Product Design

Storytelling for Children's Packaging Design - Plant a Pizza Garden

Creative consumer product design professionals MUST be great storytellers, and do so with few words and images. If lucky, designers get to do this work with the help of copywriters. Often, designers are only working with developers and marketing partners. They are the first consumer “pitch” person via the design effort.

Plant A Pizza Garden - Packaging Development project for Creativity for Kids Faber-Castel ( Visuals prep for consumer insight review)

Plant A Pizza Garden - Packaging Development project for Creativity for Kids Faber-Castel ( Visuals prep for consumer insight review)

One of the most difficult jobs is storytelling for DIY products which are creativity complex. Images, graphics and copy-writing are the tools of the trade.

You’ve got to tell the product story in a concise manner, capture the shoppers attention and tell them what the product does in a matter of seconds.
Designers have to create a compelling story telling aspect to creative consumer products.

  1. What is it?

  2. What does it do?

  3. Who is this for and who’s purchasing it?

  4. How do I do it?

  5. What’s Inside?

In this instance, you’re selling to Mom, Dad, Grandparents (Adults) and the Kid. You have to consider what language do you use for all of these shoppers, and what aesthetics do you apply?

If you can’t capture their imaginations, they’re moving onto the next thing!

Final principl display panel - Plant a Pizza Garden

Final principl display panel - Plant a Pizza Garden

Final Packaging Back Panel Layout

Final Packaging Back Panel Layout

This is what packaging iteration design can look like. The lettered packaging options were submitted for an online consumer insight review. Consumer comments helped to eliminate the options that failed to communicate the concept.

Also included, the final iteration which went to production, front and back. Notice the cute kid didn’t make the final cut. 😏 Sometimes models “read” well on packaging, sometimes not. It’s a cost you’ve got to budget for, you usually can use the model shots in other marketing collateral.

#packagingdesign #productdesign #projectmanagment #artdirection#creativedirection #copywriting #photography #kidsproducts #kidmodels#productstyling #importexport

Does your creative department REALLY have the tools that they need?

Does your creative department REALLY have the tools that they need?


When I accepted the position to lead a creative team for a 250-year-old brand, I was shocked to see that the company's designers were using a standard 11'/11'x17 printer for presentations and product mockups.

If you're in the consumer product development business, you'll know this means that to create a product packaging mockup, a designer has to print out a packaging or other layout on several 11'x17' sized tiled sheets, and painstakingly glue them together.

No creative department should have to do this. It presents your product presentations and sales materials in the most pedestrian manner.

One of the first improvements I made was to budget for a #Epson wide format printer, which was a time saver and allowed for the creation of excellent quality mockups, gloss and matte printing. Printing on adhesive paper (eliminating the need for dangerous spray mounting), and saving the business on the cost of super expensive large format printing at Kinkos and print houses. This group could finally present top quality comps.

Are you certain your creative team has the tools they need for your brand to be successful? Have you asked them what they need?

I’m giving you recommendations on the top 3 tools you MUST secure for your creative consumer product art team.

3 MUST haves for all creative consumer product art departments.

#productdevelopment #prototypes #mockups #creativeteams

Sharpening Creative Leadership Skills

From my personal office library, books on leadership.

From my personal office library, books on leadership.

What personal investment do you make in leadership and creative growth? In effort to make sure I continue to build my skills, I enrolled in leadership coursework at University of Michigan via Coursera.

One of the final course exercises was to identify the "why" of what I do in my creative business role of creative leadership. It was a solid exercise and my classmates had good critique for my below submission:

Questions 1 - 3

1. As designers and developers, why do we do what we do?

2. What does success look like?

3. How must we act to ensure success?

My Answers:

A 1. We create products and product experiences for consumers so that they may experience the joys of visual creative activities. We wish to give them the foundation in tools, materials and knowledge in order to continually learn and grow their creative techniques.

A 2. Consumers who are continually building on their skill bases, and experiencing graduated degrees of art and creative knowledge. They are happy with their accomplishments and are confident in continuing their creative journey. Our company is credited with giving them this amazing experience.

A 3. We must continue to serve the customer’s need for new experiences and great products. We must continue to ask if our process is serving them well.

This exercise I'll definitely take with me in my next project challenge. 

Excerpt from: Loadstar Leadership: A Product Development and Designer's Notebook © 2018 Delanie West

Creative Keys x Delanie West x BeSuperCreative: How Baking & Starbucks influenced Mixed Media Product Development Ideas

Sharing some of my product legacies: These were both fun projects!

Texture Cards were inspired by both my standing in line at Starbucks viewing the beautiful artwork on the gift cards at the register and my love of baking and all of the clever texture & pastry brushes offered to add detail to cakes and sauces. With the growing popularity of artist textures for the mixed media consumer, I wanted to present an inexpensive solution for mixed media artists to manipulate their texture of choice. 

Texture Luxe, also an answer for a luxurious texture experience for the mixed media artist. It was developed in three colorways: Silver, Gold, and Pearlescent. 

Texture Luxe Gel Medium Whipped Spackle, Gelatos and Texture Cards
Silver Texture Luxe & Texture Cards
Texture Luxe and Texture Cards
Unprinted first samples for approval.

Creative Keys x Delanie West x BeSuperCreative: Vision Boards - Creative Direction - Product Development & Design

This was an interesting project. All the materials were included to create your custom vision board and help you visualize and your goals! Learn how to create vision boards that are both beautiful and inspirational #Visionboard with #design_memory_craft #Vision Board kit! (Instructional kit, fabric planning board, pens, #listing sheets and embellishments)