Packaging Design | Claire Wilson
last updated 22 September 2020
Claire Wilson is a surface pattern designer and illustrator with a background in product packaging and greetings cards. She has worked with a number of companies, including Dunelm and Avon, with her designs being used across a wide variety of products, including nursery and children’s bedding, home textiles, dinnerware, stationery and gifting as well as nightwear apparel. She finds inspiration everywhere, from simple everyday household objects to all things bright and beautiful outside. We caught up with Claire to find out what goes into designing for product packaging.
What is your creative process when designing for packaging products?
My process is quite organic and things tend to evolve as I work. I spend some time researching and gathering inspiration and then I scribble down any rough ideas or concepts that start to form in my head. From there it’s a case of transforming my scribbles into clearer designs that I can work on in Adobe Illustrator. They develop more from there and something that started as a small scribbly sketch can be transformed into a more detailed and intricate motif to use in a pattern or place onto a product mock-up to get the final look.
What is your ideal product to design for?
Seeing my work on any real product is very exciting! I love playing around with mock-ups to see how my designs could be used across a variety of product categories, and as a result there are lots of different areas I love to get involved with. I’m a big stationery geek at heart, but I’d also love to see some of my designs in the homeware market, especially used across textiles or on wallpaper. I also like gin and wine, so my recent designs on drinks bottles over the past few months has been really fun! I’ve recently moved to Cumbria with my partner and we’re currently in the process of renovating a 215-year-old property to set up a small bar, so it would be great if one day I’m able to serve someone a G&T or a glass of wine poured from a bottle with my own design on!
Were you artistic as a child? Where did the creativity all begin?
I’ve always been creative and have loved drawing for as long as I can remember. From a very young age I could often be found surrounded by paper and pens, doodling away and creating my own cards to give to family and friends. Art was always my strongest subject at school and my most enjoyable one too, so I feel very lucky and happy that I now get to do something I love for a living.
What aspect of your job do you most enjoy?
I love the wide variety of projects that I’ve been lucky enough to work on over the years, and the fact that no two days in the studio are the same. For me there is nothing better than seeing something you’ve imagined in your head come to life on a real product. Knowing that someone likes it enough to buy it for themselves or someone they love is a feeling I will never get tired of.
How do you work through a creative block?
I find the best way to get through a creative block is to walk away, take some time out and do something totally different. I used to try and force myself to carry on, but just ended up getting frustrated and I never liked the work I then produced. I’m much better now at knowing when to stop and take a break from something that’s just not working. I’ll go for a walk or a run, see a friend or go out somewhere for a change of scenery. I often find that my creativity starts to flow again when I return with fresh eyes and a fresh mind-set.
What are you currently working on? Can you tell us what to expect next?
Things are pretty busy for me at the moment as I’m working on some lovely new greeting cards designs for clients, (which I sadly can’t share yet!), alongside helping my partner to renovate our property. When things calm down a bit I hope to have some free time to develop the new ideas that keep popping into my head that I’ve quickly scribbled down!
What drew you to the Bright Agency?
I love to be creative and my strength is in design, but like many other artists I know, I’m not very good at marketing myself and selling my own work or skills. I was looking for a professional agency to represent me and help me reach a much wider audience and client base so I could just concentrate on designing. I contacted a fellow Bright artist that I followed on social media to ask what their experience was like. They loved working with the agency and they made me feel like Bright would be a great match for me and my work, and they were right!
How has Bright made a difference to your career?
Bright has given me a massive confidence boost and made me believe in myself and my abilities. I’ve been lucky enough to have some amazing opportunities that I wouldn’t have had on my own, and I’ve been able to work on some fantastic projects with lots of lovely clients since I joined them. I hope things continue this way for many years to come!