The Freelance Senior Packaging Designer is able to motivate others and has a team player attitude. He/she shows initiative, is able to work independently with minimal supervision, and demonstrates ownership of project deliverables. The Freelance Senior Packaging Designer exhibits eagerness to learn and grow professionally and proactively seeks out growth opportunities while maintaining a strong commitment to creative excellence.
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Get your Monday going with our picks for the best packaging projects and articles from last week!
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By: Ronald Voigt
Our Pantone Labs survey of over 600 designers revealed that a common challenge designers experience is obtaining buy-in for their ideas. Clearly, most designers don’t think of themselves as leaders. But why?
A designer is a person who plans the form, look or workings of something before it is made or built. A leader guides a group or an organization towards a destination, a vision. These definitions of “designer” and “leader” similarly involve tasks like planning and envisioning something that doesn’t exist, then communicating that vision to others and showing them the way to achieve it. Oftentimes both designers and leaders do something innovative that has never been done before.
If these activity definitions seem aligned, why do we tend to separate them in our minds? People discount the leadership that designers provide during the innovation process. Could it be that designers just don’t fit with many people’s conceptions of a leader’s personality profile?
I wondered how designers and leaders compare according to something like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), a widely-used personality test measuring combinations of four traits to reasonably predict which personality types will thrive in which professional roles.
The Leader’s Profile
ENTJ (Extroverted-iNtuition-Thinking-Judging) is often referred to as the “Commander type” or the “Chief type,” encapsulating the bold, innovative and strong-willed leaders who will pave their own way towards a vision. They see the world as a series of possibilities with challenges that they want to be responsible for conquering. This visionary quality, coupled with a knack for strategic planning, is why this type often produces the executives, the titans of the business world.
Do we tend to think designers are introverts and leaders are extroverts, and thus assume they are fundamentally different? How do leaders and designers compare?
Introversion vs. Extroversion
When describing the typical designer, it’s likely that you’d categorize them as introverted. Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking, notes that, “the majority of spectacularly creative people across a range of fields are introverts, or at least comfortable with spending large chunks of time alone.” And Van Gogh famously said, “Often whole days will pass without my speaking to anyone.”
A quick, Myers-Briggs-esque poll by Michael Roller found that designers are about evenly split between introversion and extroversion. So, it would appear that introverts aren’t the only ones finding a calling in design.
Thinking vs. Feeling
Also split down the middle was the decision-making trait. Thinkers make decisions objectively, valuing directness in their interactions and workflow process which makes them adept at establishing guidelines for creative content development. Feelers, by contrast, make decisions subjectively, practicing empathy and evaluating context to decide what is best, while considering all people involved.
So, if I/E and T/F are pretty much even, is there a trait that the majority of designers do exhibit?
The Intuition trait and the Judging trait seemed to be most prevalent among those designers polled, and those just so happen to line up well with a classic profile of a leader.
Intuition vs. Sensing
Both designers and leaders are very high in Intuition (N). Intuition serves innovation because it allows designers and leaders to find creative solutions, transcend stagnation and spot the value of a new practice, technique or path that lacks any precedence. Growth and evolution require leading the way for others without much data or past examples from which to draw conclusions, which Sensing personalities couldn’t do without. Therefore, designers and leaders alike move beyond their senses to see patterns and relationships within the new information to achieve their innovative visions.
Judging vs. Perceiving
While the Intuition trait addresses high-level creativity and innovation, the Judging trait drives the design aspect of the role. Within design, there must be an end goal because, at the end of the process, there is a user. The design process must take into consideration usage goals and experiences, so designers must utilize their Judging trait frequently to decide which solutions work and which do not. Leaders are well known for being decisive, even in the face of ambiguity, since other people depend on the leader’s decisions to direct their work or their behavior. Both designers and leaders use their Intuition and Judging traits in very similar ways. They both straddle the line of idealist and rationalist, with aptitudes for originality, insightful problem solving, and planning.
Why it Matters
I believe that in the business world, designers don’t get (and don’t give themselves) enough credit for the leadership they do demonstrate. Designers lead by putting their vision on paper, or creating a prototype, and by determining the specifications through which the vision becomes possible. Designers crystallize the goal by specifying as many variables as possible: choosing a particular color according to where it will be seen, the size according to pixels or millimeters, a weight of paper stock or a type of material, the explicit print process, or the finishing. By confidently making these choices, designers become the definers of innovative visions, who can lead others to produce groundbreaking work.
