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June 7, 2013

Package Design Conference 2013 – We Invade San Francisco

Package Design Conference 2013 – We Invade San Francisco

Yes we’re goin’ to Saaaan Fraaaancisco. Nevertheless, the question remains: will we be wearing flowers in our hair?

In just a few short weeks, the SmashBrand team will be heading out to San Francisco to attend the 2013 Package Design Conference. This third annual conference features a cornucopia of seminars, lectures, networking opportunities and, of course, conferences. This gives graphic designers the opportunity to comingle, exchange ideas, outwardly appear to scoff at others’ ideas while secretly stealing them, listen to old timers grumble about how much better the conference was last year and, naturally, learn a thing or two. We hope that there’ll be food. If you feed us, we will come.

We jest, of course. Design conferences are an important part of professional development; getting together with other industry insiders gives us designers the opportunity to familiarize ourselves with the newest technologies and trends, open up our awareness to different design and package philosophies, check out a few innovations, confer with our peers, and brag about our amazing clients and lucrative contracts, only some of which we will be making up. Wait, what?

Unfortunately, there are so many lectures and events that we couldn’t possibly discuss them all, but our interest is certainly piqued by the titles of some of the seminars, which we’ll now describe.

ON FAILURE: How the Worst Moments in Your Life Can Turn Out to Be the Best

While this topic may seem aggressively go-getterish, it is nonetheless true that success is often born of extreme difficulties and rejection.

“I was turned away at my 40th job interview. Broke and despondent, I wandered the streets wondering whether it was possible to leach any nutrition from discarded lithium ion batteries. Suddenly, a wayward threshing machine came tearing down the street, knocking pedestrians hither and yon until it finally seized upon my right leg at the thigh, slicing it cleanly and effectively from my body. As I lay there losing precious blood and slipping into unconsciousness, I envisioned a prosthetic device that could be directly attached to the bone but still allow for a large and fluid range of movement. Five years later, my revenue stream exceeds the gross domestic product of Canada and Donald Trump is currently in one of my 50 garages waxing my Lamborghini Veneno. Thank you, razor-sharp thresher blade!”

Yes, the above example may seem extreme, but it is exactly those sort of extreme moments that often turn out to be life-defining. Make lemonade out of those lemons!

Reinventing Your Ideas: How the Little Things Yield Big Results

The description of this seminar begins: “Why have thousands of customers from around the world chosen to get the Johnny Cupcakes’ logos tattooed on themselves?” The answer (fashion victimhood and possible hypnosis notwithstanding) is that Johnny Cupcakes is a branding God, plain and simple. In this lecture, Johnny Earle — aka Johnny Cupcakes — describes his journey from a 19-year-old with a cupcake and crossbones logo and a dream, to a successful taste-making magnate with a legion of snarky t-shirt-wearing fanatics. Will there be cupcakes at this seminar? That’s not the point.

How Much, How Many, and When?

This seminar discusses package design and manufacture and all of the thrilling minutiae therein, including price points, warehousing, fulfillment, logistics and production processes. If the lecture is conducted by someone named Jimmy Bundtcakes, we’ll have gotten our money’s worth.

Lean Mean Design Machine

In our fast-paced, logged-on, sleep-when-I’m-dead world, clients want their packaging designed, fabricated and wrapped around their product and they want it done yesterday. This seminar helps attendees understand the different ways and means of lightning-fast production that is low-waste and environmentally sound. Moreover, also touched-upon are methods of getting clients to work with design companies in fruitful and productive ways that are harmonious and efficient, perhaps leading the clients to send the designers flowers on the designers’ birthdays. Just sayin’.

Who Are You? Who Needs to Know? A Personal Branding Experience

The assertive, almost Brooklyn-ese title illustrates the importance of specific identity with regard to branding. Attendees are encouraged to bring writing materials to jot down salient points. We’re certainly not going to argue – we may even hand over our wallets.

How to Avoid Work

At last! The seminar of our dreams! Of course, this seminar is more about engaging in a trade about which you have an inherent interest and (dare we say) passion than it is about discovering a way to have sitting around all day and watching the Food Network subsidized. Maybe next year.

These are only some of the enlightening sessions we’ll be attending at this exciting conference. Oh, and to answer our opening question: yes, we will be wearing flowers in our hair, but only if Johnny Cupcakes says it’s OK.

author

by Kevin Smith

Managing partner at SmashBrand. We’re a group of experienced brand owners, thinkers and world-class designers united by an obsession for creating category disrupting brand experiences.


Purposefully selective, we work with brands that want to stand out and also stand for something.


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