Ronan has worked in the Creative and Marketing Industry for nearly 2o years and established SugarProjects; a small, multi-discipline design agency, in 2013. His career started as inhouse graphic designer, to mid-weight designer in a large advertising agency, senior designer in engineering, construction, hospitality and insurance sectors and eventually creative director and owner of SugarProjects. With a broad range of design experience in agency, public sector and private sector, Ronan brings a wealth of industry knowledge and experience to SugarProjects.
What is your guilty pleasure? Listening to retro dance classics – ‘Encore Une Fois’ anyone?!
Favourite TV show/film to watch growing up as a child? My brother and I used to watch Monty Python every Saturday if it was raining!
What’s your secret talent that no one knows about? I am an ace juggler
What’s your favourite Pantone swatch? I love Pantone Metallics but rarely get to use them
What fictional place would you most like to visit? Button moon
What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten? Squid Ink
What is your greatest achievement? Working in a job I love (most of the time!)
1. What made you want to work in the creative industry? I have always been interested in Art and Design but only average at drawing, painting, ceramics, etc. I would always come up with creative ideas, concepts and inventions but found it difficult to implement them – the creative industry and the progression of software has helped me to realise my imagination.
2. When did you know you wanted to be a graphic designer? I remember publishing my first daily newspaper as a 7-8yr old kid with paper, pencils, crayons and stickers. The circulation wasn’t great (my mother and younger sisters) but I loved the idea of design and was very particular that is was styled correctly. There was no computers, tablets, mobile phones or social media when I was growing up, so a daily paper was the only tangible way of receiving up-to-date communication.
3. Favourite piece of work to date? Every job provides a certain amount of satisfaction, but I particularly enjoyed brand development for Lough Erne Landscape Partnership (LELP), website design for Quinn Building Projects (first major website project), social media campaign for Tour of Fermanagh and recent Broker publications for Liberty Insurance.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Eating, very little brings a smile to my face like the prospect of enjoying a good meal.
What’s your favourite way to unwind after a busy day? Running. A few hours pounding the pavement after a busy day/week in the office clears the head like nothing else.
Favourite food? There is very little I don’t like but Chilli Con Carne is definitely one of my favourites.
Favourite TV show/film to watch growing up as a child? Lord of the Rings animation (1978 by Ralph Baksi) and Thundercats. Hardly a day went past without watching either one of these.
What fictional place would you most like to visit? J R R Tolkien’s Middle earth, more specifically Rivendell.
1. At what point did you realise that you wanted to be a web developer?
I went through school without knowing what I wanted to do, as I’m sure most of us did. From a fairly young age all I knew is that I wished to work with computers. While studying a creative media course in the local college one of the modules touched very briefly on the subject of web design & development. This exposure, albeit very brief, left me with an appetite to learn more in this field. Late nights burning the midnight oil, consuming as much information about web development as possible, enabled me to enjoy over a decade in an industry that I am passionate about.
2. Favourite coding language?
3. Favourite code framework?
Meet our social media executive, Gabrielle from the little village of Drumquin, Co. Tyrone. Gabrielle joined SugarProjects in 2017 after completing a BA hons in Creative Technologies at the University of Ulster, Magee.
What is your greatest achievement? Having my picture reposted on the Mumford and Sons Instagram page!!!! You could say it was the happiest day of my life!
Guilty Pleasure? The Kardashians….
What’s your favourite thing to do to relax? Light a few candles, make a decent cup of tea and read a good book. I’m currently reading the illustrated edition of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’, for the 100th time, but I’ll move onto ‘The Shadow Project’ by Scott Mariani once I’ve finished.
Favourite place you’ve visited? The Making of Harry Potter, Warner Bros Studio! AMAZING!
What are you currently watching on Netflix? I am currently obsessing over Black Mirror, although, it’s not a show you can binge-watch, very intense.
Any films you’re looking forward too? IT, Chapter Two! Can’t wait!
1. What is your favourite social media page to follow? Lewis Capaldi’s Instagram, he is by far the funniest! Those shades though, he rocks them every time.
2. What made you want to work in the creative industry? Naturally, I had no plans on venturing down the road to a career in the creative industry. However, when I applied for my course in Creative Technologies, I began to develop a keen interest in the subject, and more so on the lines of marketing and social media. I mean, who doesn’t want to sit on social media all day?
