August 3, 2020

Conor Smyth

Discover the interview of Conor Smyth in Monaghan, Ireland

How did you become designer ?

Looking back I always had an interest in design as a kid. I used to spend time redesigning the artwork of my favourite movies using Microsoft paint (no easy task!). However, I never really thought to pursue it as a career. So as it happened, I really just stumbled upon Graphic Design. My first choice in college was Product Design which I studied for a few months but realised fairly quickly that aspects of it weren’t for me. So it was back to the drawing board. Thankfully my father introduced me to a career guidance teacher who pointed me in the direction of Graphic Design as a career. I didn’t know a whole pile about it at that stage, but after 1 year in college that was it – I was hooked!

How would you define your vision of design, your style ?

Mainly, I work on packaging design for alcohol brands, which is a passion of mine (the branding, and the alcohol). I believe you should always try to focus on things you are passionate about. That way you produce the best work possible. It’s more personal. When it comes to alcohol packaging, I think you have to be open to a variety of styles. One style just isn’t an option. Every new brand has a new story to tell and my job is to tell that story the best way possible through visuals. As most designers would appreciate it is extremely difficult to come up with totally original concepts so one of my favourite approaches would be pulling inspiration from old designs of the past, vintage typography, vintage posters or illustration styles and then breathing new life into them.

For the future, what are your professional projects ?

For the moment I’m mainly focused on growing my studio. We have a few projects in the pipeline that I’m very excited about so I’m looking forward to launching those over the coming months. I also dabble a bit in alternative movie poster art and I’ll be part of an exhibition in London this September. I’ll be trying my best to releases a few more prints with Bottleneck Gallery this year also, so looking forward to that too.

What do you like the most in your job ?

Nothing beats holding the final product in your hands. Months of hard work coming together and finally seeing and feeling that final printed product or custom glass bottle. It’s a real buzz. That, and seeing a client genuinely delighted with what you’ve created for them.