ICAD Upstarts Programme 2010




The Institute of Creative Advertising & Design (ICAD) is a not-for-profit organisation that seeks to ‘foster, promote and reward creative excellence in Irish advertising and design’ and works closely with the industry.

This years programme got underway on August 23rd.

There are two sets of workshops, one in advertising and one in design. The 24 successful applicants (12 per workshop) will work with 6 of the top advertising agencies
/ design studios over a period of 6 weeks, and will each be assigned a mentor for the duration of the series.

A different brief is given each week so that participants gain invaluable experience and contacts within the industry along with a body of work.

The programme will end with an exhibition as part of Design Week 2010.


Deadline July 9th

To get on to the programme you need to answer the relevant brief (advertising or design) and send it to ICAD by post or e-mail, by July 9th, with a completed application form and 10euro application fee. The briefs are available to download here. Successful applicants will be informed by August 6th.

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Some of the previous Upstarts tell us in their own words:

“I really enjoyed the Upstarts programme. I thought it was a really great way to see how other studios differ from each other in their approach to design. I got on great with my mentor and learned a lot from him and have kept in touch with him and others from the programme. The rest of the group were great to meet too and i think we all benefited from seeing each others work process. I wish i could do it all over again!” John Cowhie

“Overall the course was fantastic, it was great to meet the different agencies and the people on the course. A lot of work, but I would definitely recommend it to anyone thinking about getting into advertising.” Anthony O’Rourke

“Icad upstarts. Be under no illusions it’s hard – really hard- and if you want to get the most out of it you’ll need to give up most of your social life for about six weeks. The reason you do this is because you get to make contacts in six of Dublin’s top agencies and each week you get to work to proper agency brief. And if you need another reason, which you shouldn’t, the agencies hosting Upstarts provide beer and pizza most weeks.” Brian Curran

“I thought the upstarts programme was excellent. We got to see inside the studios of some of the best design companies in Dublin and have professional designers critique our work. All the briefs were very stimulating and challenging. All the other upstarts were really talented and we always went for pints after each presentation which I wasn’t expecting but turned out to be great fun.” Paul O’ Leary

“Upstarts is a perfect way to familiarise yourself with the process of creative advertising. It is an intense workshop, exercising art direction and copy writing skills mentored by the who’s who of the Irish ad world. Informal, refreshing and as fun as you want to make it you can show off your abilities to advertising’s cream of creativity. Well worth every moment of the six weeks but be prepared to work your b****x off if you are in full time employment.” Daniel Henson

“I thought it was a great experience having to deal with real projects and in such a short time, it really gave us a taste of the real world and what’s expected. Getting to see the 6 design studios was great too and it was a fantastic opportunity to make valuable contacts. We also got good constructive criticism that will help us improve as designers, while making friends with our fellow Upstarts along the way!” Ciara Fitzgerald

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