Ciara is a graduate of the National College of Art & Design, Dublin. She started with SugarProjects in the Summer of 2019 and has thrived in the creative design industry. Primarily a Graphic Designer, Ciara has shown her range of branding, packaging and typography skills in projects for Liberty Insurance, Slieve Russell Hotel, Teemore Engineering, Quinn Building Products, Currency Xtra, Larkin Cassidy Solicitors and many more.
Ciara KFC (it hasn’t caught on yet)
My homemade guacamole
Athelas – She’s classy
Go to Pantone Swatch:
Britney Spears Instagram feed
The Black Keys Essentials
Best thing about working for Sugar Projects: Working on projects for various inspiring local businesses & Cafe JD Latte’s
1. What is your favourite piece of work? My favourite piece in my portfolio is a book I wrote and designed in my final year of college called “Reborn”. The piece had to relate to the theme of Lost, so I decided to dedicate it to everything I lost during my battle with cancer in order to gain back the most important thing; my life. The narrative of the book is based around the four cornerstones of my battle: diagnosis, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and remission. It features poetry I wrote during my lowest points along with medical scans and notes from my hospital file. This project was extremely challenging and therapeutic in equal measure, and in turn won me membership to the International Society of Typographic Designers and an Adobe Top Talent Design Award 2019.
2. Favourite ways to unwind? My favourite ways to relax is to put on a good playlist, burn some vanilla incense and curl up with a book. I’m currently reading the Power of Now.
3. When did you discover you wanted to be a Graphic Designer? My dad bought us a huge, old school computer when I was younger and that is when I discovered the famous ‘Paint’ app. I would spend hours creating digital doodles and meticulously examining the list of fonts to add to my designs. In school I knew I was creative but thought that meant I should be an A* Art student, which I definitely was not. It was only in my final months of school I discovered the world of design. In that moment I knew I wanted to end up in the creative design sector.
Tara is studying Creative Technologies at the University of Ulster, Magee Campus. She joined SugarProjects in July 2018 and has spent the past 12 months working on a variety of Graphic, Web and Social Media projects, before returning to university to complete her final year of university (YIKES!)
Any superpower what you would choose?
Telekinesis – I always wanted to be Matilda growing up- why I first got the fringe at a young age
Which four individuals, living or dead, would you like to eat dinner with the most? David Attenborough, Lewis Capaldi, Louis Theroux, Adele
What is your favourite font? Raleway, not over complicated, sharp but friendly
What’s your go-to karaoke song? Anything high school musical related – I’m a SingStar champion
Guilty Pleasure? I still listen to One Direction……
Favourite TV show/film to watch growing up as a child
TV Show- Recess
Film – Toy Soldiers
1. When did you discover you wanted to work in the creative industry? I was first introduced to the world of design at a young age (8-9) when I began designing personalised cards for my family, I cringe looking back at the memory. I decided to go down the line of design, when I realised, I had a creative flare throughout my years of education, with subjects such as Art & Design being my most successful modules in GCSE and A-Level. This led to me developing upon my skills and undertaking a media course at the SouthWest College and later moving onto uni to study Creative Technologies.
2. Favourite piece of work to date? The CAROL-OKE competition graphics for Liberty Insurance. I created a range of social media graphics for their ‘CAROL-OKE: 12 days of Christmas’ Twitter campaign which was focused on guessing the correct Christmas song. Each day one winner would receive a €50 Mastercard. I created a variety of emoji gifs that represented 12 popular Christmas songs.
3. Best concert you’ve ever attended?
BBC Radio Weekend in 2013, Dizzie Rascal was my favourite!
If you are an Architect, Surveyor, Specifier or employed in a similar role, you may be interested in this short Social Media clip we produced for Quinn Building Products to explain the Compliance and Non Compliance of thermal blocks at or near ground level (in Ireland) – spoiler – Quinn Lite Thermal Blocks are Compliant!
The 27 sec gif was created in Adobe Illustrator and After Effects and was used across a range of social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.
According to WordPress.com and w3techs, WordPress is powering more than 32% of the web. It remains one of the most used platforms for web development.
As part of any new SugarProjects website we offer basic WordPress training, this includes tutorials on how to; add a new a blog post, edit product pages, update contact details, etc,. See below for a brief tutorial on how to add a Blogpost in WordPress.
Step 1 – Log in to WordPress
Once your website is launched, we will send login details for you and any members of your team requested. Different levels of access (roles) can be created if required.
