At least once a year I return back to the UK to visit my family and friends. I get to travel the length and breadth of England, from London and the West Country, up to Lancashire, with a good many stops in between. Whilst there, I always try and fit in some design research. I visit as many retail stores, supermarkets, farm shops and craft brewery’s as possible, taking in new and interesting branding and packaging design. It becomes an invaluable source for my commercial design work as the creative director of a successful Cape Town based design studio. Occasionally it can even inspire a personal project and this was the case with the Wadmans Organic Food concept. Keen to take my rough ideas through to final visuals, I found myself working in my very small window of downtime, evenings after my wife and I had put our little baby boy to bed or weekend mornings with a cup of coffee, whilst reading through the latest design press.
My mother’s maiden name ‘Wadman’ was selected for the core brand identity, as I liked how the characters could be abstracted to form an interesting and memorable symbol. To create an iconic identity with clear consumer recognition, the Wadmans word-mark has been designed using two definitive shapes. The raised arm from the ‘n’ is removed to give the shape versatility. It’s doubled to create the ‘m’ and is then turned to form the ‘w’. The second shape employed is the circular ‘o’ form, which uses a small dropped arm to form the ‘a’ and a longer raised arm to create the ‘d’. The ‘s’ is also drawn with consideration to the ‘o’ form, completing the brand icon. I also created a fictional story for the brand, basing it on my mother and her sisters love for creating jams, chutneys and soups.
Inspired by my deep interest in UK retail packaging design and the groundbreaking work of Sainsbury’s in house designer Peter Dixon, I wanted to create a range of products that would challenge some of the common formats of food packaging design. An expressive illustration style was selected in place of the often-used photographic pack shot. The use of white space allows each illustration to resonate and adds breathing space when the products are placed together.
WHY DO PERSONAL PROJECTS?
My commercial work always comes first, but for me, I sometimes get inspired to follow an idea that either challenges, is just too experimental and expressive, or is within a different field to that of my commercial design studio and decide to develop it in my own time. It's not easy. I am a family man and finding time between a hectic work schedule and being a dad isn't easy, but for me, it can be an important tool for personal development. I strongly believe that some of this experimental work actually benefits my commercial projects. It's just you working on it, no client, no team, so you can do what ever you like! Be an artist and really express yourself! I absolutely love what I do so these projects are often a hobby for me.
This is my twentieth year working within the design industry, but if your a student looking for a way get into your dream job, then theres no better way to kickstart your career than starting a side project! Eric Karjaluoto recently wrote a fantastic article on this very topic that I would strongly recommend any young designer looking for a break into the industry to read. Click here to read the full article.
Here is a small excerpt from Eric's article that really outlines some importnat reasons for working on side project's.
Action creates action
When you’re stuck, the worst thing you can do is remain idle. I say this because I’ve been there. The empty inbox, the absence of telephone rings, and the lack of opportunities—that silence is a killer. It’ll lead you to poisonous thinking, in which you dwell on your perceived inadequacies and the obstacles you face. Instead, you need to do. The moment you start making something, you’ve taken control of your destiny. You’ll see action in front of you. You’ll feel invigorated. You’ll feed off the energy of creating—and new ideas will start to form. I know of no better means of becoming more creative, than to do a greater number of creative things.
Indulge your passions
Most wait for others to give them opportunities. Such folks typically wait a long time. Few want to hand you great opportunities—because they want those for themselves. So, you need to make your own opportunities, and start doing what you wish someone would ask you to do. Do you enjoy playing games? Make one that you want to play! Is someone you love affected by some kind of illness or social barrier? Start a campaign to raise awareness/understanding. Are you always helping friends with their design problems? Write a book about it. My point is that if no one’s letting you do what you want, you should do it anyway.
Eric Karjaluoto's blog is one of my favourites and has been a huge influence on creating my site. I would really recommend checking it out.
Enjoy what you do and get your ideas down in whatever form you can. Get them out there! Your never know where it will take you!
You can view the full Wadmans Organic Food, Branding and Packaging project by clicking here and viewing my portfolio.
In : My Work
Tags: "my work" "side projects" branding packaging portfolio
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