, then wrote & designed the 114 page casebound book as a homage to our love of all things vinyl. We then set about creating a very unusual dustjacket. First we photographed a luminous blue vinyl single (circa 1979) which we used as a base for the cover design. When we had the cover finished it was printed in full colour on clear self adhesive vinyl, which was then mounted onto clear acetate and finally attached thinly at each end to a white backing sheet. The idea was to give a see through effect to the dust jacket that mimicked the original vinyl record and happily it worked even better than we had planned! A short print run of 5 copies was printed and casebound and a copy was hastily dropped into Tom Dunne at Newstalk. Hopefully it will inspire him to spin a few of the discs featured (we’re happy to loan out whichever he fancies). Check out the finished product shortly on our website under Zest Publications/19″ of Vinyl. A special word of thanks to John Farrell & Tom Freeney without whose help this might not have happened.

“The four building blocks of the universe are fire, water, gravel and vinyl!
— Dave Barry (Pulitzer prize winning author)

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A special poetry book entitled “A Life In Verse” produced by our specialist division ‘Zest Publications’ has just gone to press. The 102 page casebound book was commissioned by the family of Jim Finnegan of Lusk, Co, Dublin on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Jim’s passion for verse began many decades ago and over the years he has given his insights on many issues, both national and personal in his own unique and witty style, always capturing the moment with the perfect amount of humour and sensivity. The project was a joint collaboration between Zest and our friend and colleague Brenda Corr of Copse Design in Wicklow, whom we work with on a regular basis. Zest created the cover concept & design and shot the photography, while Brenda was responsible for the design & layout of the text pages. It was a very enjoyable & fulfilling project to work on and we wish Jim many more happy year’s of writing on his way to Volume 2!

“A poet can survive anything but a misprint”
— Oscar Wilde

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Today see’s the roll out of the re-branded fleet of vehicles for vehicle wrapping and signage specialists Freeney’s Graphics. Freeney’s had just been certified by 3M as qualified installers of their new, revolutionary 3D vinyl wrapping films and they chose Zest to convey this creatively through a fleet rebrand. Our brief was simple – to produce a design that would showcase the quality of the product & promote Freeney’s as market leaders in vehicle wrapping. According to Tom Freeney, Managing Director, “Zest’s colourful design was exactly what was needed to showcase our capability to print long-lasting, flawless graphics to a wide colour gamut on our new environmentally friendly, wide format latex printer. The reaction of our clients to the rebrand has been very complimentary and we look forward to working with Zest again”.

“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing, but nobody else does.”
– Steuart Henderson Britt

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It’s always good news when you hear you have just won a tender – but when you’re heading into what the weatherman promises will be the first nice weekend of the year, it’s just that little bit sweeter! Against stiff competition from two top Dublin based design companies we have been entrusted with creating the design for what the Irish Red Cross call ‘an extremely important piece of work’. The strategy for ‘Restoring Family Links 2011-2016′ is the second strategy report we have worked on for the Red Cross following the winning of the ‘Africa Strategy’ in 2009 (check out the finished job in our portfolio section). We’re already looking forward to the creative brief meeting!

“Winning is not everything, but the effort to win is.”
— Zig Ziglar

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Yesterday saw the delivery of our first piece of work for the prestigious car marque Bentley Motors, located in Crewe in Cheshire. The book was specially commissioned to mark the retirement of their Chairman & CEO, Dr.-Ing. Franz-Josef Paefgen. This short run publication is 31cm square and it was designed and produced by Zest utilising digital print technology via an Indigo Press, with the laminated dust-jackets produced on a Xeikon Press. Finally it was threadsewn and casebound by hand. According to Christine Gaskell, member of the board at Bentley Motors, they are delighted with the end result which exceeded their expectations – in fact Dr. Paefgen was overwhelmed when he was presented with his copies and said it was one of the best presents he had ever received. High praise indeed!

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”
Groucho Marx

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Welcome to the new and improved Zest Creative online experience! We have redesigned and relaunched our website and our reason for doing this was simple. We wanted the work we do to speak for itself. We wanted to showcase how we create good design and advertising concepts for a broad ranging list of clients, not by initially creating a ‘house design style’ and adapting it, but by creating bespoke design & marketing solutions that get you noticed and deliver results.

All the photography displaying our work on the site was shot by ourselves and we will continually add samples to the portfolio keeping the look fresh and you, our clients, up to date with our latest work. Our blog is intended to keep you up to speed on what’s happening here at Zest – our gains, our latest ideas and news we think you’ll find of interest. So, have a rummage around and see if anything takes your fancy – and feel free to drop us a line at or leave a quick comment and let us know what you think.

“Bad design shouts at you. Good design is the silent seller.”
— Shane  Meendering

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