Rick Byrne: Factoring in Fun and Creativity

Designer of Byrne Communications

by Elizabeth Lavis


14 Dec 2023

Gold in Logos for Graphic Design 2022
 “Always add a much more creative or funny concept in the mix when showing your ideas to clients”

Designer and logo guy Rick Byrne thrives by seeking that creative spark in his surroundings and advises up-and-coming designers to do the same. “Find inspiration in the things around you,” he says. “Always add a much more creative or funny concept in the mix when showing your ideas to clients.” Byrne’s personal philosophy is to have fun and be playful, whether by incorporating comedic concepts into his work or shaking up how the image, type, or color appear for a refreshing and unique end product.

This unconventional approach has served him well, especially in out-of-the-box ideas that get great results. “I once had the idea that if you stick a rodeo cowboy on anything, it would become very funny,” he says. “Later, when I was working on Bello Pizza in L.A. I added a cowboy to a giant slice of melting pizza. I had no idea that one of the founders loved to dress up as a cowboy every chance he got. It was a crazy idea, but it was the concept that got picked.”

Byrne’s fondness for the whimsical means he doesn’t adhere to one concrete style. “I don’t have a set style, and I often try to explore new ones all the time,” he says. “I’m impressed with my work more when I produce something that seems even better than or different from the rest of my work.”

Dublin-born Byrne realized his creative flair at a very early age. “I started making my own constructions and toys out of paper and cardboard,” he says. He kept with the artistic nature of his young years by attending the Dublin Institute of Technology and Central St. Martin’s for his undergrad and postgrad in design. 

"Google Rise Summit", Rick Byrne

Although Byrne loves to color outside of the lines, he takes each client's request seriously. “I look into the brief deeply,” he says. “I research the product and project and always insist upon an in-person kick-off meeting with the client or stakeholder.” This helps him get a sense of the existing marketplace and churns up the creative process for the real work.

Ultimately, it all comes down to that coveted “wow” factor that answers both the client’s professional needs and puts something new out into the world. Byrne keeps burnout at bay by dipping into multiple projects at the same time and enjoying fresh bursts of inspiration from each. If he needs to relax, he watches movies or television to keep him calm while designing.

Byrne counters harsh criticism by trying to tap into his clients’ reasoning. “Some people you may never please, but if you listen to the stakeholder very carefully, it’s easier to get it right,” he says. Ultimately, Byrne derives the most joy from the big mental hit of serotonin he gets from conceptualizing a great logo design. “Then, I get to show other people, and when I hear the praise, I get an emotional hit, too,” he says.

Professionally, Byrne wants to keep growing by not setting for the work he’s already done and constantly pushing to get better. “I’d like to be more creative in my solutions and have a more consistent level with them,” he says. “I’d also like to create more funny concepts.”

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