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Blog Archive

The 2019 color trend predictions are here!

November 12, 2018
Category: Graphic Design

Pantone’s color of the year will be announced this December. In September, however, Pantone chooses colors from the runways of New York fashion week to give us an idea of what to expect for color palettes in the new year.

Executive director Leatrice Eiseman said that from a psychological perspective, the hotter the colors are, the more “empowerment” they encourage. “That’s a word that has gotten some play that is really going to show itself in the spring collections,” she said. “Confident, uplifting, joyful hues, but the undercurrent is empowerment to all of them.”

Check out the full Pantone® color trend report here. https://www.pantone.com/color-intelligence/fashion-color-trend-report/fashion-color-trend-report-new-york-spring-summer-2019

Tags: Graphic design graphic design product package Pantone

RangeMe + Design Interface Inc.

October 09, 2018
Category: Packaging Design

Design Interface Inc. is partnering with an exciting new service called RangeMe. We are part of their exclusive launch group for packaging design that goes live October 11.

RangeMe partners with top retailers to help the buyer find new products for their stores and manage their inbound submission process. Retail partners include: Whole Foods Market, Target, RiteAid, CVS, Ulta Beauty, Sephora, Albertsons Safeway, GNC, Petco, Sprouts, Vitamin Shoppe, UNFI, INRA and more!

RangeMe Services is a way for new product suppliers on RangeMe to find experts in key categories essential to their product’s success. At launch, Design Interface is providing Package Design, Labeling and Photography. We will help get brands shelf-ready and verified by RangeMe. 

Retailers have minimum requirements for suppliers to be able to do business with suppliers. RangeMe has a Verification program that helps suppliers showcase those minimum requirements to buyers once they those criteria are met. Stay tuned for more exiting packaging design news. ~ Carla

Tags: Package Design Packaging Commercial Photography Labeling Design for Retail Design Interface Inc.

Start With Why - The Golden Circle

September 10, 2018
Category: Product Design

 This is the third most popular TED Talk by author and motivational speaker, Simon Sinek, in which he explains his philosophy that people and companies are inspired by a sense of purpose, or what he calls the “why”. Spinek argues that too many of us are focused on “what” they do or “how” they do it rather than thinking about “why” they do it. Those three words are the basis for the Golden Circle (watch the video for his explanation). He believes the origin of this thinking is based on the limbic system,  an early-developed set of brains structures that control our emotions and behaviors. It might explain why some companies/products are very successful and others are not.

Tags: simon spinek TED Talk

Fowler’s Milling Company Field Trip

August 23, 2018
Category: Likes

Here are some photos of our fun outing to Fowlers Milling Company in Chardon, Ohio. The DI team really enjoyed redesigning 27 baking mix packages for them, so we thought we’d visit the mill. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places and the only survivor of 17 gristmills that operated in Geauga County. It was built in 1834 by the Fowler Brothers and a community grew up around the gristmill and later a woolen mill and saw mill. The gristmill operated continuously for more than 100 years before closing in 1966. Rick and Billie Erickson refurbished the mill in 1986. Thanks to Billie Erickson and her great team, it still operates today, selling their products in the Mill’s store and online.

Tags: Design Interface Inc. graphic design package design Fowlers Milling Company

A Fresh Look At Baking Mix Packages

August 02, 2018
Category: Packaging Design

Fowler’s Milling Company approached Design Interface to re-design their packages of baking mix products. The line consists of 27 assorted mixes that they sell to farm markets and orchards across the U.S. The new package design uses a self-standing Kraft bag that coordinates well with the old-fashioned atmosphere found at these venues. The new front labels feature appetizing photos of the baked items surrounded by vibrantly colored background images of orchard fruits rendered in a watercolor technique. This new design will also be used for almost 300 private labels for their farm market clients. In addition, we helped design a new sales sheet and order form that complement the updated look.

We had the chance to bake and taste some of the actual product mixes that Fowler’s Mill makes and they are delicious! The next time you are shopping at your local farm market, be sure to look for the Fowler Milling baking mixes — you won’t be disappointed.

Tags: Packaging Graphic Design Label Design

Creating Effective Instruction Manuals

July 18, 2018
Category: Graphic Design

A key part of a product’s success is how well the customer understands how to use it. By providing a well written and clearly illustrated instruction manual, you’ll create a positive user experience and have happier customers. One of our core competencies is creating user manuals that emphasize simplicity. Sentences should be concise and use action-oriented  words (push, turn, install) while keeping the number of steps to a minimum. And each step should be supported with a straight-forward drawing. In fact, the need to accommodate multiple languages is creating a trend that consists entirely of drawings with almost no words.

Design Interface has over 30 years experience creating effective instruction manuals for a wide range of products, so team up with us and we can help.

Tags: instruction manuals graphic design drawings

Lightweight Exoskeleton for Plant Workers

June 27, 2018
Category: Product Design

This MATE Fit for Workers wearable exoskeleton caught my eye. It aids workers with heavy and repetitive jobs. It’s unique in that its design is focused on enhanced worker ergonomics. The system uses a spring-based structure that doesn’t require batteries that need replacing or motors that can burn out.

MATE is able to duplicate any movement of the shoulder while adhering to the body like a “second skin.” The way it fits around the torso, back, chest & shoulders also provides postural support to prevent injury.


Comau is the company that developed MATE partnering with OSSUR, a leading non-invasive orthopedics company. The company projects that the device reduces shoulder muscle activity for some muscles of up to 50%. 


