5 mins with…Paul Russell — Speaker at Spring Conversations, CHC 2019

3 years ago by

Ahead of Design Assembly’s Spring Conversations Christchurch Event, we spend 5 Mins With… Paul Russell from Kallan & Co Pacific. 

Tickets still available here

Thursday 19th September
6 – 8pm
XCHC, 376 Wilsons Rd, Waltham, Christchurch


What’s your background and how did you get into working in design?

Design has been a 15 year obsession for me now. I wasn’t particularly great at anything at school, or very interested in anything until I discovered graphic design. Knowing Design was my future, and also thinking I knew better – I dropped out of high school in my final year to do a 9 month course at a local design school.
After this I started my first design job and very quickly realised I knew nothing. So, I went to study design at CPIT (now Ara), and got a Bachelor of Visual Communication. From there, I got another job, realised I still knew next to nothing, and have since been hard at work getting to where I am now.
I worked in agencies for about four years after studying, and then started my own thing, before I merged with Kallan & Co to head up our Pacific studio.
Tell about the project you are most proud of and why?

I would have to say the Leaft Foods brand we have just launched. While I have worked on many other great brands, this one in particular has been extra special for multiple reasons. Firstly, there’s the feel good factor of helping a company that is on a mission to create a better future for everyone. It’s also very inspiring to be able to help realise the brand presence of a company that will most likely become a very big deal over the next five years for such positive reasons. The team at Leaft were also amazing to work with. They had a clear vision, but also gave us a lot of freedom throughout the entire project.


What’s been the most challenging project you’ve worked on and why?
At the risk of sounding like I am avoiding the question, every new project is the most challenging.
You won’t last long in the design industry if you don’t have a tonne of passion for what you do. For me, this means there is a huge psychological pressure at the beginning of every job to create something that is both right for the client, and is also something that I am genuinely proud to say I worked on. It’s a hard balance, and after all of this time in the industry, I still have an enormous amount of self doubt at the beginning of every project. It never gets easier.



Where do you go for inspiration?
In terms of business, NPR’s How I Built This podcast is amazing! Any time I am feeling burnt out or questioning the next move, a single episode of that show is enough to get me super excited about where I am headed. In terms of design, the usual suspects. Behance, SiteInspire, Dribbble. We have amassed a good collection of design books at the studio now also.
Where to next?
We are working on some fantastic projects that will be launching in the next few months. The quality bar keeps raising, and projects are becoming more challenging and complex in a good way. We also have some big plans for early next year which we can’t talk about yet. So stay tuned!


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