LEGENDARY INTERVIEW

Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Paul Robb ("PR") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

PR : I was educated in Ireland where I attend the University of Ulster at Belfast. After graduation I worked locally, then in 1995 I was lucky enough to gain a place at Central Saint Martins on the MA communications course, but was also offered a design job in Television that I took instead.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

PR : I finished University when there was the transformation from paste-up to digital, I think it's that making beautiful typography that pushes me on.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

PR : I chose, much to my father's disbelief, so I had to put myself through University, by working and supporting myself.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

PR : I'm a brand designer, type designer, and art director. I would love the time to concentrate 100% on my type design.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

PR : Push yourself, be humble, learn to accept your mistakes, work with great people, and never-give-up.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

PR : That magically extra mile they go to gain the perfection in the form and the emotion it stimulates.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

PR : For me, it's about the narrative, how the design envelopes a clarity of vision and excellence in execution.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

PR : Good design value is immense and helps deliver both cultural and economic returns.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

PR : it would have to be to concentrate 100% on my type design.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

PR : It would have to be a full mega font family with serif, sanserif, and display fonts. What a dream to develop a structure so complex and unifying at the same time.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

PR : For me, it would have to be the passion of the realization of an idea and having fun doing it.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

PR : Design legends that made the most impression would have to include, Josef Muller-Brockmann, Otl Aicher, Wolfgang Weingart, Jan Tschichold to name a few.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

PR : I love great work, that makes me think... I wish I would have thought of that solution.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

PR : Probably the one I am currently working on is my favorite and the greatest feeling is when the client is on board and the market response is positive.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

PR : Lots of research, lots of reading around the subject and lots of long hours.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

PR : Creating a system.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

PR : My biggest supporter has to have been my business partner and wife who has supported me through University and the last 30 years.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

PR : The enjoyment of analyzing and realizing projects.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?

PR : Hard work and dedication have to be the accepted principle and this work is not 9-5!

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?

PR : Work should be presented from initial concept sketches, through to the final execution, clearly and concisely.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

PR : I have new Typefaces in production and a rebranding system with a mega-type family that I am designing

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

PR : To collaborate with the best design agencies and businesses around the world developing personalized type solutions.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

PR : Original ideas and systems that communicate immediately.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

PR : All design helps create solutions to better understand our world.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

PR : A mega-type family that I am designing. It is such a challenge to make the system work together.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

PR : I enjoy what I do and that is the most important thing because it creates design magic.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

PR : Creating sustainable systems that last!

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

PR : It has to be sustainable in all its forms. More research with systems that are perfect and lasting.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

PR : It could be a week or as we guide clients for decades to grow and change.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

PR : Research and reading around the problem.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

PR : Always listen to the market, the client, and the team.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

PR : Great research and experimentation!

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

PR : It is always there throughout the process. But technology doesn't have the design solution only the means to realize and execute it!

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

PR : Fortunately, I started on the Mac in the early 90's and haven't looked back! If someone hands me a PC I have no idea how it works!!!

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

PR : All design is about the human factor and everything about it is to design an emotive response. It is critical in communicating a space, an object, or a concept, so for me, it is a fundamental consideration.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?

PR : Where can I get the typeface!!

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?

PR : I wish i came up with that solution!

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

PR : We work in teams and I believe in experimentation. I love to see designers experimenting to see how far that can push themselves and the project.

DL: Which people you interacted had the most influence on your design?

PR : I was lucky to work with some great designers in my formative years after university in London, so their experience and energy pushed me in the direction and vision I have now.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

PR : Conceptual subjects, sociology, and human-centered design subjects.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?

PR : Lots of time and energy! Young designers must understand this is not a 9-5 environment!

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?

PR : Eric Gill, I would love to have seen how he drew his letterforms.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?

PR : Awards for me are about pier recognition, and having the fortitude to continue.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

PR : My favorite part of the year has to be late June and early July, with the light and heat of my Italian summer. It recharges my batteries!

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?

PR : I once lost my diary and turned up a week late for a job interview, apologized about my situation, and got the job! As it turned out it was the position that created my career. So my advice is never to give up and believe in your abilities.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?

PR : Personal projects in the early morning and late evening when the studio is quiet!

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

PR : I would always draw, and when I was 7 won a completion designing a poster for an ice cream brand, of which the prize was free ice cream for the summer. Now after that who wouldn't want to continue on a creative path that pays in ice cream!!!

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?

PR : Let's hope society can save this place we all call home!

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?

PR : Thank you very much!

LEGENDARY DESIGNER

PAUL ROBB IS A CREATIVE DIRECTOR AND TYPE DESIGNER WITH OVER 30 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, AND IS A PROFESSOR OF GRAPHIC DESIGN AT THE UNIVERSITY OF PERUGIA, AND A PROFESSOR ON THE MA BRAND DESIGN COURSE OF THE ACADEMIA OF PERUGIA. SINCE 2000 HE IS CREATIVE DIRECTOR FOR SALT&PEPPER AN AWARD-WINNING MULTIDISCIPLINARY CONTEMPORARY GRAPHIC DESIGN STUDIO FOCUSED ON TRANSFORMING BRANDS AND BUSINESSES. EXPRESSIVENESS AND AUTHENTICITY ARE THE BASIS OF HIS WORK WHICH IS COMPLETED WITH A BALANCED FUSION OF CREATIVE DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY. IN 2020 HE STARTED S6 FOUNDRY WHICH DEVELOPS CREATIVE FONTS BY DESIGNERS FOR DESIGNERS. BASED IN ITALY THEY ARE AN INDEPENDENT CONTEMPORARY DIGITAL TYPE FOUNDRY CRAFTING RETAIL TYPEFACES FOR USE IN DIGITAL AND PRINT APPLICATIONS. HIS WORK HAS BEEN EXHIBITED THROUGHOUT THE WORLD AND HIS POSTER DESIGNS ARE HELD IN PERMANENT MUSEUM COLLECTIONS. HE REGULARLY COLLABORATES WITH FILM DIRECTORS, ADVERTISING AGENCIES, INSTITUTIONS, AND TYPE DESIGNERS AROUND THE WORLD.


Florid Sans Typeface Design

Florid Sans Typeface Design by Paul Robb


Aprex Family Typeface Specimen

Aprex Family Typeface Specimen by Paul Robb


Suprala Font Family Typeface Specimen

Suprala Font Family Typeface Specimen by Paul Robb


SP Saffron Grotesk Type Specimen

SP Saffron Grotesk Type Specimen by Paul Robb


Type Specimen Alskar Typeface

Type Specimen Alskar Typeface by Paul Robb


Bla Bla Serif Typeface Specimen

Bla Bla Serif Typeface Specimen by Paul Robb


Abaliss Sans Typeface Specimen

Abaliss Sans Typeface Specimen by Paul Robb


Lunema Specimen Typeface Book

Lunema Specimen Typeface Book by Paul Robb


Branding Accademia of Perugia Brand System and Campaign

Branding Accademia of Perugia Brand System and Campaign by Paul Robb


Brand design s6 Foundry Brand System and Campaign

Brand design s6 Foundry Brand System and Campaign by Paul Robb


Plasma SF Typeface Design

Plasma SF Typeface Design by Paul Robb


Astra Make-up Company Re-branding

Astra Make-up Company Re-branding by Paul Robb


Monk Font Typeface Design

Monk Font Typeface Design by Paul Robb


Light Luce Typographic Book

Light Luce Typographic Book by Paul Robb

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