In the search bar enter your websites URL, followed by /wp-admin and log in with the details we provided. eg. www.yourwebsite.com/wp-admin
Step 2 – create a new blog post
The ‘posts’ section on the website is home to your blogs/news articles, this is often the first tab on the left-hand side of your WordPress dashboard. Under this section you can add new posts, add categories and reorder your posts.
The quickest way to add a new post is simply to hover over the ‘posts’ tab and click ‘add new’. Alternatively, click on the ‘posts’ tab and then click ‘add new’ which is located at the top of the posts screen.
Step 3 – Adding a title to your post
Once you click ‘add new’ you will be brought to the page editor, here you will have the option to set a blog title.
Step 4 – adding content to your blog post
Just below the title box, you can add your text, images, videos and other content. This editor box provides formatting tools including bold, italic, styles, lists etc.
Step 5 – Adding a featured image for your blog post
The featured image will be shown at the very top of your blog post, it will also be the thumbnail image throughout your website.
Further down the page on the right-hand side, there is a ‘featured image’ tab, click ‘set featured image’ and choose your image from your media library or upload a new image directly from your computer.
Step 6 – Setting tags and categories to your blog post
On the right-hand side, below the publish settings, you can set specific categories and tags that relate to your blog post. It’s best to keep in mind that categories are used to group your posts, these are general topics for your site and must always be added to your posts. Tags describe the specific details of your post, unlike categories these are optional, however, recommended for SEO.
Step 7 – Adding a meta title and description to your website
Before you publish or schedule your blog post, you can set a specific meta title and description to help optimise your blog post. We use a plugin called Yoast SEO, we normally add this plugin when developing all our websites. You will find this additional feature under the content box, click ‘edit snippet’ and change the title, description and keyword. It is recommended for SEO (search engine optimisation) purposes that your keyword is visible on your meta title and description.
Step 8 – Publish or schedule your blog post
On the right-hand side, you will see publishing options, these allow you to save your posts as a draft, preview your post, schedule your post or publish right away.
A content management system (CMS) is an application used to manage web content which allows multiple users to create, edit and publish without the need for specialised technical knowledge. Examples include WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, Magento (ecommerce), etc.
workflow management – ability to assign responsibility to each user such as authors, editors and admins
content creation – allows users to create and format content including blog posts
publishing options – ability to publish content straight away, save as drafts or schedule for a specific time and date
media management – ability to keep all media assets in the one place and additional features including editing tools
library of themes and plugins – ability to choose from a wide range of plugins and themes
Benefits of a CMS
a CMS allows users with non-technical backgrounds to easily manage and edit their website
all content is stored in the one place which makes it easier to manage
SEO friendly – with an SEO plugin, you have the ability to change the meta titles and description of each page which helps your website rank on Google
easy website maintenance – the template-based structure makes it easy and efficient when adding and deleting pages and posts
archive capabilities – you have the ability to save previous versions of your page and track who has made changes
Most CMS applications are free to install, however, most websites themes, plugins / extensions and security options (for your prerferred CMS) are charged as a one-off payment or on a subscription basis. At SugarProjects, we primarily use WordPress to create and power a range of brochure and eccomerce website that are easy for the end user (client) to manage and maintain.
RTD Crawford Ltd are the largest distributor of imported timber in Ireland. They provide a variety of timber products including; decking, mouldings, handrails, dado rails, framing, panelling, rebated door framing, log cabin timber, cornice and fasica.
In 2018, we launched a new brochure website for RTD Crawford to help showcase their wide range of timber products. Over the last few weeks we have been working very closely with the team at RTD Crawford to produce textured 3D models for their timber profiles range – Go check them out! https://www.rtdcrawford.com/timber-profiles/
On Thursday 31st January 2019, Cuilcagh to Cleenish: A Great Place celebrated their official launch in the Cleenish Community Millennium Hall, Co. Fermanagh. The aim of their project is to connect the communities of Cleenish, Bellanaleck, Arney and Killesher to combine heritage, culture and outdoor recreation.
For the official launch, we worked closely with the team to create a unique ident and bespoke website. The logo was designed to reflect the Cuilcagh to Cleenish area – mountain top to shore line, and the culture, heritage and natural beauty in-between. The brochure website is full of key information about the scheme, its partners and forthcoming projects. Be sure to check out the exciting plans they have in place for this beautiful part of Fermanagh!