Getting to Know: Niall McRiner
We are getting to know our latest addition to the team, Niall McRiner, Senior Design Consultant, who joined us in January.
With a career working on some of the world’s most recognised brands and products, physically bringing them to life through packaging, product and experience design, Niall reflects on his first few months and the exciting projects ahead…
“As someone with a wealth of experience in 2D, brand led creative work, how do you see this impacting on how you may approach and add value to the projects you’ll work on with the KD team?”
When we consider how many companies and products can do the same thing and are looking to appeal to the same people it poses the question, how do they differentiate from each other? Good design acknowledges that there is a symbiotic relationship between what a product is offering and how a consumer engages with it, but there are additional opportunities to elevate this relationship further by layering up further brand thinking – something that can often be overlooked. Each and every client is ultimately a brand and presents an opportunity – either for KD to help them gain a deep understanding of their own brand or build new consumer touchpoints on top of a strong existing brand foundation.
Given my past experience, I will be looking for opportunities at KD to demonstrate how design thinking combined with brand awareness can manifest as visual, physical or behavioural design executions across our client portfolio and as a result make even deeper emotional connections with the people who use the products and services.
“Given KD’s multidisciplinary team approach, what do you see as the biggest opportunities that this enhanced tool kit of expertise creates?”
The opportunity is twofold, I think. Firstly, I’m a great believer in individuals and teams drawing inspiration from beyond their own specific craft and KD’s mixture of expertise allows for different talents to approach the same brief from a different viewpoint and angle, stretching each other’s view on collaborative problem solving.
Secondly – in this ever-changing world – our clients will increasingly be looking for ideas that keep up with trends, manufacturing techniques, new materials, alternative service models, exciting technologies and more. KD have the vision to dream up those ideas but most importantly, the capability to pull them off, for real, all in one building.
“It must be exciting for you to look at tackling design challenges within new sectors such as the medical and industrial sectors, as well as the FMCG space which you know so well. What are you most looking forward to about this and your new role at KD?”
I’ve never been particularly content standing still professionally, so the chance to stretch into areas which I haven’t previously focused on, is something I’m relishing. I’m one of those people who wants to know everything, so I’m really looking forward to onboarding different types of information from multiple areas, whilst still within the confines of design.
All projects we work on at KD reflect our message, ‘designing a better world’ – one of the biggest attractions for me joining the team. As designers and creators, we are in a powerful position to instigate significant change, as we’ve been blessed with the tools and skills to make people’s lives better when we do our job well. It goes without saying that our medical and industrial projects are making great strides with some life changing programmes of work – which will be hugely exciting to contribute to. The FMCG space also has its part to play in designing a better world as by its very nature, fast moving consumer goods use a lot of packaging and a huge amount of single use plastic. The solutions to these issues, will almost certainly come from the design industry and I look forward to being part of a KD team right at the forefront of this change.
“You’ve recently moved to Bristol from London, can you tell us what inspired you to the make the change and how are you finding life in Bristol so far?”
I wanted a change from London but still desired life in a creative hub and there was only one choice for me. Bristol is a city that punches above its weight. It has an entrepreneurial spirit about it, a bit of a rebellious mentality and is oozing artistic and cultural resourcefulness – it reminds me very much of Berlin in its own way. I’m discovering a much higher standard of living here and there are brilliant links to Cornwall, Devon and South Wales, for that extra hit of headspace when you need it.
Life is great so far. I’ve fallen in love with my local high street (North Street), I’m out in the Somerset countryside within minutes and I can walk to work, which is in the heart of the city – you can’t beat that!