Ronald Voigt has been President of X-Rite Pantone since 2013. Previously, Ron led Commercial and Services Operations at Tektronix and was President, Industrial Automation at Kollmorgen (both Danaher companies). Before Danaher, Ron held several leadership positions at Delphi including a European based assignment in Paris and an executive residency at NUMMI, where he immersed himself in the methodologies and practices of the Toyota Production System. Ron earned an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and a BS in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University. Ron and his wife Rebecca reside in Grand Rapids, Michigan with their 3 cats, 2 children and 1 dog.
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Twenty years ago, Magnolia opened at the corner of Haight and Masonic Streets in the Haight Ashbury district of San Francisco. The building is full of rich history, though, as their site explains. “Built in 1903, our building has seen a lot over the years, from its decades as Schumates Pharmacy to its role in the birth of the Haight Ashbury hippie movement in 1964 as the Drugstore Cafe, one of the original hippie hangouts in the neighborhood. In the late 60s, it became the famous Magnolia Thunderpussy’s, named for its proprietress, a larger than life San Francisco legend still talked about today.”
We spoke with Kevin at Gamut in San Francisco, who designed the packaging for this latest release and important milestone for Magnolia’s journey, about designing for a saturated market, trusting your instincts, incorporating heritage and history into packaging, and more.
Walk us through the design process that you went through for this project.
Gamut: Well before Kevin Landwehr and Dave brought us in to develop the design for the packaging system, a rich palette for us to work from had been brewing for almost 10 years. Our work began with the decision to lead with the core Magnolia Brewing Co. identity to give ourselves a solid visual base to build from as we expand the product line. The identity system has a lot of secondary and tertiary pieces that we’ve brought together so that people can really enjoy the intricacy and love Kevin poured into the identity. For the 6-Pack and Mother Carton we created lots of variation and allowed the branding to flow around the box to catch your eye as a stacked display in-store and encourage you to pick it up and explore its intricacy.
This is a bit of an inverted approach to most beer packaging where the brewery brand takes a back seat to an immersive story about the individual beer. That said we didn’t just type out the names of the beers, we built them from the ground up by sourcing early 1900’s type samples and collaging them together to build the aesthetic. Similar to how the pub and smokestack were designed by Kevin we resurrected something old and forgotten to tell a new story in a space that would otherwise be cold and sterile—to give the branding a meaning and sense of purpose. Kalifornia Kölsch has a light, wispy effervescence you can get lost in, reminiscent of the afterglow of a beautifully mind opening trip. While Proving Ground has a structure and framework that implies the building block that this beer was being one of the first IPA’s Magnolia brewed 20 years ago as a way of experimenting with hoppiness in beer. If you look closely at the cans and boxes there are hidden bits of numerology and iconography that all correspond to important moments in Magnolia’s history.
The Magnolia ethos is so layered with history and eccentricity that we couldn’t get it all in one shot, and plan to slowly unveil that story as the product line grows. These initial two packaged products will serve as the visual anchor for the brand on the shelf. As we go forward we’re going to peel back the layers of history in colorful and interesting ways.
What was one of the biggest goals you set out to achieve with Magnolia Brewing packaging and how did you accomplish it?
Gamut: Getting a packaged product to market for the first time since founding the brewery in 1997 was a huge milestone for Dave. The biggest goal for the packaging was to create a bold and impactful expression of the brand that could cut through the noise on the shelf and help cement in people’s minds Magnolia Brewing Co.’s presence. Everyone who enjoys craft beer in San Francisco has heard of Magnolia; they’re an institution and loved in the local community. But most people probably couldn’t identify or recall the recently created brewing company identity due to the amount of layering and evolution the brand has gone through, as it’s grown the last 20 years, but especially in the last 3 years.
We accomplished this by first telling a visual story about Magnolia Brewing Co., laying the foundation for the brand. That play is pulled right from the brewery packaging playbook from the beginning of time until Fritz Maytag invented craft beer in the 70s—when everything was a brand name, Schlitz, Hamm’s, Olympia, Pabst…—now the industry is flooded with so many beers everyone is competing for space with super-punny beer names.
What was the most challenging part of this project?
Gamut: Making our 6am press check on 3 hours of sleep! Our pilot run (where you get to see the cans on press and ensure the pre-press process has accurately translated to a physical can before the big print run) for the cans was at Ardagh Group in the suburbs outside of Chicago, a little place known as Elk Grove Village, home of Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins. The excitement as we rolled up to the Elk Grove, Country Inn & Suites was palpable as you can imagine. Needless to say, we called up an Uber and for $80 were on our way to partake in the delights of Chicago.
But seriously, the most challenging part was to trust ourselves, to be good stewards of the brand, to carry the torch, to not overthink it, or try too hard—but just do our best and if you haven’t done it before as a packaging designer, pre-press for aluminum cans is painfully tedious.
