Have you ever just stood in the snack aisle at a grocery store and just stared at all the beautiful packaging? It's like walking into an art museum, each package with a unique story behind its size, materials, colors, and typography that inspires us to grab it off the shelf.
That's what I love most about the consumer packaged goods (CPG) space -- the physical creativity that comes with it. You're designing something that people will actually touch, hold, open and share which unfolds exciting creative opportunities and challenges.
For Confusion, unfolding those opportunities started with building creative confidence.
Building Creative Confidence
The process of being scrappy and bringing my ideas to life was exhilarating...it built the foundation for my creative confidence -- that lil' voice in your head that says "you'll figure it out"
Steve Jobs once said "Stay hungry, stay foolish". When it comes to creative projects like this, I genuinely take that to heart.
When it came to designing packaging for Confusion, I 100% knew I wanted to do it myself despite having 0 knowledge or experience with it. It was like being a kid in a candy shop -- the opportunity of testing my creativity in a new medium was thrilling. It required a generous dose of naiveté and a lil' dose of creative confidence (and realizing that I had no money to hire someone 🙈).
These past 9 years, I've had the chance to build that creative confidence through a series of passion projects (from my own apparel brand in high school, an event photo sharing app in college, to most recently selling hand-made chai packets). I just went headfirst into those projects, iterating through hundreds of different web and mobile designs while learning different design tools along the way. The process of being scrappy and bringing my ideas to life was exhilarating. After many repetitions, it built the foundation for my creative confidence -- that lil' voice in your head that says "you'll figure it out".
Confusion was no different. I coupled my web/mobile design skills with my learnings from making chai packets and decided to go head first into designing popcorn pouches.
Celebrate the fusion, be culturally loud & proud, and be family & community centric
During the first 1-2 weeks, I was constantly fighting the temptation of opening up Adobe Illustrator and just designing away. I knew gaining clarity on Confusion's brand ethos would better guide my design vs. designing away in the ether.
Although I didn't win many of those fights 😅, I ultimately connected with 3 core principles that best supported my mission for Confusion -- create snacks that stay true to my immigrant roots while embracing the cultural influences of growing up in America.
Celebrate the fusion: help Indian-Americans like me stay connected to our immigrant roots while embracing the cultural influences of growing up in America.
Be culturally loud and proud: Indian culture is vibrant, colorful, and festive. I wanted to be unapologetically loud about that with Confusion and have fun with it.
Be family and community centric: Some of my fondest memories growing up are just snacking the night away with family. The conversation, jokes, banter and games that surrounded those snacks always remind me how special that community is. I really want Confusion to help create and be part of that community in every household it joins.
Brand ethos down 👏🏽! Next step was designing packaging elements that reflected those ethos. This is where I embraced the temptation and went head first into designing and researching ideas until I found the right recipe.
Stay tuned next week where I'll deep dive into each of they key design elements that brought our design ethos to life!