Behind the powerful visuals and impressive branding prowess of Proj-X’s customised exhibition displays is a fantastic graphics department. At the front of its helm stands fearless leader Andrew Smith.
As Graphics Manager at Proj-X, Andrew oversees our in-house graphics production, seamlessly integrating construction and state-of-the-art printing to produce elegant, modern, professional displays. With a full 17 years of working in the industry, Andrew has a demonstrated excellence for creative inspiration and careful execution.
He’s been a designer and finished artist for advertising companies, but his experience doesn’t stop there. He also assumed several roles in an animation company, diving into cell and background painting, design marketing, promotional items and on-screen graphics for TV all within a fast-paced, deadline-heavy work environment. Adding architectural and landscape design to his CV, Andrew gained horticultural knowledge and a knack for interpreting blueprints and elevations.
These ‘ingredients’ made a perfect recipe for success at Proj-X, where he joined the team in 2010. Since then, Andrew’s done nothing short of impressing us with his ability to design and prepare graphics while keeping production to a tight schedule.
“I have the best job in the company,” he said. “I enjoy designing the graphics, producing the printed elements and seeing my ideas being realised on large-scale projects.”
Important for our broad range of techniques and applications, Andrew fuels our department with diverse thinking and creative ideas – as well as an endless supply of humour.
What is your favourite Proj-X design and why?
I enjoy the constant challenges of creating new graphic concepts for the Airbus Group’s exhibits because of the finished size and scale of the projects, not to mention we do a variety of airshows for them around the world.
Rheinmetall’s display used unique stand design and graphic treatments, and I loved the challenges associated with production.
I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed working on Hewlett Packard’s exhibition stands, road shows and displays as they always seem to require dynamic and bold graphics.
Saying that, my “favourite” design would either be the current job I’m working on or the next one, as these are what I’m most passionate about at the time.
What fuels your productivity and creativity?
Caffeine and a pay check?
From early on in my career, I have always been focused on improving technical capabilities, whether it’s using the latest software, developing faster production techniques or keeping up with industry trends.
It’s hard to define what fuels my creativity. It can be an easy and natural process if I have a good understanding of what a client wants. On other occasions, I need to spend time researching what designs and concepts work for specific requirements and use those as guidelines. A good handle on art and design history, added to my own experience in what I consider good design, also helps.
What’s your most quirky work habit?
When I have a large, intensive tasks ahead of me I listen to Heavy Metal. I honestly believe the pace of the music makes you work faster.
I’m also a bit of a night owl and find challenging designs easier to approach during the night, as this can take time that’s not available with other production requirements during the normal office workday.
In your opinion, what does the future of graphic design and print production look like?
As traditional print areas such as books, magazines, newspapers, packaging, billboards and every other kind of promotional graphic becomes digitised, so too will the exhibition industry.
A couple years back, one of the most dynamic stands Proj-X created was for NEC, which consisted only of LED screens and no printed panels. I can see this becoming the norm in the exhibition industry in 10 years’ time. There will always be a place for graphic designers – it’s the method of delivery that will change and evolve with technology.