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Fiona Curran: Packaging Design Unwrapped

Fiona Curran is currently Creative Partner of Distil Studio, a clear-thinking agency on a mission to filter out unnecessary fluff from branding, packaging and visual communication. Working on a diverse range of brands, from Mercedes F1 to Smoked Salmon brands, handmade chocolate packaging to film memorabilia identities, truly great ideas run through everything Fiona creates.

As the proud owner of both a Yellow and a Graphite Pencil, Fiona knows a thing or two about what makes great work. Ahead of D&AD Judging Week where Fiona will act as Jury President for our Packaging Design category, she makes an earnest call for entries.
 
 
Springs' Smokery
Graphite Pencil / Packaging Design / Consumer Packaging Design / 2016

We’re a lucky bunch, us packaging designers. This is a discipline with an abundance of creative opportunity, from pure design craft to cutting-edge production, from flamboyant expression to visual restraint. But we have to go deeper than surface decoration or pure finishing techniques. These may well help us, but what really matters most is our ability to create a human connection to the physical product. This demands an idea, and for me this comes before anything else.

As a designer of both brand identities and packaging, the thought process is ultimately the same. Whether it’s getting to the heart of what an organisation stands for, or unearthing the story around a product, real focus sparks creative expression. We may look to heritage, provenance or product personality but whatever the source of inspiration, it needs at its heart a truth that creatives and consumers alike can believe in. Only then does creativity come to life in truly engaging and desirable ways.  
Springs' Smokery
Graphite Pencil / Packaging Design / Consumer Packaging Design / 2016

Taking a seed of an idea and making it work as a tactile object is the real joy of this discipline and the best work seems to hold this joy right through to the smallest detail. With packaging, creative expression is incredibly exposed. From bold and brash to truly artful, a solitary piece of work will live or die in a few moments, so it has to be just right in every sense - the thinking, the craft and the physical experience. When all of these things come together beautifully, a piece of packaging will stop us in our tracks and pull us in.

In 2017, I want to feel this connection to outstanding work. If everyone on the jury feels the same, it might just win an award.
 

If you think you have a campaign that deserves a Pencil, enter your work into the D&AD Professional Awards and see if our judges agree. When it comes to awards, nothing matters more.

For more creative inspiration and the opportunity to get up close and personal with the world’s best design and advertising, join us at D&AD Festival.
 

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