CAMPAIGN CRAFT: PORTFOLIO; Alan Aboud

Alan Aboud admits he ‘fell into advertising almost by default. It certainly wasn’t what I intended to do when I was at college.’ College was Central St Martin’s where the 30-year-old Dubliner studied graphic design. His 1989 degree show was striking enough to persuade the fashion guru, Paul Smith, to hand Aboud one of his first freelance commissions.

Alan Aboud admits he ‘fell into advertising almost by default. It

certainly wasn’t what I intended to do when I was at college.’ College

was Central St Martin’s where the 30-year-old Dubliner studied graphic

design. His 1989 degree show was striking enough to persuade the fashion

guru, Paul Smith, to hand Aboud one of his first freelance commissions.



It is a relationship that has blossomed. Aboud now designs and art

directs press ads and promotional material for around seven different

Paul Smith lines, including the successful R. Newbold workwear range.

‘When I started working for Paul, it was quite small scale,’ Aboud

recalls. ‘Now it’s huge, particularly in Japan, where there are more

than 60 outlets. I owe a lot to Paul but I think I have repaid his

trust.’



Though the Paul Smith workload is perennially demanding, Aboud has

remained fiercely freelance over the years, producing work for a range

of clients, including Sony Music, Thames and Hudson, Channel 4 Learning,

New York’s Whitney Museum and the LA-based sunglasses manufacturer,

Oliver Peoples. Last year he helped out Lowe Howard-Spink on a press

campaign for Vauxhall.



Working from his London office, Aboud’s creative output tends to be

coolly understated, though his hard-hitting series of postcards for the

Terrence Higgins Trust, with their uncompromising juxtaposition of words

and images, generated a suitable amount of controversy. ‘I tend to strip

things down to the fundamentals,’ he says, ‘so we’ve never been flavour

of the month - but we don’t go in and out of fashion either.’



The next step for Aboud is moving images; he already has a series of

treatments at test stage for MTV Asia and he plans to pursue this avenue

seriously in the new year.



In the meantime, he will continue to push forward the boundaries with

Paul Smith’s press ads, which are currently illustration-based. ‘The

trouble with fashion advertising is that if you take the logos off, you

don’t know who the client is. I want people to recognise a Paul Smith ad

at 50 paces.’



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