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Peterborough graphic designer Dominic bridges the Gap

BRIGHT IDEA: City graphic designer Dominic Le-Hair, above, is responsible for the Tribbon font that appears in Gap advertising campaigns across the world, below. (METP-22-03-12PF404) Photo: PAUL FRANKS/Peterborough ET

BRIGHT IDEA: City graphic designer Dominic Le-Hair, above, is responsible for the Tribbon font that appears in Gap advertising campaigns across the world, below. (METP-22-03-12PF404) Photo: PAUL FRANKS/Peterborough ET

  • by KELLY PIPES
 

A modest family man from Peterborough is flying the flag for Peterborough talent after helping create a global advertising campaign for GAP in his spare room.

Dominic Le-Hair, a graphic designer from Dogsthorpe, has been catapulted from crafting free type-faces in snatched moments, to seeing his work used in a major advertising campaign for GAP.

The 34-year-old is behind the ‘Tribbon’ font that features on thousands of GAP billboards this spring.

The fashion giant has emblazoned its ‘Be Bright’ slogans across London buses and advertisements in countries as far-flung as Japan, Malaysia, Italy, Singapore and Indonesia, in letters designed by the father-of-two.

High-end New York advertising agency Ogilvy snapped up exclusive rights for GAP to use the city dad’s work for two years, after emailing him out of the blue before Christmas.

Dominic, who was sworn to secrecy until the campaign went public, said he was shocked by the career-boosting approach.

He has celebrated by buying presents for his family and paying off debts with his undisclosed fee for the font.

He said: “I think this proves to other designers in Peterborough that you don’t have to be a large company or even a business at all to get noticed.

“If you get your work out there, on websites, free portfolio sites and blogs, then something good could come out of it.

“I’ve seen the font in use in person on an advert in Grazia magazine and another in The Sunday Times Magazine.

“Some of my friends have also sent me photographs of adverts and displays they have seen in person, including a shop display in Leeds, a London bus with an advert on the side and a GAP shop front in Bangkok.”

Creative directors working on the GAP campaign tracked Dominic down to his family home in Dogsthorpe after coming across his eye-catching alphabets at the online portfolio site Behance.net.

Dominic said: “They arranged a conference call with me a few days later and it was then that I was told that GAP would be using it for its global spring campaign.

“I was never expecting anything more to come of it when I uploaded it to my portfolio, so I was amazed that GAP had discovered and chosen to use my font, when there are so many others available out there.

“I’d love more opportunities like this to come my way. Ogilvy is following my work online now, so I’m aiming to impress with the next project I publish.”

Dominic, who is currently a full-time designer for Direct Approach, in Orton Southgate, began his Tribbon design in 2009, developing it in his evenings on his return home from work.

He has made the design available as a free download for people to use for personal use, or on non-commercial projects.

n Dominic’s typography can be seen at his portfolio site at www.behance.net/DominicLe-Hair and to use Tribbon visit www.noupe.com/freebie/tribbon-layered-font-exclusive-free-download.html

n ALL-AMERICAN clothing retailer GAP Inc operates from a global headquarters in San Francisco, where it was founded in 1969 from a single clothing store.

n It encompasses brands including GAP, GapKids, babyGap and Banana Republic with products available in 90 countries worldwide through more than three thousands stores.

n Its ‘Be Bright’ marketing campaign was launched on Valentine’s Day to reflect “a strong, optimistic point of view”.

n A Facebook protest, in 2010, by GAP customers resulted from a rebranding of the company’s iconic logo, which had white text inside a blue box.

 

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