New packaging design collaboration with Playboy in LA

I’m delighted to announce a new collaboration with Playboy in Los Angeles. I’ll be working on a range of packaging for a yet to be disclosed product range.

It’s interesting to see how the Playboy brand has evolved over the years and with Cooper Hefner assuming creative control of the brand his father launched 64 years ago, now is an exciting time to be working with this iconic brand.

Stay tuned for more details, I’ll share as and when I can.

Does a European design aesthetic still exist?

Hardly a week goes by without being approached by a design agency or recruiter asking for a designer with a ‘European design aesthetic’. Generally I aways reply, ‘yes that’s me’, I’m from Europe and I get what your after, but what exactly defines a European design aesthetic and does it still really exist?

I remember working at big design agencies in London who always had walls full of design books, these books were often divided into world regions or had dedicated books for each part of the world (London, Tokyo, New York, etc). Flicking through these books at the time you could clearly see a difference between European and American design.

European design tended to be more understated and cleaner, with minimal type usage and illustrations, mostly using Sans Serif typefaces. By contrast the American designs were type heavy, often using copywriting led communication with photography and serif typefaces. Not any better or any worse, just an overall heavier appearance. I do remember preferring the majority of European designs I saw.

That’s what I remember from design books some 15 years ago, but is it still like that?

Having worked in Los Angeles for the last 4 years and collaborated with designers from the US and other parts of the world on a daily basis I really don’t see that much of a difference anymore, with the exception of FMCG packaging which mostly feels dated in the US. I think the explosion of US based tech companies and the fact almost all brands have a global reach, along with our reliance on the digital space to expose brands I now believe the playing field has very much leveled. We are essentially seeing similar graphic design styles around the world.

Simplicity of communication is proving the most successful form of communication in what is an ever-increasingly congested world.

Don’t get me wrong, European design has always had a certain level of prestige in America, whether it be cars, furniture or packaging. But I now suspect those requests that come in from agencies asking for a ‘European design aesthetic’ are really just asking for ‘a great graphic designer’, and being from Europe does not automatically mean you’ll get that, there are amazing designers all over the world.

So my advise, which is pretty obvious, look at their portfolio and choose designers based on experience and their ‘own design aesthetic’. If that aesthetic works for your client then your good to go.

Premium packaging for a premium product

It’s been a long time in the making but the packaging I designed and produced for CuttinEdge Lab has finally launched. The brief was quite simple, make the packaging as premium looking as the product it houses, those products being CELShield and CELWrap protection films for electronic devices. I also wanted to ensure there was strong stand out in a product category that is flooded with competitors.

Choosing screen and body protectors for our precious smartphones and gadgets can be a confusing and daunting prospect, shops are crammed full of options. The challenge was to communicate an awful lot of information while still having an elegant design and one that customers would gravitate towards. The use of a metallic foil board underneath the rich black, tinted to a rich copper and powder blue with splashes of spot UV works really well in the flesh.

New packaging project printed

After many months in development it was finally time to print my latest packaging project. Despite originally saying ‘oh, this will be easy to print’ it ended up being quite complex with 4 colour process, two white layers, several specially mixed inks, matt varnish and a spot UV all being applied on a metallic board. The end result is looking awesome though, the grand reveal will be in a few weeks time.

High Profile Projects Available

There have been many prestigious projects that I have worked on over the years that for one reason or another I’ve not been able to share online. There are however instances when I would like to show this work so I’ve created a special password protected area. Access is through the High Profile Projects image on my portfolio, please contact me for a password to view this work.

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