An Interview With… Simon Paul

Simon Paul Headshot


What do you do to relax?

Many of my interests relate to my love of the industrial history of Tyneside where Kino is based, whether that be exploring the region on foot, photography, historical mapping or getting a bird’s eye view with my drone. I also like watching weird films and eating good food.


What is the best piece of advice anyone has ever given you?

Don’t worry if you don’t have everything worked out. Life is a learning process and even those who seem to know exactly what they are doing are really just winging it like everybody else!


What was your biggest challenge to date?

When I first started at Kino, I had only just learned how to build websites. When the decision was made at Kino to move from using a bespoke CMS to WordPress, I was tasked with working out how to create templates with no PHP coding experience at all, which I achieved by deconstructing existing templates and finding out what made them tick.


Who are your heroes, both in and out of the business?

I got into the industry at the time of a very big shift in thinking in web design, away from graphics led Flash experiences to the rise of open, accessible standards and the separation of form and function through CSS markup. At the time, Jakob Nielsen’s usability principles were hugely inspiring and have influenced all my work since. I also have great admiration for anyone who manages to overcome their own personal hurdles, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem to others.


What made you want to work in the design industry?

Right from the youngest age I have had a keen eye for design, drawing recognisable images where others where just scribbling. I was always inspired by emerging technology and my first computer, a Commodore 16, got me hooked on creating digital images even if graphics were rudimentary at that stage. A natural progression from that to Deluxe Paint on the Amiga and finally Adobe software on PC led me to where I am today.


What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

It’s always pleasing to see your work “in the wild” and I would be lying if I said having one of my animations appear 8 stories tall on a giant screen in Times Square, New York didn’t give me a little boost!


What is your key tool in any marketing campaign?

Experience. To be good at anything you must immerse yourself in it. Surround yourself with inspiration from other designers as well as the world around you, create all the time to keep your imagination fresh, use familiar tools as often as possible and try new ones, push your limits.


What is the best thing about social media?

Social media can shrink boundaries and give individuals the power to make their small voice heard in a big world, connecting people in a global community.


What is your favourite aspect of your job?

The satisfaction of nailing a design and handing over a piece of work to a client who loves it. Receiving positive reactions to something you have spent time and effort creating makes it all worthwhile.


Favourite quote…

“The Net is a waste of time, and that’s exactly what’s right about it.” – William Gibson