>Jini Keasling Recap
>This past week, we had Jini Keasling from Disney Store USA come share her wonderful knowledge with us.
Jini is an Art Center illustration alum who currently works as a Package Design Manager for the Disney Stores. Jini described the Disney Store as a separate division from Disney Consumer Products. Unlike Consumer Products, Jini and her team are able to brainstorm new product ideas and implement them. Specifically, Jini’s team deals mainly with packaging design. She says her team is composed of both illustrators and graphic designers. The most important thing in package design is story telling. Great packaging is more than just a box, it’s reveals the product in an interesting way. Great packaging is all about SMART design. Designs that are thoroughly though threw, they push the concept and push the design.
Not only did Jini talk about packaging design, but she also talked about portfolios. Portfolios for product design and branding are slightly different from portfolios for viz dev. The main differences are being able to show a concept and bring it to full shelf realization. For example, in your viz dev portfolio you probably have some prop designs which also have turn arounds. These are great because if you design packaging, the process is very similar – you have to be able to design around all 6 sides of the product or package. However, your prop designs probably aren’t mocked up. For product and packaging design, they look for portfolio pieces that show you can see how the product will look on the shelf. In meetings, Jini will bring in actual paper mock ups of packages. So including actual mock-ups in your portfolio are great. They really want to see you are able to ‘leap’ from concept designs to final shelf product.
Also, Jini reminded us to always tailor you portfolio for the different companies you are applying to. Don’t be afraid to make last minute switch outs or rearrange your work as long as it makes your portfolio all that stronger. Do research on the company you’re applying to and make your work fit in with theirs.
One of the key points Jini made throughout her speaking engagement was the importance of thinking. There are lots of people out there who can draw pretty pictures, so you need to show you can think. Thinkers who can also design and draw are much rarer and more valuable.
Lastly, Jini also spent some time giving us some great life advice. Jini reminded us to enjoy the journey. Be a life long learner. Pick great bosses and companies you’d love to learn from. Do something everyday that scares you. In terms of final advice, Jini said always make good connections. Whether they be your friends at Art Center, co-workers, or teachers, your connections will be there with you forever.
Thanks again to Jini for coming out!
and winning the Toy Story Slinky Dog