The minefield of marketing yourself as a creative: how to add personality in packaging
Knowing how to extend your practice into packaging is an endless world of possibility, thankfully, noissue offers an ideal process for creatives.
The details of how to market yourself as a creative is a topic rarely given enough focus. It’s barely touched on in traditional education routes and infrequently shared with those entering the industry. All in all, knowing how to successfully share your work is a minefield. Although a daunting task, there are a number of brands offering a helping hand in sharing creative work with as big an audience as possible: noissue being one of them.
Noissue was founded in 2017 and began as a way to provide creatives – whether you’re a small brand, individual maker or growing business – with access to custom, sustainable packaging. Quickly welcomed by the creative community for its eco-friendly range, low minimum orders and fully customisable options, today, noissue is home to a growing global creative community. Gathering together like-minded designers, illustrators and agencies, the team provides creatives with a bespoke product range, as well as resources to support their creative growth and industry advice offered by its directory of partners.
Jadyn Klassen: Recognize Light (Copyright © Jadyn Klassen, 2021)
Jadyn Klassen: You Are Capable (Copyright © Jadyn Klassen, 2021)
A creative involved in this community over in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, is Jadyn Klassen. A multidisciplinary designer, who can trace back his love for creativity to “putting together shapes on paper at the direction of my grandmother,” Jadyn’s route into the industry began with a program in graphic design. After graduating, he landed a job in San Francisco and hopped around agencies, before finding himself back in Winnipeg, “freelancing, and really enjoying the freedom that brings,” he tells It’s Nice That. Now working across many cultural fields, Jadyn has a mix of musicians, venues, breweries and restaurants as clients, working on everything from poster design to brand development. Working in this world also means Jadyn is close to packaging design, from “beer cans, coffee bags, tissue paper and patterns”, meaning noissue provides a regular source of reference.
First hearing about the brand when it was recommended by a friend, at first it was noissue’s environmentally friendly approach that the designer found “especially attractive”. For newcomers, Jadyn also points out how the site is easy to navigate, “clean and simple to use, which is not always the case with packaging companies.” For someone with a keen design eye, this attention to detail makes all the difference, for example: “Uploading and proofing artwork was straight-forward and the colours registered correctly as well,” he adds.
Since using noissue’s stickers, its tissue paper collection (both for a coffee shop and a pasta maker client) and creating his own reels of packaging tape, Jadyn has found noissue to be “helpful for creating a solid brand for clients and designers alike,” he continues. “I was super happy with the final product when I got it in my hands, and I’ll definitely be exploring ways to use them more with my own work, as well as for brands that I work alongside.”
Jadyn Klassen: Transforming Positive Mindset (Copyright © Jadyn Klassen, 2021)
Jadyn Klassen: Success (Copyright © Jadyn Klassen, 2021)
For any creatives thinking of building out their brand to include packaging – perhaps by setting up their own shop, or even pitching a rebrand to a client – Jadyn recommends approaching the task with a sense of fun, the most important element. “Don’t be afraid to step out and make some wild patterns, and be curious about new ideas,” he suggests. “It’s easiest to come to interesting conclusions when you can really have fun and play, perhaps in extremes, before possibly pulling back to land on something that works well for the project. Not being afraid to get your hands dirty and try something new can often lead to new breakthroughs, and work out as a solid solution for your project” – just as one would when interrogating the crux of any creative brief.
Keeping yourself open to creative possibilities when it comes to packaging, is a similar piece of advice from noissue’s very own Cathy Strini, partnerships manager at the brand. For those possibly overwhelmed at where to start, Cathy highlights noissue’s “Inspo” page as “a great place to browse the creative ways the noissue community is utilising our products, and to spark inspiration for getting started on your own custom packaging,” she says. Seeing the work of others can set you off in your own direction, but it also “helps to think through what you want to accomplish with your packaging strategy, and what experience you want to create for the recipient.” Within these parameters, there’s plenty of room to explore with all the options offered. Also, with low minimums on placing orders, you have the chance to try a few ideas and see how customers respond best.
There are, of course, firm favourites that the noissue team see returning again and again, notably its bespoke tissue paper option accompanied by a logo-ed sticker. A two-in-one way to showcase your personality as an individual or brand, details such as a sticker’s design stay in a customer’s mind, especially when “printed with a fun pattern or illustration” as Cathy points out. For peace of mind for both the sender and recipient, this pairing of noissue products is also eco-friendly, with its paper products printed using soy or water based inks on FSC-certified paper, all 100 per cent compostable.
Trying out options with noissue also extends into digital capacities, with the team providing monthly PSD bundles to its community where creatives can try out mock-ups as part of their packaging design portfolio. Cathy adds that using one of these PSDs can showcase new possibilities for a pitch. “PSDs make a brilliant addition to a client presentation, and are a great tool to showcase how digital branding can be brought to tangible life through print.” These PSDs are also an option the noissue team see creatives use in an aspirational sense, sharing their passion projects on social media “so browsers can look at their work, imagine their brand, and get in touch to make it happen.”
Circling back to the practice of marketing creativity, from designing your own packaging to match your individual practice, or doing so on behalf of a brand, Cathy adds that “visibility is everything!” It’s for this reason noissue pays close attention to its creative community, showcasing their work on its homepage, sharing its stories on its weekly blog The Wrap, and matchmaking creatives through its directory too, all adding to this cycle of inspiration.
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Jadyn Klassen: Paste (Copyright © Jadyn Klassen, 2021)
noissue was founded to provide makers, brands and businesses of all sizes access to custom, sustainable packaging. The noissue difference is characterized by our commitment to sustainability for all our products, our simple online design platform, and our low minimum order quantities.