We’re in south Kilkenny, in Tullogher. It’d be quite near Mullinavat. It’s the middle of the countryside and we’re in the heart of it.

We’re beef farmers. Being an only child I definitely had to take more responsibility on the farm. I was always helping my dad out when I was younger. It was great.

Being outside, spending time in nature and with animals – it’s a nice way to live

I think any farmer will tell you that it’s a really unique way of life. There’s a lot of work to it, but I just love it. Being outside, spending time in nature and with animals – it’s a nice way to live.

The lockdowns made us realise the positives to farming even more I think. Well, for myself anyway.

I help out on the farm but I’m a graphic designer myself. When you’re staring at a computer screen all day I just feel like it’s so good to get out in the fresh air and go back to nature then in the evenings.

Graphic design

Initially in school I wanted to be an art teacher but when I discovered graphic design and that whole side of it I really went for that then. I suppose I was lucky in the sense that I knew what I wanted to do from an early age.

I just knew I wanted to do something in a creative industry, which I know is a difficult path to get on but I think when you really love something and are passionate about it you can incorporate it into any aspect of your life.

Ann-Marie Deady is a graphic designer and farmer.

I studied graphic design in Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). It gave me a great insight into the world of design and design thinking.

After college I was working in Kilkenny as a graphic designer with an accessory brand. I was also freelancing – just doing bits and pieces here and there, trying to build up the reputation. I really found that I loved working with clients, helping to bring their messages to people.

Now I have my own business, AM Deady Design. At the moment I’m actually based in Boxworks Co-work Space in Waterford. It’s in collaboration with the Local Enterprise Office (LEO) in Waterford.

Graphic design is more than just creating a poster

I co-work out of there and I have a space for my business there too. It’s great because after being in lockdown for so long it’s good to actually meet people and have co-workers.

Farm safety

Graphic design is more than just creating a poster. There’s the whole way of how you place something on a page or a sign and why you would place it there in particular. There’s a hierarchy with the typography you want the viewer to see first. You’re strategically thinking of where you’re going to place it so they’ll notice that element first.

You’re definitely putting it out there to your viewer to really look at your message. Graphic design is called visual communication. You can see why: it’s communicating the message effectively and easily to the viewer. There’s even a psychology to where things go and why you would place it there.

Personally, I have a real interest in safety design and farm signage

That’s why I think it’s so important in terms of farm safety to get new designs out there or to have a new initiative so people can really think, “Oh ya, I didn’t notice that farm sign before, but now I’m noticing it because the colour was changed or the text was changed.”

Personally, I have a real interest in safety design and farm signage. Just in the colours and the typography, how they could be changed about to catch the viewer’s attention more.

I feel because there are so many accidents on farms and there’s so much awareness of how to prevent accidents, I really want to see how the graphic design side can come into it with signage, posters and leaflets. How graphic design could represent these messages to the public to really help them understand how you can be safe on the farm.

It’s a newspaper, it’s a sign, it’s a poster – a designer has had to make that and think about it

If farmers had the opportunity to create different signs for their farms or work with designers on their farms to create something that means a lot to them, then they might be more passionate about keeping safe on the farm and preventing accidents. You just have to make an impact on the viewer and really make it personal to them when you’re designing any graphic.

I always say graphic design is everywhere. It’s a newspaper, it’s a sign, it’s a poster – a designer has had to make that and think about it. There has to be design in agriculture in every way.

I think I can marry farming and graphic design together but at the same time they can also be different. If I take over the farm, I’m excited to see how I can incorporate the two even more.

I think people need to be more open minded that you can have different worlds in your life and you don’t have to stick to one career. You don’t just have to be a graphic designer or a farmer, you can do both if you want and do what you love.

I think farming is a great way of life. A lot of farmers will say it’s a very busy life but I just think it’s a lovely one at the same time.

Farm Safety Week will run from 19-23 July.

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