Wednesday 29 February 2012

Paul Farrington Lecture - 29th Feb 2012

Today I had the opportunity in Uni to see a lecture by Paul Farrington. It was good to see because he is a local born designer from Ellesmere Port and has moved around the UK while studying and with his work. Moved from London to Brighton and now has his own company called Studio Tonne where he has an impressive client list and portfolio that varies from identity design to motion design.

Paul didn't study art in school and so it was his love for music which drawn him to design, picking up the records from the local library, the sleeve artwork was real inspiration. During his HND in Sheffield he didn't like focusing on the digital side of design and stuck to more craft based projects like letterpressing and silk screening, the process of these methods allowed him to go down a different path and this is why now his work is heavily process based. Knowing that he wasn't finished with studying Paul went to the Liverpool School of Art to get his degree. A pinpoint moment was when he did a project that was a typographic alphabet for a deaf audience, which caused Paul to think about the relationship between sound and image and then move onto interaction in design.

One thing that I liked that Paul said was that he manages to make time so he can do work for 'himself' that inspires him, alongside the paid work. He tries to have a good balance between the two. This is what I want to attain in my creative career.

Another thing that I have been thinking about more since the Made North Designers Conference is the amount of designers that are actually from the North of England and how many can resist the urge to move down to London. If the North is such a good place to be a creative then why move? So I asked Paul if I thought he would have had a different level of success in his career if he hadn't have moved and he said a very definitive no. He said it isn't about where you are, it is about how you market yourself and get yourself out there as well as the relationship that you have with your clients. What ideas you have and your creativity can now be seen worlwide thanks to the internet and so just because you might be in the North it shouldn't be an excuse not to be as succesful as the people in the South.

 Paul seemed to have real interest in a recent archiving project based around the Brighton Swimming Club, which involved a lot of time, effort and research and a helping hand from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Although not related so much to the general term 'graphic design' which is the route I want to go down doing Identity Design it is another example of how varied your work can be once you have left Uni and got your degree. You get to select what work you want to do whether it pays the bills or not, and you can tell how keen Paul is on this project which is far from a mac monkey letterhead job.

So thanks for the lecture Paul, and people reading should check out his site!

Photography by Kevin Furlong

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