Magnolia Brewing is located in one of the most iconic areas of San Francisco: Haight Street. How did you incorporate a sense of place and history into the packaging?
Gamut: There’s so much heritage and history rolled up in Magnolia’s brand, it’s a tale best told in a dark bar with a frosty beverage in hand. Magnolia itself, in it’s 20 years on Haight has become part of the fabric of the Upper Haight. There wasn’t much need to try and pull from anything outside our own walls, no 60s flower power, no VW Vans. The brand identity we had at our disposal is fully loaded with innuendos and hidden bits that make for good conversation starters.
The packaging has many different elements that come together, so how did you balance including these without giving it a cluttered appearance?
Gamut: We definitely let the brand stretch out across the whole dieline on the 6-packs. What holds it all together is the limited use of color and allowing the branding to break edges and flow naturally. It was important for us to make sure the brand on packaging didn’t lose the soul of the Magnolia experience by becoming too clean or too simple. Using the aluminum canvas to help bring in layering and detail that wasn’t harsh or conflicting was a nice way for us to be able to do that.
If you could pick one aspect of the finished design that you like the most or feel especially proud of, what would it be and why?
Gamut: We feel most proud of what this initial release means for Magnolia. It’s the beginning of a new chapter for one of San Francisco’s most cherished breweries. It was a special opportunity to work with old friends.
Share one lesson that you learned while developing the finished product.
Gamut: There’s so much competition in beer packaging space these days. Just relax, turn off your Pinterest feed, be true to your client and the brand, and the finished product will be true to you.
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We love this fun concept for bottled smoothies! Students María Vidal, Isaías Rodriguez and Karla Sánchez designed the branding and packaging for Zmoo, a line of fruit and organic milk based smoothies.
“Zmoo is the result of the fusion of 3 words and major components of the brand.
Z (Zumo = Juice in Spain) + Moo (Milk) = Zmoo (short for Smoothie).
This design seeks to make the consumer connect with their favorite childhood drinks (like the Boreal chocolate milk), and re-introduces this type of delight for their current lifestyle needs, which is a healthy organic smoothie. The bottle design, inspired by the typical milk products with its curvy edges and squared silhouette, has a comfortable rectangle slim form that can fit in any backpack or purse. Since honesty was the key characteristic to this product, the graphic design played with the transparency in order to showcase the content and the cow spots that dress its colorfulness, hoping to make it a fun and healthy drink for anyone craving a delicious snack.”
Designed By: María Vidal, Isaías Rodriguez and Karla Sánchez
Location: Barcelona, Spain
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“Inspired by Asian tea culture, Naka Focus set out to create an energy drink that is both healthier and more natural than traditional energy drinks. Naka is a drink that boosts your thinking power without being bad for you.”
“Taking inspiration from Asia and Zen monks, Amore focused on the creation of the enso circle. Drawing an enso is a disciplined creative practice of Japanese ink painting. It was also important to show the Swedish origin of the drink by adding a Scandinavian design expression.”
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Appart_ designed the bold branding and packaging for HelloChurros!, a new churro cafe in Bangkok, Thailand.
“HelloChurros! exports this typical Spanish snack to Thailand’s capital, Bangkok. With two stores currently open, you can find this delicious and sweet food in a new and exotic location. Appart_ partnered up with HelloChurros! to create a unique brand universe that could represent the brand values and was able to captivate the hearts of the most demanding Bangkok foodies.”
“The objective of the project was to create a young playful design identity that would communicate an unknown product to the Thai teenage cafe fan crowd. The visual identity is created with iconographic hand-drawn illustrations which represent the world of churros and Barcelona. The illustrations are combined with 5 different brand colors with yellow as predominant to create patterns which are applied to the different packaging applications. The result is a family of selfie like packs which perfectly blend with the awesome ice cream churro creations of the chef.”
“High competition and market demand required the creation of a very versatile brand identity that would allow the chef to use new packaging and graphic solutions for his ever-changing menu creations. The multiple color and pattern combinations, as well as a strong logotype family, allowed the concept to easily adapt or change in time. This flexibility is an essential value to create a long lasting brand awareness for any f&b dessert business trying to compete in the overcrowded Bangkok scene.”
Designers: Roser Padres & Miquel Padres
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
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Get your green on. Mother is not merely a juice brand, but a company that aims to give consumers their daily dose of veggies to stay healthy. Designed by Forth + Back, the beverage kindly reminds you to “Drink Your Veggies,” and stands out with entirely green branding.
