5 Questions with Leland Maschmeyer

HOW Design Live is a mere two months away, and to say that we’re excited is an understatement. To give you a preview of what you’ll see in Atlanta, we’re sitting down with some of our esteemed speakers to chat about their sessions. This week, we talk with Executive Creative Director and Founding Partner of COLLINS, Leland Maschmeyer, about the role resilience plays in design.

TC: In what instances have you seen resilience positively impact a brand?

LM: Resilience is the ability to maintain your core purpose even as you adapt to a changing environment. It’s a fundamental skill set companies need in our current era of persistent disruption. Specifically, companies need organizational resilience, brand relevance, and executional responsiveness.

Brands that have successfully developed resilience are IBM, Virgin, Johnson and Johnson, Dove, Coca Cola, Nike, Google, New York Times, Ford.

Brands that aren’t resilient include Pepsi, Reebok, Yahoo, Howard Johnson’s, Time magazine.

TC: You focus on story-driven design. How do you strive to create this for brands?

LM: Stories, while very difficult to create, are made up of very simple elements:

All of these elements are present in any brand that has a strong culture, clear point of view, and a commonly understood sense of purpose.

But, in translating this into a brand, there is one difference. A story (in movies or books) comes to a conclusion. When building a brand’s story, that story must remain open ended. It’s like writing a story half through act 2 and then stopping. The rest of the story is for the brand leaders to live. The first half establishes a trajectory for pursuit and a framework for what are right and wrong behaviors. It’s how stories contribute to resilience.

TC: When thinking about the future of design and brand-building, what do you most hope designers will turn their attention toward?

LM: I wish designers will recognize the incredibly unique moment we live in. Right now: we have the power to make companies work for people.

Historically, businesses work for shareholders or operational necessities. Consumers – despite all the rhetoric – have ALWAYS been a tertiary concern, at best.  

Design was conceptually founded on the notion that artists should enter the economic sphere and use the tools of industry and economics for the benefit of mankind. That took many different forms over the last 150 years, but the moral thrust of it was the same. To paraphrase Charles Eames, designers aim to create the best for the most for the least. Only industry makes that noble ambition feasible.

Despite that intent, generations of designers have been kept at the periphery of company operations. Today, that is changing. It’s becoming an business imperative for companies to serve their customers remarkable, fluid, and personalized experiences. Literally, corporations have to reorganize around the consumer.

This is the greatest invitation designers have ever received. Our invitation invites us to change everything about corporate culture from business model to packaging on shelf to sustainability protocols. All in the name of benefiting people.

I hope designers recognize this and don’t waste a gift 150 years in the making.  

TC: In regards to your presentation, what is one valuable piece of advice or information you hope attendees walk away with?

TC: In the past year, what has been the most promising advance in the packaging world? What about the biggest disappointment?

LM: Graphene has the opportunity to dramatically minimize the waste produced by packaging. It’ll be as transformative to packaging design as the steam engine was to industrialism.

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Theresa entered the world of design through The Dieline. With a background in writing and journalism, she has a passion for discovery and cultivating human connections. Her work for The Dieline is a constant journey to deeply understand all facets of the design process and to investigate what makes designers tick. Theresa’s writing has taken her snorkeling in between the tectonic plates in Iceland, horseback riding through a rural Brazilian town, and riding an octopus art car at Burning Man with Susan Sarandon as part of a funeral procession for Timothy Leary (long story). When not writing, she is planning her next trip or taking too many pictures of her cat.

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Warfield Distillery & Brewery

Tucked in the mountains of Idaho is Sun Valley, a small ski town that offers year-round activities and endless natural beauty. Conrad Garner developed the branding and packaging for Warfield Distillery & Brewery, a place that serves fresh, local beer and artisanal spirits in addition to seasonal pub fare.

Warfield Distillery & Brewery has a rugged appearance, suitable for the mountain life that those in this town live. A burly mountain goat stands proudly in the logo, resting on top of a rock and looking down to see what it’s climbed. This outdoorsy and robust vibe is evident to visitors, with plenty of wood and metal accents along with a cozy and warm cabin feeling. Warfield Distillery & Brewery is the perfect place to get out of the cold and enjoy a good, hearty drink.






Beers each have their own mascot, all of them animals with quite distinct personalities. There’s a tough, hard-working pigeon who goes to the mines for work and a beaver with a “toothy grin,” and all of them add a bit of clever wit to the beer varieties. Spirits adopt a different look entirely, clearly separating themselves from the beer offerings. The clear glass bottles have illustrations done in a more realistic and moody style along with some chevron details. Both look like more traditional gin and vodka labels, but the drawings and splashes of color make it a modern product with a retro appeal.














