From working in his parents art shop making posters for local businesses and DJs and with almost 20 years experience in the industry, Paul joined McCann Dublin four years ago. Here, he tells us a little bit about his background and how he got to where he is today.
Coming up on twenty years working in the industry, I’ve seen quite a few changes. As a teenager I was inspired by The Zoo TV U2 concert. They rocked into town with this crazy show that looked like it fell from space. A mash of up satellite television and rock music – I had never seen anything like it and I was hooked. I watched and read everything I could find about the show. I was cutting up magazines and making my own mashups with PVA glue and markers.
I worked part time in my parents art shop making posters for local business and DJs, and while I had an interest in both computers and design I couldn’t make my mind up on what to study. After doing a PC installation and maintenance courses, I came across the now defunct Arthouse in Temple Bar and did a course in digital audio visual applications. I loved every minute of it! It was where I really got into web design and got my first job as a multimedia designer in 2000 off the back of it.
The role has changed over the years and I found myself working as a flash designer, graphics designer, web designer, video editor, animator and even a copy writer across a range of different sectors. In 2007, I got a job in a promotional advertising agency converting above the line ads into below the line campaigns. I worked with two great creative directors at the time who were both inspiring and we churned out some great campaigns for 7up and Pepsi and I even got to work for Manchester United.
In 2011 I moved to a web agency and this was quite different. The detail that goes into large sites blew my mind at first, and I was very aware of how much I still had to learn. I worked mainly on promotional marketing and campaign-based sites while studying user experience design in my spare time. One project that stood out for me here was the redesign of the National Car Test booking site (NCT). This project kept me up at night, I couldn’t sleep thinking that every car owner in Ireland was going to hate my website. But I stuck with it. Using all my previous and new found experiences, I put together a site that I’m proud of and the one I’ll mention when people ask me what I do for a living.
I joined McCann in 2016 and the last 4 years have been great, I still get to work on the occasional fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) site, but these days I’m working mainly in user experience design. I have worked on a number of exciting projects for Dublin City Council (DCC) including the redesign of Dublincity.ie (currently in development). This extensive redesign evolved over a period of time from workshops and interviews to rebuilding a department focused website into a more user-friendly site. A complete overhaul of the current structure and content audit, we delivered an excellent prototype that is currently being used to develop the new site.