John Working At Desk

My name is John Fogarty, although a lot of friends call me Josh. I am working as a Graphic Designer in Ireland. I have a National Deploma in Graphic Design from Ballyfermot College of Further Eduction (BCFE) and a Degree in Visual Communication from the National College of Art and Design (NCAD).

A Brief History

John Playing Guitar On Tennis Racket

I was born in 1976 the same year the Ramones released Ramones, an album that still feels as fresh today as it did back then. I grew up in a small village called Clane which was just beyond the Pale. My mother is a Meath woman and my father a Dubliner, Kildare seemed a good place to put down roots. I have one older sister Maria. From the picture above you can see from a young age my love of music and lack of interest in sport.

Maira, John and Mr Snowman

I've always enjoyed working with my hands as you can see from Mr Snowman (who sadly is no longer with us) that Maria and I made in our quite suburban home where we grew up. 

School, Work and College

I struggled in primary school with reading, writing and maths. Teachers had always describe me as quiet and a day dreamer. My parents recognised I was creative and sent me to an evening art class. where I learnt a range of mixed media and drawing skills. While at school a teacher showed me a few cords on the guitar and it began my love of making noise. In 1989 I was diagnosed with dyslexia, which was a pretty early diagnoses for the time. 

Early Punk Model
Group Of Early Clay Models
Opera Singer Clay Model

Clay Models, 1985–1995.

The main work that has survived from those early art classes are the range of models above. The personality of each characters can be seen clearly, it was a case of playing rather than work. In secondary school I studied Construction Studies, Art and Technical Drawing. When I finished school in 1995 my results were so low I felt college wasn't an option so I looked at PLC courses.

Wooden Joint

Wood Joint, 1994.

In 1996 I began a VTOS course in Art, Craft and Design in Newbridge. The course was only a year long. I was still struggling with education. The sculls below are sculptures I made based on a real one that was in the art room. After passing the year I went on the job hunt with no clear direction. And ended up working in factory work that had very little creative outlet.

Life Like Clay Scull
Abstract Sculls

Abstract and life like Sculls, 1996.

For the next 8 years I worked for a company called Enviroserve recycling computers. In the evenings and at weekends I wrote and recorded music, doodled, coloured, painted and began exploring photography. During this time I began reading with colour tinted glasses and the more I read the more I day dreamed about what I would prefer to be doing.   

Selection Of Doodles

Ink, Paint and pencil Doodles, Circa late 90s early 2000s.

Next I started working for IceTech. It was a change from Enviroserve but still in the field of computers. As part of a small team we built computer kiosks. I learnt basic IT skills, dealing with softwares and plugin components. Learning that when things don’t go to plan you have to adapt and compromise. And then the recession hit hard. I spent a few months searching for work with no avail. 

Loughbollard Mixed Media

Loughbollard, Mixed Media, Circa 2010.

When you’re in the thick of it, it can be hard to see the forest through the trees, and in this case when everything seemed lost I found my way. After a career guidance course pointed me in the direction of the Ballyfermot College of Further Education things in my life started to take focus. I started a two year Graphic Design course. The staff were really passionate about the subjects they taught and in turn I became hooked on what I was learning. 

Shoe Mixed Media

Shoe, Mixed media, 2012.

The classes ranged from typography, ideas generation, packaging, web design, motion graphics, drawing and mixed media. Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign became part and parcel of everyday life. And one of my favourite modules was black and white analog photography. These images are some of the project work during this time. Some of it I would change if it was for a client but generally it is good to look back on it and remember the lessons learnt. Such as when asked to do a project on the most malevolent women throughout history during Christmas refuse if possible it really made that a dark holiday however great the project. 

Black And White Contact Sheet
Malevonlent Women Throught History Inforgraphic

Infographic Project.

The Thompson Tea & Coffee Company Packaging Project

Tea, Coffee and Bread Packeting Projects.

Book Covers From College Projects

Random bookcover ideas from college years.

After receiving a Higher National Diploma from BCFE I entered the National College of Art and Design advanced entry to the second year of their four year degree in Visual Communications. With great lectures on film, photography, art and so much more. While in college I worked a short internship with Design Factory working on a range of projects. Including the exploration of expanding part of their studios branding typeface below. As a result I have a constant interest in ways of looking at communicating meaning without words or at least as little amount of text as possible. 

Design Factory Exploring a Typeface Project

What comes to mind, Illustrated alphabet, 2016.

Working for CarveOn

Early Prototype Of A Leather Moleshine + Pen Cover Personalised From CarveOn

Early Moleskine + Pen prototype, CarveOn 2017.

When college ended I began working for an online e-commerce company called CarveOn. As part of a small team designing leather products and personalising them for customers around the world. The reason I took this job was due to the high level of craftsmanship from production right through to their website. Working with clients such as Facebook, Google and LinkedIn. My work varied from product design, proofing with clients, production, product photography among other things.

 If you would like to see any of my portfolio of work from this period please get in touch. 

I have learnt a lot about work practice, the importance of job satisfaction, working with modern equipment such as laser cutters, vinyl cutters and UV printing. How to juggle as many projects as possible without letting clients down. It is good to be finally in the right line of work, where I can develop and learn new things, while enjoying the world of design that is forever developing around me. 


Multimedia Artist

My experience of working with John was an absolute pleasure, even though we were working with each other from a distance, which could’ve been problematic. I found him to be focused, dedicated and totally engaged with the ideas, and he was very open to the potential offered by the collaborative process. In the search for a contextually appropriate and visually arresting solution he was not afraid to experiment and thereby possibly fail. Thankfully he didn’t fail, on the contrary his work was exemplary, beyond my expectations. I would thoroughly recommend to any possible future employers.

Tom Meenaghan & Associates

John Fogarty worked with us on a number of projects in 2016. We found John to be very creative in his approach to problem solving, excellent in presenting his design ideas, flexible given the changing demands of ourbusiness and a very enthusiastic team player. I would highly recommending John as a creative asset and know his attention to detail and knowledge will be of benefit to any prospective employer.

Interdisciplinary Scientific Coordinator Dementia And Neurodegeneration Network Irelandthe Alzheimer Society Of Ireland

Working with John Fogarty has been a pleasure. I engaged John’s professional services on two occasions and John has always been a pleasure to work every time; his natural eye for detail, creativity and skill mean that he is capable of interpreting professional needs as well as being creative in problem resolution, he has always responded constructively to feedback. John takes the time to understand his clients’ needs, he is extremely focused on the creative process and works quickly and efficiently to present his client with several project options. I would highly recommend John for any graphic design work and would be more than happy to work with him again in the future.

Head Of Product Design, NCAD

I commissioned John Fogarty to design and develop a logo/brand and promotional material for a recent interdisciplinary research workshop that took place in Trinity College Dublin. John delivered a wide range of concepts that successfully responded to our project brief and provided us with a compelling brand for future online and print promotion. This project was delivered with a tight timeline and John remained professional and dedicated throughout. I would have no hesitation working with him again.

Senior Lecturer In Digital Humanities College Of Arts, Celtic Studies And Social Sciences Director Of International Strategy, Chair, China Working Group, University College Cork

John Fogarty has designed posters for academic projects for me three times already. Each time I have found him not only a conscientious and reliable person, but also very imaginative and capable to synthesise complex ideas and abundant information into striking and powerful images. His designs were very successful. I would fully recommend him.

Declan Finn
Course Coordinator HND In Graphic Design In BCFE

John applied himself in to any challenge we set out in our Graphic Design course. Showing himself to be hardworking and passionate about design.