Designed by Conrad Garner

Country: United States

City: Tampa

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Wine lovers gather around and give Tsernovo a taste. Produced by a winery up in the northern Grecian mountains, this wine is rich in flavor and aged in wooden barrels.  Designed by slab, a simple yet bold label helps attract a younger audience. 

“Tsernovo is a wine produced by the winery Ktima Tseou. Ktima Tseou is located at Ιmathia, Fytia, in northern Greece. There, at a 450 metre altitude, are biologically cultivated the following types of wine: merlot, syrah, xinomavro and cabernet. The older name of the village was Tsernovo, from the words “tserno” and “vino”, meaning black wine, because of the renowned dark red wine its vineyards produced. Maintaining tradition, Ktima Tseou produces wine rich in flavor, aged in wooden barrels.”




Art Director: Nikos Giuris

Printing: slab

Photographer: Giorgos Oikonomou

Designed by slab


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INTERACT partnered with Bone Broths Co, now KETTLE & FIRE , to lead their rebrand of bone broth products. The new positioning, brand name, brand identity and packaging developed has helped Kettle & Fire achieve differentiation from the growing wave of bone broth competitors while simultaneously resonating with health-oriented and Paleo consumers alike. 

So what in the world is bone broth? Simply put, it’s broth made by slow-simmering the bones of chicken, beef, or fish for a minimum of 12 hours. This simmer extracts amino acids, collagen, and minerals from the bones, resulting in incredible health benefits.

Kettle & Fire’s bone broth, made with 100% grass-fed pasture-grazed cattle bones, all-organic non-gmo vegetables, sea salt and herbs, is simmered for 24+ hours. The result is the the most nutritious bone broth available. 

Kettle & Fire’s name celebrates the elemental power of bone broth, which has been recognized by cultures around the globe for thousands of years. It’s black, gritty and earthy background instills a sense of efficacy in consumers while standing out from the white, greens and earth-toned soup and broth competitors in the grocery space. The gold kettle-and-flame brand identity exudes quality and craft, alleviating the need to use trendy and cliched copy on the front panel.

Apart from design, the physical packaging structure is big advantage over other bone broth companies. K&F’s process uses $6MM worth of modern packaging equipment to create the first & only shelf-stable beef bone broth. Unopened, their bone broth will last 2 years without any freezing or refrigeration, & use no additives, preservatives, hormones or extra sodium to achieve this effect. The packaging is also sustainable, recyclable, & does not release any harmful chemical by-products during the manufacturing process.

All of this culminates in Kettle & Fire’s mission to truly pioneer health and wellness, one cup of amazingly delicious and nutritious bone broth at a time.


Designed by Interact Boulder


Country: United States

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Mirolubov. Sugar package

Sugar is an essential item in anyone’s pantry and so is awesome packaging. This sugar brand has it all! Designed by Natalia Ponomareva, sugar is adorned with a playful zig-zag pattern that runs vertically across the packaging structures. A portrait of a girl sits front and center with a window display adding an approachable element to the design. 

“The task was to create a cute package, which you want to put on a table. The emotional benefit of “Mirolubov” trademark is that sugar provides you with an energy. In the package, this statement was transformed in the idea that sugar, first of all, is the energy for your brain. Therefore, the main place on the package was taken by a candy-like sweet head.”




Designed by Natalia Ponomareva

Country: Russia

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Legionar Craft Beer

I don’t think I’ll ever tire of seeing new craft breweries pop up around the world since they all offer something a little different. Legionar Craft Beer hails from Osijek, Croatia, and Studio 33 developed the brand identity and packaging for their flavorful brews.

Legionar Craft Beer comes in traditional amber bottles, and a noble warrior rests on the front. The illustration style is almost comic book-like, with thick lines and small details to add depth and texture. Labels come in burnt colors that coordinate to the beer type, and the Legionar name appears on the front, slightly uneven, in a bold, all-caps font.








Designed by Studio 33

Country: Croatia

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Old Wooden Tooth

To celebrate its first anniversary, Taft’s Ale House in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati releases Old Wooden Tooth – a limited-edition Russian Imperial Stout that has been aging in bourbon barrels since the ale house opened last year. 

Taft’s design shop, 1 Trick Pony, teamed up with the folks at Steinhauser, a family owned custom label printer just across the river in Kentucky that specializes in beer and spirits labels. Each 500mL bottle comes packaged in a custom branded wooden box and features a neck flag and label that are custom printed with 9 colors including a metallic copper ink on a cherry veneer label.


Brewer: Taft’s Ale House

Printer: Steinhauser

Photographer: Mike Mielcarz

Designed by 1 Trick Pony

Country: United States

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