“The health food beverage category is yearning for a healthier alternative to fruit juice. The fact is, it is healthier to juice with vegetables rather than fruits. When you juice with vegetables, it is easier for your body to break down and isolate micro-nutrients that are not easily obtained through eating vegetables. Conversely, when juicing fruits, vital nutrients are lost compared to eating them raw. Also, many consumers are unaware of the high amount of sugar they are ingesting when consuming fruit juice.”
“Given the high concentration of vegetables, Mother is a uniquely ‘green’ drink amongst other green juice competitors. Forth + Back developed an honest, yet bold, brand language that was carried throughout all bottle designs and related brand collateral.”
Designed by: Forth + Back
Country: United States
City: Los Angeles, CA
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With scents like Mellow Jasmine and Regal Sandalwood, you’re definitely going to have a hard time choosing just one of Aromayur’s soaps. Zooscope developed this gorgeous design for the all-natural products company in India. Not only will you feel tempted to keep the box long after the soap is all used up, but Zooscope created a design that the company can easily adapt in the future for other scents.
“Zooscope was commissioned to create the identity and packaging design for Aromayur, a new line of all-natural products by Hem Corporation; India’s leading perfumed incense company.”
“The single stroke logo evokes wafting fragrance and resembles a seal to give the identity a luxe feel. The packaging illustrations use an underlying grid that adapts to different variants giving the company flexibility to launch fragrances. Custo artworks were made using scent ingredients to create a premium, natural and vibrant identity.”
Designed by: Zooscope
Client : Hem Corporation Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai
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You’re going to change the way you feel about crawling out of bed, getting ready for work, and sitting down at the breakfast table. Robot Food redesigned Good Grain, a healthy cereal option that needed help connecting with consumers. Soothing colors and an uncluttered design make it a perfect breakfast choice for hectic mornings when all you want is to enjoy a little peace before getting your day started.
“Good Grain and Robot Food have gone against the grain to create bright new branding that gives healthy breakfast cereals vibrant credibility, by the spoonful.”
“Sales of breakfast cereals have been falling due to changing eating habits, a general lack of trust in some ‘health’ claims and the backlash against sugar content. Enter Good Grain. As one of the healthiest cereals you can buy, it’s the perfect saviour for the breakfast category.”
“Recently purchased by specialist cereal manufacturer Brecks, it was time to inject the Good Grain identity with more life and purpose. Brecks asked Robot Food to undertake a full brand reposition. The team embarked on a study of consumer trends, followed by a collaborative brand workshop to establish Good Grain’s positioning, mission and values. After this came new product development workshops to develop a pipeline of launches for the brand. The original SKU of puffed wheat is now joined by new ‘Multi Grains’ and a ‘Plus Cherry’ for launch, with more exciting products to follow.”
“Next came the design. Drawing from the new brand blueprint, Robot Food developed the strapline ‘Good Grain, Good You’, and created an identity with a challenger brand feel that radiates on front of pack against a vibrant colour palette. Being 100% natural wheat and nothing else, Good Grain makes an ideal basis for a personalised breakfast, so the creative team positioned the cereal as ‘just the start and the rest is up to you.’”
“Sumptuous serving suggestions are shown on front of pack, including fresh yoghurt, fruit and other delicious ingredients and ‘combs’, with a call-out linking to further ‘grainspiration’ on back of pack under the title ‘5 days, 5 ways.’ Encouraging personalisation is just the start of what’s set to take of on Instagram and other social channels.”
“This is a brand that clearly targets the needs of millennial women. No fad dieting, promises of bikini-beautiful figures or photoshopped morning sunlight-bleached photography. Just clear visual signposting of a relevant brand with relevant products at a democratic price point.”
“Smashing category norms and swerving all the usual category clichés, the new-look Good Grain transforms the brand’s unpretentious simplicity into its biggest advantage: versatility and creativity. With three initial products in the range, Good Grain is now proud to be the healthy breakfast you can really have fun with. The new brand launched in national supermarkets this month.”
“Gary Lewis, MD of Brands at Brecks, said, ‘We wanted to take healthiness from niche audiences and create a modern brand for the masses. Robot Food have dared to be different and we love the results. We now have the strong purpose, appealing personality and stand-out branding we need to attract modern consumers that enjoy good food. Good Grain is ready to push breakfast cereals to the next level.’”
“Simon Forster, Creative Director at Robot Food, said, ‘Doing away with category expectations is always fun plus you don’t get shelf standout by following the herd. This is a category dominated by massive brands with dubious claims, and a plethora of rustically charming brands targeting the affluent middle class. In well-timed contrast, Good Grain is now a compelling brand for everyone interested in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.’”
Designed by: Robot Food
Country: United Kingdom
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