Zoo O'Clock with Paul Farrell

ByShop’s natural timber Primary clocks meet Paul Farrell’s bold, bright prints for the Zoo O’Clock collection.

Bringing a unique personality to ByShop, Lionel Lion, Timber Tiger, Bjorn Bear, Polar Bear and Zira Monkey are the animal faces that bring charisma and character to the Zoo O’Clock collection.

When asked about wanting to collaborate with ByShop, Paul said, “it’s the house style that appeals to me, minimal and graphic and I knew that collaborating could help breathe life into my ideas and bring about new ones.”

Paul is represented at art galleries and retailers throughout the UK and Europe. His work is sold at Heals, V&A, Conran, IKEA and Paul Smith.

Zoo O’ Clock is ByShop’s first collaboration and is available now at www.byshop.co.

ByShop speaks to Paul Farrell on the Zoo O'Clock Collection:

I am an illustrator, printmaker and author based in my hometown of Bristol. Following a career as a graphic designer in London for 20 years I am now self-employed, dividing my time between designing at my home studio and screen-printing in the city. Most of my activity is spent creating for my online shop and working with shops and galleries that stock my work. My first illustrated book ‘Great Britain in Colour’ launches in September 2016 with Macmillan.

What made you want to collaborate with ByShop?

I try and keep up with the markets, what is on trend, new and enterprising. I’m very interested in product design and every stage of its process. I have many ideas for this discipline and I was aware of ByShop as being very contemporary, innovative and popular and kept in touch with them. Their products and approach were of a high quality and standard. The style of the work that appealed to me was minimal and graphic and I knew that collaborating with others could help breathe life into my ideas or new ones. Fortunately timing was on my side and ByShop had a product they wanted to release that they felt was appropriate for my style of work.

Tell us a bit more about the Zoo O’clock collection

Primarily it’s collaborative but I have always been interested in nature and had been sketching designs for animal portraits for some time. It was a pleasant surprise to read the brief and I know immediately that this project was going to be enjoyable to work on. When a subject interests you so much then ideas flow and we arrived at the designs soon after. We decided early on to exclude numbers from the clock faces, which helped the designs and was in keeping with our maverick approach. I wanted each animal to have a lot of character and strength and consistency as a collection.

How did you decide on the names of your animal graphics?

It is enjoyable when a product begins to really take on a marketable brand or personality. I wanted them all to have an iconic status and one way to achieve this was to name them. This would give them a unique quality and hopefully added appeal to the customer. I also enjoy words and their association and had a few up my sleeve. Some were inspired by my childhood viewing of Jungle Book and Animal Magic. Timber was plucked from my head and is an example of a name that suited the kind of animal and it’s natural habitat.

What’s your favourite part of the design process?

It would have to be two parts – the start, when every idea still has all its lustre, without any failings and at the end when all has come together and then on with the next. 

How would you describe your approach/style?

I spend a lot of my time observing what is about me, including the detail, and how I see it is illustrated as simply as possible with the aid of colour, shape and line. My style is very graphic, bold and colourful and mainly created on computer using Adobe Illustrator.

How did you develop your graphic style?

I’ve always been interested in graphics from an early age with its clear and vivid signals. It is a process of looking and looking again until you have reduced the subject to its simplest form, and still be recognised. I graduated from Middlesex Polytechnic in 1989 where I studied graphic design and then trained as graphic designer, that both helped tune my interest. My work style is developing all the time and what I see is it becoming more simple and abstract all the time which I guess is typical the more you look and do.

What inspires you?

Many things actually - everyday objects and sights, and then the challenge is to make these seemingly ordinary subjects as interesting as possible; the graphic artists of the last 50 years including Fredrun Shapur, who was a prolific designer and illustrator between the 60s and 80s creating toys and their packaging for Galt in Great Britain and Creative Playthings in America; nature and the great outdoors and my childhood, when toys and life were a little simpler - bold patterns, colours and shapes were everywhere.

What’s your work process?

If I have a new idea it starts life as sketches before I continue with it at the computer. Most of the evolution happens on screen and Adobe Illustrator allows me to be exact as I also artwork all of my designs so they are made ready for any printing process. My designs are run out as positives on to acetate in order to prepare for screen printing or sent online to others that print for me. A lot of the time is used researching colours, printing techniques, finishing and paper stock.