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Day in the Life – Paul Tallon, Design and Visualisation Manager

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Paul Tallon – Design and visualisation manager

Tell us about your career journey to the 3M BIC:

I originally started work with the intention to carve out a career in set design and worked for a company called the Scenic Workshop in Bootle, Liverpool. The industry wasn’t what I expected, however, so I changed tack and went to university to study industrial design. Following university, I spent some time at an animation studio in Manchester that made children’s cartoons and worked on a short that was pitched to Disney. I then moved to an industrial design firm in Leeds before finally landing my role at the 3M BIC in 2013.

Describe a typical day at work:

A typical day for me is checking through my emails first thing, contacting clients to update them on the progress on their projects and setting up meetings with new ones to discuss their product problems. The rest of my day is spent working on the projects, 3D modelling (for the most part) so that the product is ready for visual demonstration or practical prototyping. Where necessary, I often sketch out the product before I sit down to model it.

What keeps you motivated at work 

My work is not dissimilar to working on a 3D puzzle and so part of the motivation comes from tackling the problems that I face and how to overcome them. That and a good bit of music on in the background!

The most exciting thing about your job?

The most exciting thing about my job is the variation of each day and the potential to really use all the skills I have to navigate the problems that are presented by clients. I really enjoy being able to unravel these problems and help our clients on their product development journey.

The most challenging?

The most challenging projects are those that are subjective. Engineering work has a very structured set of outcomes, those of a more open ended or blue-sky nature are the hardest to reign in. The most challenging project to date, however, was for an industrial chemical company that needed their whole site modelled in 3D and presented to their board. We used drones and photogrammetry as well as conventional modelling and texturing, rendering and animation video editing.

Time of the day you’re most creative or inspired?

I am most creative in the mornings and especially on the way into work when I am thinking about the day ahead and the projects I will be focusing on.

Proudest career moment?

When the 3M BIC design team lifted the National Technology Awards trophy in 2019.

Best piece of advice you’ve been given?

To always make sure the parameters of a project are defined before proceeding.

What innovations should we look out for in your industry?

I believe that bioprinting is something to keep a close eye on. It is in its relative infancy at the moment, but there are all kinds of applications for this technology on the horizon, not just in medical applications.

Out of the office…?

Out of the office I am always finding new places to explore. I love to hike and wild camp and recently conquered ‘Jack’s Rake’. I’m also a keen illustrator. You can follow my work @tallonarts.

If you are interested in speaking to Paul about your product development challenges, why not take advantage of our new Design Diversification package. Find out more here or drop Paul a line on

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