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Interview with Paul Robb

Home > Designer Interviews > Paul Robb

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Paul Robb (PR) for A’ Design Award and Competition. You can access the full profile of Paul Robb by clicking here.

Interview with Paul Robb at Monday 27th of April 2020

FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
PR: I got into graphic design at the age of 17 when I was lucky enough to shadow a Creative Director for 2 weeks and feel in love with the industry.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
PR: Opened in 2000, we are an independent studio specializing in bespoke solutions for our international and nationally based clients.

FS: What is "design" for you?
PR: For me, it's about creating solutions that go beyond our clients' expectations.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
PR: Designing and redesign branding, for me is the most stimulating. Helping to develop design business structures and seeing the results.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
PR: probably the graphic works of Franco Grignani and his simple black and white flowing designs, he was the designer for the Woolmark.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
PR: The first thing I designed was during my final year of University when I was asked to design food can labels, it was a terrible job, but I gained so much learning the print process.

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
PR: I prefer creating the typographic systems and designing typefaces which, in the end, become the main part of the visual identity.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
PR: First thing in the morning or last thing in the evening when the studio is at its quietest.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
PR: It would have to be typography, I like the idea that letters have the power to become identities.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
PR: I love the fun of designing, trying to create something fresh and exciting, enjoying the project as it reveals itself.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
PR: It's bittersweet for me because I see areas were I would have loved to have developed further, but I have to be realistic and hand it over and let the client run with it.

FS: What makes a design successful?
PR: A complex idea made simple, but it has to be well communicated and understood by both the designer and client

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
PR: Is it groundbreaking, is it that visualization of the complex made simple and easily understood.

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
PR: To help change the attitudes of clients and raise awareness, especially today where plastics can be replaced with intelligent design solutions.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
PR: I believe it's becoming more about that bespoke intelligent solution.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
PR: We participate in various design exhibitions liked to design competitions. Our next one is this year in Milan with ADI and the Italian Compasso d'Oro.

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
PR: I think inspiration comes from experience and emotions, sometimes it seems to take forever, other times its an immediate gut feeling and sensation.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
PR: I was heavily influenced by the new wave of typography from the mid-1980,s and early '90s postmodernism, where typography became an integral part of communications and have always pushed that ethos in my work.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
PR: I live in a small city in Italy with my family, having moved from the hustle of London. I believe it does affect my work as I make the time to enjoy the process of working in the tranquility of our studio, helping to plan through the process. Today I don't think it matters where you are, it's about developing the experience and emotion.

FS: How do you work with companies?
PR: We work directly with the top management and owners of companies transforming their input and passion into our designs. That could be remote via web or onsite, whatever suits the situation.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
PR: There was to be a feeling between client and designer, a resect that both parties can work and breathe independently. Listening works both ways and I believe that the relationship has to be genuine and authentic for the project to succeed.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
PR: My design process is about finding the simple solution through the noise and confusion of the problem. That could mean working it through with various designs and solutions or using a design management system when the team is working remotely from the client.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
PR: My Eames chair, my shower, my car, my juicer, my kettle

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
PR: 7.00 am breakfast with the whole family, 7.30 am studio (where I'm the only one, I can design or go through my email in peace) 9.00 studio opens, coffee and team meeting to plan our day, 10.00 am - 13.00 designing/meetings online. 14.30 - 19.00 designing/meetings online/shooting in our studio. 19.00 - 20.00 my personal time in the studio where I will be experimenting or creating some personal work.

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
PR: Meet great people, experience as much as possible. Look to work with only people that inspire you and can stimulate your work. Believe in yourself and never give up, remember that it's only when you push yourself that great results are obtained.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
PR: Helping to create new brands and refreshing old ones is a challenge, but the buzz that I feel when it is talked about by consumers is such a positive! A negative one is about respect, and how that can change during a long relationship.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
PR: Never give up perfecting a design, until the presentation!

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
PR: This might sound strange, but the number of young designers that can not draw is a big problem. The ability to explain your ideas articulately and visually is a must to help a client become involved in the process. Sometimes a simple sketch in a meeting helps every one to get on board and helps everyone to understand the project quickly.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
PR: I have a large library that I continually refer to, with old design books on wood type and obscure design papers that stimulate my process. As for programs, we use all the normal for a design company to help realize the project, but for me, it's about creativity, and we'll use whatever means is necessary.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
PR: That is a difficult one... Must time I go way over the time allocated to a project experimenting and pushing the creativity along the way. It drives my business partner wild, but it's about the right solution for the problem, and it needs to work, so for me, it has to be done.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
PR: It really varies and involves lots of factors, the most important of which is time to market. But if I can I like to invest time in experimenting.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
PR: When can we have that ready? It is the most common.

FS: What was your most important job experience?
PR: Working in London during my formative years, lots of energy (that I still have), and working with great creatives, in agencies and companies.

FS: Who are some of your clients?
PR: We have quite a few companies in the luxury beauty, luxury fashion, government, and retail industries. But we love a challenge so we are open to all possibilities.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
PR: I would have to say that Brand identity is the work that inspires me the most. The reason is simply that when be project a brand identity, it brings all the design disciplines involved together, design management, typography, graphic communications, art direction, film production, etc... and it's that mix and teamwork that truly inspires me.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
PR: We have some number of brand identities to start on in the coming months and some well-established brands that I want to reinvigorate.

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
PR: We always work as a team with at least one central person that holds the project together.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
PR: I have a new font that has been designing that I would love to push forward and get it in production...

FS: How can people contact you?
PR: Through our website or directly paul@salt-pepper.it, or 039 3295685928 to say hi!

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
PR: Thank you for your time!


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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