Maxco Packaging

This was a very production heavy position with frequent opportunities for creative expression, a lot of my day-to-day involved creating graphic art files, which our vendors used to make Flexographic printing plates. Often I would get the opportunity to design original work, some of which you'll see on this page.

The organization had significant market share in California grown Citrus and Table Grapes, so a lot of my designs revolved around those commodities. The opportunity to work very closely with production allowed me to get a firm grasp on the translation of screen to final, 4-Color Process Printed, physical object.  These produce boxes would serve as a transport system and marketing tool.

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Typical example of a flat layout

Skillset: Illustration, Design, File Management, Color Management, Quality Control, Art Direction, Branding, Preflight

Printing on this scale is an industrial process of applying layers of limited opaque colors to produce a wider range of believable colors. For colors that are hard to produce using CMYK, we would often pick spot colors, which are predetermined mixtures of ink. Often this solution is appropriate for kraft (natural box color) substrates.

A design which used 2 spot colors

We worked with many small growers who didn't have access to larger design firms, so the opportunity to create original solutions presented itself often.  After a certain time, I started to produce designs with the limitations of our presses in mind.

The translation from what's made on screen to final print result involves a number of considerations.  Trying to anticipate potential problems at the early stages of a project helps produce a better image.  The illustration looks quite bright on screen but tends to darken when it's printed.  Thinking about shifts in color was a big takeaway from my time at this role.

Target proofs help anticipate final print

Original , digitally "painted," illustration

A two color design for citrus

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Visual solutions are often limited by project budgets, so the need to convey quality but keep production cost low is always a concern. Operating within constraints is where creative solutions have a chance to add value.  These designs use limited palettes but still achieve a strong visual appeal.

First design that went into production

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Full colored illustration

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Original sketch

On-screen colors always vary from final print result.  Press operators have a lot to do with color consistency, accuracy and over all quality. This project was a challenge, as it went through numerous changes in order to get the characters right.  I was happy with the overall result and it was rewarding to see my work out in grocery stores.

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