Paul Price

Hello Paul, how are you feeling today?
I'm pretty good thanks but a little stressed and tired as I just moved to London today, I literally just stepped through the door.

Could you tell us a bit about your industry?
I work as a Graphic Designer although I would definitely call myself a Visual Communicator. My industry is complex, degrading, stressful, wonderful and rewarding. I'm interested in using design in beneficial and interesting ways, taking the practice somewhere new and exciting. I would love to see more designers taking this approach to design rather than treating it as a purely aesthetic practice.

Although I am a Graphic Designer it's important to note that I am also expected to be a web designer, user experience designer, art director, illustrator and adviser. These days creative people are expected to be jack of all trades but master of many.

What's your latest project?
Signs of Affection is an intervention poster project which operates using short, positive messages submitted by members of the public by email or our website - If a users message is chosen it is designed, screen printed and then sent across the globe to be pasted up on the walls of various towns and cities.

Essentially I started the project to create something in opposition to advertising but also give the bpublic a way to express themselves in public spaces where that right is being increasingly diminished. It's also meant to be fun and look really pretty.

I was lucky enough to receive the Diana Nelson Memorial Prize and intend to use the money to continue Signs of Affection by investing in some much needed screen printing equipment.

What is the project you have done that you most enjoyed?
It would have to be the design work I did for this years Headingly Music Festival in Leeds, which included branding, website, flyers, posters, leaflets, tickets and passes.

Working on a shoestring budget, for a client group who I would never usually work with, I learnt an incredible amount about the power of design and how design doesn't always have to be beautiful to be effective. I remember speaking to one of my tutors and having that realisation, it changed how I work as a designer and how I view my industry.

Which project do you feel that you have learnt the most from?
This year I had the pleasure of being part of the design team for the BA Visual Communication Yearbook and I learnt so much from people doing things right rather than wrong for once.

I'm not much of a team player, at least not working with other graphic designers, but designing the yearbook as part of a 5 strong team gave some reassurance that I can function effectively with other designers when I need to. I leaned how to work as part of a machine rather than trying to control it and due to this I realised that I can definitely step back and let a manager or art director deal with the stress of a project. Essential learning for those designers who wish to keep their sanity.

What/Who inspires you?
I'm inspired by almost everything. I find it very important to be interested in a great number of things but not necessarily in a large way. For example, I love brutalist architecture whilst I son't know a huge amount about the architects of history of the moment, it can still inspire my design work as much as my interventions.

As you experience things you gain more inspiration and when it comes to searching for a new idea or the solution to a problem then you have these resources ready to use. The more you have then the greater the idea will be or the better a problem can be solved. Design and creativity is definitely all about being aware of the world, part, present and future whilst appreciating but not necessarily liking it at all.

People don't inspire me a great deal although I hope to meet a bunch of inspirational people now that I'm in London!

What are your future aspirations?
If I gave the real answer in a job interview, I aspire to be content, I would be rejected straight away. Employers want to know about your ambition, how you will make them profit, rather than how much you value your well-being. Also, having just spent the last 17 years in full-time education I kind of want to enjoy life on terms rather than at the whims of examination boards.

However to give this a more tangible answer my future should pan out like this:
Work a low level design job, get bored of it, get a more interesting/higher up design job, get bored of it, start my own creative agency, get bored of it. And so on. I'm not sure that I can ever be fulfilled or contented but I'm happy enough to keep trying to be for the rest of my life.

Where would you like to be in five years time?
I would like to be in New York, London or Stockholm enjoying being bored of my job and trying to do hundreds of things at once to fill a void. I would also probably like to start a family and raise some amazing kids. Teaching would be really awesome too id someone would let me.

What advice would you give to students in creative industries?
Don't attempt to create success (great work) by emulating the life or work of someone you admire. Don't enter competitions without amazing prizes, don't work for free and try not to do internships that don't pay.

Be endlessly fascinated by everything inside and outside your field of work. Talk to a lot of people about what you're interested in. Read as much as you can, watch the news every day and fall in love.

Any other comments?
Cynicism is boring.

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