We continue with our “Behind the Packaging” series with an interview from Chase McNabb who is a valued member of our Great Little Box/Ideon Packaging (GLBC) family. Five years ago, Chase began his packaging journey with us in prepress and moved onto a Senior Graphic Artist position. Currently, Chase is our Graphics Team Lead and is responsible for overseeing design projects from concept to completion and supporting our digital corrugate prepress team.
To read our previous interviews from the series and to learn more about our talented design team, the links are listed below.
Now, let’s get started with this interview and get to know Chase a bit better!
Why did you choose a career in graphics?
I always loved the idea of being able to bring someone’s idea or brand to life. When I was in school, I really took a liking to corporate branding and the idea of giving a company an identity based on visuals, which really excited me. I loved the idea that If I did my research and did the job well enough the brand would last longer than I would.
What was your most successful WOW/Custom Graphics design and why?
Stevan Matic (Packaging Specialist- Corrugated & Industrial Division) came to the graphics department with an opportunity for us to design something that could help him solidify an account. He needed a dump bin created for a Whisky brand and being a big fan I’m never too far away from a bottle of whisky myself, I jumped on the opportunity. When you already have experience with a brand and like their product, that can make designing something so much easier. When I think of this particular brand, I think of camping and when I think of camping, I think of drinking Whisky with friends around a campfire. I always loved the idea of using a burnt wood texture at some point and this was the first time I used it and it worked out so well. Once they received the WOW Stevan worked his magic, and we received an order.
As a designer, what catches your eye that makes a product pop from the shelves?
I think brand consistency is critical when trying to stand out from the rest when fighting for shelf space. I believe that your brand needs to be able to adjust to design trends. Designs that are catching my eye currently are brands using one secondary brand colour, bold font and lots of white space. I’m a sucker for white space.
What brands or design products do you admire the most?
Right now I think that no one has a tougher time than the craft beer scene trying to stand out from the rest. I have some friends that are artists for some of these breweries and some of the work and thought process that goes into these labels is amazing. Currently, I’m watching what Hired Guns Creative is doing. If you haven’t heard of them, you need to check them out ASAP!
Where do you get your packaging/graphic design inspiration from?
These days I have the entire creative world in the palm of my hands and that’s incredible as I have found a lot of my favourite artists because of it. But I can get sick of looking at my phone sometimes, so a lot of my inspiration comes from shopping in grocery stores, the Craft & Cidery scene, and some top-secret websites. lol 😉
How do you approach a new custom art project?
I have a lot of tricks up my sleeves these days. I have probably printed and handled thousands of different projects. I have seen what works and what doesn’t. When I get to work on a new project and it’s going to be something that is a corrugated display, I already know where a lot of the key elements need to go. But before I really start, I make a mood board for the company that I’m working on. I gather as many resources as I can online and gather it all on one giant artboard in illustrator and I try to understand the brand’s identity and I try to make sure the work that I do looks and feels like something they would have created themselves. Once I get that down I start planning my project. Logo and call to action on the header, actions shot with product info/promotion on the side, product-specific call outs such as low sugar, organic, local, etc. on the shelves and a spot for social media to be highlighted. Everything else is driven by the brand’s identity.
What do you like most about your job?
When I get to work with our customers, and they show how much they appreciate the work I was able to do for them. Such a great feeling.
What advice would you give yourself 5 years ago regarding graphic design?
I would tell myself that first and foremost, print is not dead. When I was in school that was all the craze, magazines and people saying printing will be non-existent. But here I am, in an industry that prints in so many different formats and business is only getting bigger and better. Second, if you have discipline, freelance is a very lucrative and freeing lifestyle.
What is the most fun part of your job/working at GLBC?
Working in a creative environment with some pretty awesome people.
Links to Other Interviews:
Graphics: Chase McNabb