IN THE KNOW with Creative Director & Pylon Skateboards Co-Founder Paul Higgins

February 28, 2022 | KNOWSHOW

Hailing from both the action sports and the US music industries, Paul has worked with a full spectrum of clientele. He has won national awards for layout and design, directed photoshoots for global brands and video content for critically acclaimed restaurants. His roles include marketing and branding for some of Canada’s leading wineries and creative development for exquisite home builders as well as the food & beverage industry.

Paul has developed his own successful brands in the action sports marketplace, from Megadestroyer to Pylon Skateboards to name a couple and being part of this industry for most of his life, has been a veteran skateboarder and snowboarder for over 30 years... so yes, his back hurts.

Paul has been responsible for much of the KNOWSHOW branding over the last 15 years and as we head in a new direction, who better to sit down with than the man himself and talk branding, pandemic ventures and how the industry has evolved.

Higgins!, how’s everything going!? Been a minute..
Well if you look past the economical rollercoaster, a societal decline in mental wellbeing and just the collective fumbling of basic empathy towards fellow human beings, coupled with a global physiological forest fire and of course, actual forest fires…..we started a skateboard company - so ya, just totally great!!!

Recent forest fires in the Okanagan came close to the Higgins home.

Haha, that’s about right!  You’re certainly a man that doesn’t seem to sit still for long! Tell us a bit more about what you’ve been up to lately and what you’re currently working on?
Sometimes I feel like I don’t even sleep. For the past seven years, under the umbrella of Super Deluxe Creative we’ve been providing creative direction and brand strategy for a bunch of amazing clients ranging from breweries and wineries, educational institutions to high end home builders. Our process is quite involved and deep diving into brands is definitely exciting as well as rewarding and usually really fun for all involved. Never a dull moment.

Some of the work by Super Deluxe Creative Group for BC Winery, Church & State Wines

Speaking of amazing clients, as someone that’s been responsible for a lot of the KNOWSHOW branding over the last 15 years, including our new look! (Thanks!) Give us your thoughts on the importance of branding, keeping things fresh and interesting.
Times change, markets evolve and design that was once a great fit, can run its course. As a brand evolves, most likely it’s branding evolves along with it. It’s important to remember that a brand isn’t what YOU say you are, it’s what THEY think you are. So, making that connection and having it be an authentic fit is crucial.

Some early KNOWSHOW branding

KNOWSHOW specifically was a fun project because we kept getting to hit it with a fresh coat of paint and each time it was of a different color. We usually themed out each season to mimic the seasonal changes you see in fashion and a lot of the brands that come to the show. Keeping it current to whatever design or current events trends were happening at that time. If the creative director in me would question if what we were doing strengthened the core brand itself or if we were diluting the brand by changing the look twice a year and chasing down every fun trend - The designer in me loved it though. KNOWSHOW is evolving, as is the industry. So many cool new brands coming to the show which keeps it fresh and exciting, so it only made sense the branding would follow suit and reflect that evolution. Shout out to legend Bob K for the OG logo!
So, you started a Skateboard brand before the pandemic?  How’s that going and how has it been navigating this pandemic with a new brand?
We literally had just left the skateboard factory after approving Pylon’s final board prototypes and were driving back home to BC when the government started shutting EVERYTHING down for the first time. We had taken years to get to this point; Planning, testing, so many prototypes, too many prototypes…so we just put on the Juggernaut helmet and charged ahead. 19 months after our first official board sale and Ben (Couves), Alex (Chalmers) and myself are pretty blown away at the response we have received from the skate industry. We love Canadian skateboarding and if we can give back and elevate its history while hanging superior Canadian-made product on skate shop walls, no matter what’s happening…We’re working on it!

Bumpy start for sure! Glad you decided to plough ahead, seems like it worked out for you.  Word on the streets is that the Megadestroyer brand is back out in the world too, can you tell us more about that and your plans for the brand?
Ah, “That famous old brand!” yes well, since 1999 Megadestroyer has been one giant love letter to our friends. A reflection of the brother/sisterhood that has built up over those decades. Over the last few years, we started focusing more on quality of garments and found ourselves asking “what is Megadestroyer” and if it was confusing to us, we figured it was time for some brand clarity. So we started planning to split the brand about 5 years ago into a core skate company and a separate clothing company. Pylon Skateboards was born and Megadestroyer is going through a bit of a growing up phase you could say… but you have to fart while you say that.

As someone that has been in and around KNOWSHOW from the beginning, what are some of the earlier memories you have and how has the show evolved over the years?
The show kind of started because it was a bummer to look at skate stuff sitting beside camping cookware. Skate, snow and streetwear were independently important and being lumped in with household brands felt weird. 15+ years later, now you might see a skateboard collaboration with that same camping cookware and you have companies crossing over into high fashion legacy houses. The lines are blurring, which is always interesting to see if something authentic comes out of that. Staying true when it comes to your brand keeps it special. It’s not all chocolate and peanut butter!

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