A brew with Jon-Paul Lightfoot: A Packaging Guru

A brew with Jon-Paul Lightfoot: A Packaging Guru

17th October 2019
Meet the Team

Jon-Paul is our Creative Artworker and with a total of 26 years in the design and print industry, it’s fair to say that he’s pretty damn knowledgeable when it comes

Jon-Paul is our Creative Artworker and with a total of 26 years in the design and print industry, it’s fair to say that he’s pretty damn knowledgeable when it comes to packaging design & print. Here we delve into his background and experience, talk about his dream client and what feeds his soul.

What do you do day-to-day?

My role sits within the creative team, providing in-depth knowledge and processes to take packaging design from concept to completion.

A lot of my time is spent working on packaging, creating master artwork designs that can be turned into 3D prototypes, whilst applying all the technical aspects of print, materials and finishes – so we get to experience how the product looks and works from all angles. I also spend a lot of time creating illustrations, with a mix of illustrator and photoshop – that’s a really fun thing to do. It’s nice to switch between technical illustrations, vector characters to watercolours. Also, love a bit of a retouching challenge.

What inspired you to go into the print and packaging industry?

I started my career at a repro house. This was pre Mac so everything was done with typesetters, dark rooms, cameras and scanners – not very glamorous and a bit smelly. 

I’m really passionate about print, the things that are designed and produced well, help to create trust in a brand. Concepts are all well and good but being able to create packaging that is reproduced in a consistent manner and is true to its form and function is an absolute must, it’s what consumers expect.

What’s the first thing that you do when you get to your desk?

Monitor on, grab a coffee, then read through my emails to see what’s new. I suppose I should tidy my desk more often as I’m surrounded by bits of packaging, sketches, doodles, Pantone books, proofs, etc. But that’s what a desk is for, to put stuff on right? (Don’t even think about looking in the drawers).

What books have had an impact on your career?

The Chimp Paradox by Steven Peters, a brilliant book that can help deal with negative thoughts, which we’re all subject to when it comes to working in a creative industry.

When was the last time you laughed so hard that you cried?

Universal Studio’s, LA. On the Jurassic World ride, I got an unexpected wave of water straight in the face!

What feeds your soul?

California road trips with my wife, making chocolate, gardening and just taking time to stop and reflect. 

More importantly, seeing things done properly. It’s a little sad, but I get great satisfaction from seeing things packaged properly – when a product has been designed so well that it’s faultless, that’s satisfying to see.

Where’s your favourite Manchester spot

My home. We took on an old Edwardian project house a few years back which we had to drag out of the 1950s, it’s really stressful but fun when you get to design your own space.

Equally, I love Altrincham Market for early morning breakfast in the sun!

What advice would you give to somebody starting out in the industry?

Ask for help. Our imagination knows no bounds, but sometimes what we create in our minds may be harder to draw, sketch, make/create, so enlist the help of others. Talk to someone you trust, who has the tools and skillset to help you. It’s all too easy to overcomplicate things in our own minds, talking things through often provides clarity, direction and a ‘how-to’ solution.

Your dream client and why?

Apple’s approach has been driven by simplicity, but when you look at their little boxes, they’re well designed and quite complex little structures when you get into the detail. It’s the little cardboard fixing and locking mechanisms, all neatly hidden inside keeping the product safe.  

Perrie Jouét has the most wonderful artistic approach to packaging. They really are a work of art – oh and you get a free bottle of Champagne with the box!

Laura Nuttall
Article by Laura Nuttall

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