Despite his focus on digital design as an employee at LBi, Paul Price’s skillsets outside of the industry include painting, illustrating, poetry and, well, as he says, ‘the list goes on for miles’. Paul gave LBB’s Addison Capper an insightful snapshot into what’s exciting him in digital right now, what he looks to for inspiration and the artistic playground in which he studied.
LBB> Where did you grow up and kind of kid were you?
PP> I grew up in a very small town in Northern Ireland called Downpatrick. As a kid I was kind of quiet, into working hard and trying to grow up quickly. When I was about thirteen I got into 3D design for video games and later into illustration and digital.
LBB> You studied Visual Communication at Leeds College of Art in England - creatively, what was the city like to study in?
PP> Leeds is up there with places like Glasgow and Manchester. There are all kinds of creative scenes taking off all the time, lots of people putting on events and making new work. Outside looking in, it’s like people want it so much more because they aren’t in London or some central place. They’re outsiders trying to make this amazing stuff because they can do it just as well with no pretence.
Leeds felt like a playground when I was at art school. I ended up doing intervention art in my last two years, being encouraged to go out into the city and view it from different perspectives. Leeds accommodates for that type of thing much more than somewhere like London.
LBB> You're currently a digital designer at LBi London - what trends in digital design are you finding particularly exciting at the moment?
PP> Agile workflow twinned with the responsive web is very exciting. On the Honda account this has allowed us to create some incredibly innovative customer experiences. Working directly with the client we can concept, prototype and change things quickly.
I’m also pretty excited by the idea of responsive or smart content. Content that is primed with enough meta-data and structure to appear correctly across the responsive web, applications, devices etc. In the end I think great content strategy will make the internet a more fair and open place.
LBB> How would you describe your work?
PP> At LBi I’m a designer but outside I’m a sign painter, illustrator, poet; the list goes on for miles. More recently I’m interested in the back to basics creative thinking that comes before the design process; the kind of thing we were taught on the first day at art school. So right now my work involves a lot of thinking, writing and learning.
LBB> Your design work has a minimalist, retro feel to it. Why is this a theme you enjoy exploring and what inspires it?
PP> A lot of interventions I did early on looked at the relationship between public and private spaces. I explored visual language, such as vintage signage, that signifies comfort and ease. That aesthetic felt natural to me so I’ve just gone with it. Aside from that I love simple visual communication and high quality, understated design.
LBB> Where else do you look for inspiration?
PP> I always try to step away from digital for inspiration. The best work always borrows from areas far away from a screen.
Architecture as a discipline is inspiring because their working process is comparable, only they’re building something more tangible. There’s a great deal creatives can learn from conceptual thinking in architecture, such as phenomenology, which can be applied in our field.
Fashion is also pretty inspiring. It deals exclusively in trends and marketing, so there’s always something really exciting going on, whether that be innovative aesthetics or new ideas in PR.
LBB> Who are your creative heroes?
PP> I have quite a few from different areas: Stefan Sagmeister, Buckminster Fuller, Nous Vous, Graham Tansley, Neil Young, Howard Gossage.
LBB> Outside of work, what activities do you enjoy doing?
PP> Away from work I like to travel. I’m in Paris now, at the time of writing, spending a few days exploring the city. I’m beginning to appreciate it more as I grow up, just like my parents said I would.