Take a Whiff: The Allure of Great Package Design

Thymes has been creating beautiful, botanical bath and body products with artisan fragrances for more than 30 years. In that time, the marketplace has become flooded with competitors, all vying for the same customers. To continue building excitement amidst a stream of new brands in the category, Thymes sought an elevated, modern aesthetic, so they reached out to Minneapolis-based, Wink. Initially, they only wanted their catalog redesigned, but principal Scott Thares asked them about their heritage and what they wanted to accomplish with a new catalog. “We spoke about how the vision needed to evolve into a more contemporary look and feel. They kept wanting to elevate their brand presence,” he recalls.

So he asked them what they felt they were doing better than the competition. “They kept coming back with this statement that they create artisanal, botanically-inspired fragrances—in house—versus other companies where fragrances are created in an outside chemical lab,” he says. “Everything they do evokes a memory; certain smells take you back to a particular moment in time. So we said we should capitalize on that.” Read the rest here.

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HOW Chicago: How Sweet It Was

If you weren’t at HOW Design Live in Chicago, here’s what you missed.

What a whirlwind. As I travel home by train from the HOW Conference in Chicago, I’m exhausted, inspired, and energized by what I saw and heard. For a conference that’s now in its 25th year, it isn’t tired or trite. In fact, it’s one of the best HOW Conferences I’ve been to (and I’ve been to a LOT of them in the last 15 years). So, without further ado, here are some of the highlights.

Dr. Brene Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston, talked about the importance of being vulnerable and letting people see and know the real you. It’s difficult to be vulnerable—to open yourself to criticism, shame, or guilt— she reminds us, but doing so allows people to know what you’re thinking and how your feeling, fundamental facets of creative expression.

By the end of conference, I think everyone finally realized that I, Emily Potts, am just a shy, gentle, reserved design journalist with a boundless capacity to see the best in everyone I meet. Well, I’m working on it, okay? Back off! Read the rest here.

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Here’s artist Molly Z, signing her beautiful posters at the Neenah Paper booth.

Anagrama: Beautifying Mexico One Boutique Brand at a Time

Although branding firm Anagrama has been around for only five years, it’s already made a remarkable impact in the design world as well as in its local community. Its three founders, Sebastian Padilla, Mike Herrera and Gustavo Muñoz, started the business while working out of Muñoz’s house in 2009, but the firm now boasts more than 40 graphic designers, architects and programmers based in two offices—Monterrey and Mexico City—as well as another partner, Roberto Treviño, who heads the architecture department.
“We create the perfect balance between a design boutique and a business consultancy, from focusing on the development of creative pieces with the utmost attention to details, to providing solutions based on the analysis of tangible data,” says Padilla, who works out of the Monterrey office as creative director and client liaison. By breaking the traditional agency scheme with its multidisciplinary approach, Anagrama has consistently created unique branding environments for its clients. They don’t just design packaging or logos—they build brands (quite literally) from the ground up. This floor-to-ceiling process requires all the skill sets within the firm—architects and interior designers working hand-in-hand with graphic designers and programmers to execute the strategy across the full branding spectrum. Read the rest of the article here.
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Perfectly Imperfect: Human Connection

Although letterpress printing is a traditional, laborious process, and flies in the face of modern technology, it’s never been more popular. People crave the beautiful imperfections and sensory experience of this timeless media, and designers value the handiwork and intrinsic qualities it adds to their creative output. In this feature post, we show the designs of Felix Sockwell, Gary Rozanc and Chad Michael, plus the printing talent John Selikoff (Vote for Letterpress Press, South Orange, NJ), the craftsmen and women at Studio on Fire (MPLS), and Gary Rozanc himself. Read the article here.

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NPR poster detail by Felix Sockwell.

Stewart Scott-Curran Explains How Sprite Markets to Two Very Different Demographics

Stewart Scott-Curran wears more than one hat—he’s an art director, graphic designer, and illustrator. Currently he’s he art director at CNN digital, and he hosts Creative Mornings in San Francisco, where creatives of all walks of life share their experiences with a group of like-minded individuals looking for inspiration and the motivation to take the next step in their careers.

Curran values his deep connection to the creative community and how important that is to the development of designers, writers, and artists, which is why he facilitates Creative Mornings. He also regularly speaks at creative conferences, and here on CreativeLive, he is teaching a class on drawing in Illustrator.

Here, he talks to us about the Sprite campaign he developed while he was an in-house design manager at Coca-Cola in Atlanta. Read rest of article here.

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