It’s a shame that these new posters by the UK designer, who goes by the name Pâté (more on that in a moment), are only on view at the Discovery Channel’s recently opened medical and wellbeing center, a London outpost where employees can pop in to see a doctor for physical exams, flu shots, and minor surgery. Free, in-house medical care is already a cut above the norm, so it should come as no surprise that the company is also ahead of the game when it comes to commissioning original artwork for its highly heath-aware halls.
Instead of the typical anatomical fare, Discovery worked with Pâté on a series of posters that illustrate how incredible our bodies are, the underlying messages being that we can help keep them that way with regular (and extremely convenient) visits to the doctor.
“I was given a list of amazing body facts and given free rein to pick,” says Pâté. “For me, this is the best kind of brief, where I’m able to think of the ideas and execute them.”
We wouldn’t mind flipping through a whole book of these fun facts while waiting for a check-up. Executed in Pâté’s signature style, the clean, simple, and highly effective illustrations are a superb example of communication design at work. He’s taken a similarly bold, graphic approach in past projects that range from a campaign for the V&A Museum of Childhood, which he credits with launching his illustration career, to his NSFW “Dirty Alphabet” series, and all sorts of other so-called Coarse Pâté.
So how’d he get stuck with that name? “When I was a boy,” he says, “I won a holiday camp swimming competition. My medal was handed to me by an Olympic gold medal-winning swimmer called Duncan Goodhew. He misread my name, Paul Pateman, as Paul Pâtéman. My friends found this hilarious and the nickname Pâtéman stuck.”
It was later shortened to Pâté, which led to his logo of a duck in the blender that pretty much sums up all the qualities he loves in design and illustration: “a good idea that’s funny, executed simply and beautifully.”
Even though illustration is now his calling card, Pâté started out at AMV BBDO, London’s biggest advertising agency (the self-described “most creative agency in the UK”) before moving on to become a creative director at the agency TBWA\London. That background has a lot to do with his uncanny knack for visual puns and his ability to pair the perfect image with subtle copy.
To see more from Pâté, pick up a January copy of Creative Review for his next series of editorial illustrations, or stay tuned for a short documentary about his life and work, currently in production.