Cian McKenna spoke about his wonderful work, and gave a glimpse into his process beyond the scenes into the motion pieces he creates. The wonderful Mary Ann Bolger’s presentation brought us through the important role of a designer in shaping the world around us. And finally Simon Dixon who generously gave insights into his practice, process its present, future and beyond. 


Our moderator, IDI Board Director Danielle Townsend, brings these speakers together to speak about creative futures in times of uncertainty, the future landscape of design and the importance of being a good person to work with to maintain your practice.

About the Speakers

Simon Dixon

Simon has run creative agencies for over three decades. His conviction that great thinking and beautifully crafted design make the world a better place remains undimmed.

In 2001, Dixon founded DixonBaxi with his business partner Aporva Baxi.

Together they have a global reputation as leading creatives in branding and design, and are sought out by some of the world’s most forward-thinking companies to help them connect with and inspire their audiences. DixonBaxi believes there has never been a greater need to future-proof brands in a world of rapid, constant change.

They’re trusted by Netflix, IMAX, Audible, AC Milan, AT&T, Headspace, The Premier League and British Land. Companies that seek to be bold and challenge convention.

Maryann Bolger

Dr Mary Ann Bolger is a design historian who spends a lot of time looking at 1970s Gaelic typefaces and writing about death. She is head of Media Arts at the School of Media at TU Dublin, and was previously lecturer in design history and visual culture in the School of Art & Design. Mary Ann has served on the Professional Panel of the 100Archive and is a judge on both Professional and Graduate IDI Awards. She represented Ireland as ATypI country delegate from 2005 to 2022. With Clare Bell, Mary Ann programmes the GradCAM research group Typography Ireland.

Cian McKenna

Cian McKenna is an award-winning Art Director and Motion-Designer based in Westport, off the windy west coast of Mayo, Ireland whose work has been featured on Motionographer, Stash Magazine and other prominent design publications.

Cian has a unique multiskilled approach to film-making, animation, graphic design and content creation that focuses on clarity of communication and delivery of beautifully crafted visuals. His work is gorgeously cinematic, story-lead and captivating.

Hailing from the Visual Communications BA in DIT and interning in the 100 Archive 3×3 programme, worked in a number of Irish design studios such as Detail, Design Studio and Image Now before joining Windmill Lane Pictures as Motion Design Lead.

Now a freelance motion and graphic designer, image-maker, filmmaker and art director, Cian works for a wide variety of international and domestic clients on commercial and non-commercial moving content projects.

Cian has had the good fortune to work with a number of immeasurably more talented people and his clients include Google, Failte Ireland, Dentsu, Irish Distillers/ Midleton, RTÉ / Netflix and most recently as main-title designer on HBO’s White Lotus Season 2.