Paul Allworthy comes to Dugan & O’Sullivan, an accomplished designer with a wealth of experience in brand design, publishing and magazine design. Able to manage the many moving parts large collaborative efforts require, Allworthy is letting the mix of his corporate and freelance histories set a tone for unique, pragmatic and coherent web and identity design. We sat down with Paul to talk about coming to Dugan & O’Sullivan, the work he’s done, the work he’s doing and what’s coming up.
You have a diverse and varied design history, what were you doing before starting at Dugan & O’Sullivan?
I was working in advertising as a Senior Brand Designer, with large rebrands for companies like Flybuys and 7-Eleven. Before that I was working in magazines and digital publishing.
You’ve done quite a bit of freelance work, what are the benefits of this part of design?
My career so far has been a mix of freelancing and full-time gigs. I used to design and art direct a couple of independent magazine titles with some collaborators, so freelance work allowed me to balance my time between the two. Freelancing was always a mix of working with private, small-business clients and doing stints in-house at various agencies. To see the inner workings of so many different studios, gave me a great insight into what does and doesn’t work – from a business sense and from a culture sense, not to mention things like processes, workflow, file management, client management etc.
What values and goals do you like to bring to each project?
I’m interested in creating work that is based on ideas and carries meaning, makes connections and evokes emotion. Ultimately I’m interested in how the end product makes someone feel, to me that’s the essence and power of branding.
What have you been working on?
Since I started at Dugan & O’Sullivan I’ve been working on a lot of web design projects. I’ve always worked on websites as part of bigger brand jobs so it’s been interesting to get a concentrated run of 5 or 6 in a row – I’ve definitely sharpened my Figma skills. We have a lot of brand identity projects coming up, so I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth stuck into those.
What do you find the most satisfying about working in design?
I have always found visual identity projects to be the most satisfying. Translating strategy and positioning into a living, breathing brand that connects with people on an emotional level, while still functioning in real-world applications is quite challenging. You’re planting the seeds of every future touchpoint for that brand which is a big responsibility, and without deep consideration, your garden could end up a real mess.
Saying that, the projects I’m most proud of so far are some of the magazines I’ve worked on. I got to work with so many talented people – writers, photographers, illustrators, musicians. It’s a truly collaborative process and takes a lot of coordination and effort to pull it all together. It’s a pretty good feeling when you get that final product in your hand – the creation of a document that will still be on my shelf in 30 years.