The MATE is part of Comau’s HUMANufacturing Technology strategy that combines people and technology to produce smart factory solutions. It’s a concept the blends people, digital tools and robotics to provide a networked production system. It was introduced at Automatica 2018 in June in Munich, Germany. ~ Carla

Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=5&v=4Poz5GzaNP8

Tags: ergonomics exoskeleton worker aids

Package Design Trends for 2018

June 04, 2018
Category: Packaging Design

Product packaging is everywhere, from your local grocery store to your favorite online shops. Trends in product packaging design reflect artistic and cultural styles, changing tastes, and patterns in consumer spending. This effects our wants and needs and those wants and needs may start with visual attraction to a product. Here are some trends that are being implemented today in package design:  

1. Simplicity 

Minimalist design has been around for some time now and it’s not going anywhere soon. Although it can come across as somewhat abstract and primitive, keeping it simple plays an important role in helping us access our intuitive side.

2. Doodles 

Everybody doodles—from 9-year-olds to 90-year-olds, so you’re set as far as target markets are concerned. Adults relate to this kind of free form drawing because it reminds us of the energetic, happy-go-lucky kids that we all were once. And let’s be honest: a good doodle can turn a frown upside down any given day. When seen on packaging, doodles can turn a product into a fun universe that was born from someone’s imagination and shared with the world. They also have a wonderful way of describing what’s inside the box. Many times we’re smiling before we even touch the product. Happy customer? Check! 

3. Pastels 

Feminine, calming package design is moving into the spotlight in 2018, which means that pastels are seeing a resurgence. Pastels feel like a natural reaction to the hyper-stimulating and explosive colors we’ve been experiencing. They speak to our softer side. 

4. Big Words 

If you’re looking to send a clear and loud message about what your product is all about, then big words might be what you’re looking for.  Words are a great way to get creative with the message you’re bringing forth. Be it funny or serious a clear message will work as long as it’s in a bold and easy-to-read sans serif font. Combined with a wise choice of colors your product will surely make a splash. 

5. Vintage

You can’t go forward without knowing your past.  Vintage design is also an effective way of demonstrating dedication to a certain level of quality, perhaps unaltered since the inception of the product, decades or centuries back. Vintage tells a story of tradition, respect and passion, elements that remain alive—from a design standpoint—through organized structure, dense details and strong, lasting identity. 

For more 2018 trends go to: https://99designs.com/blog/trends/packaging-design-trends-2018/ 

Blog inspired by the Martis Lupus 99designs blog: 10 Creative Packaging Design Trends For 2018

Tags: package design graphic design product design product packaging trends 2018 packaging

Apple Employees Use the Pacific Chair

May 08, 2018
Category: Product Design

We all know how Apple’s iconic designs for phones and computers play an integral role in lives of millions of people around the world. Jony Ives, design chief at Apple, has a vision that Apple’s products be so simple as to seem “inevitable.” So I was curious to learn how a small British studio, Barber Osgerby, was able to convince Ives to buy their new office chair for every workstation for the entire 12,000-person Apple headquarters.

It's called the Pacific Chair and is meant to blend in with an interior design and keep employees focused rather than call attention to itself. The informal lines exude a calmness that is quite at odds with the prevailing attitude in office chairs that was introduced in 1994 with the groundbreaking Aeron Chair. The Aeron's mesh support and reclining mechanism  evolved from the 1980s computer-driven office where people were frequently slouching in their chairs. It was a highly engineered piece that fit perfectly with the corporate office interiors of the day.

However, today's offices are trending towards a more "residential" vibe to attract millennial workers who typically aspire to be part of a creative organization, not the office drones of a few years ago. As the younger crowd increasingly uses social media in their work and private lives, the line between those worlds becomes more blurred. In that light, Barber Osgerby felt that if work spaces were coming to resemble living rooms, then work furniture had to take a more casual look. “To get the best people you have to have an environment with less formality,” says Osgerby. And apparently Jony Ives agrees with that sentiment.

Photos: courtesy Herman Miller and Barber Osgerby

Tags: Product Design Apple Aeron Chair Pacific Chair

Cleveland Insitute of Art Spring Show - April 24-27

April 24, 2018
Category: Product Design


Looking forward to seeing the creative talent at this year's Spring Show at CIA - April 24-26, 2018.

The opening is tonight at 6:00. Hope I'll see you there. ~ Carla

Tags: Industrial Design Graphic Design Package Design Web Design Cleveland Ohio

What’s the Difference Between Logo Design and Branding?

April 04, 2018
Category: Graphic Design

A logo is an easily recognizable, reproducible design element, often including a name, symbol, specified colors or trademark. It’s that shape companies use to represent their company; like Nike’s swoosh or McDonald’s golden arches. A well designed logo should evoke some memory or emotion from the viewer depending upon their relationship with the brand. 

But what’s branding? Branding is how your customers experience your company. While a logo is only a small simple mark, a brand encompasses the positioning, the messaging and communications, the visual design, the target market, the presence, and the experience any individual has with the business, product or service.

A logo all by itself is just a graphic element with a name. A brand is the communications strategy that helps you communicate your passion and expertise. When combined, a well-planned logo and a brand strategy help you effectively and efficiently reach your audience, communicate your message, your value, and benefits, and visually attract more attention.

Do you have a logo, or do you have a brand? We can help bring your brand to life. Visit our Brand Identity or Contact Us page.

Tags: Graphic Design Brand Branding Branding identity packaging product design logo symbol trademark

The Hidden Message in the Olympic Medals

March 14, 2018
Category: Product Design

Did you know? The Winter Olympic Medals change every two years when the International Olympic Committee selects an individual or team from the host country to create a new design. This year they chose Sukwoo Lee, an industrial designer working in Seoul and he came up with five ideas that attempted to combine the Olympic spirit with Korea’s heritage. The winning design cleverly uses the Korean alphabet, called Hangeul, to represent “the seed" of Korea's culture. The seeds are symbolically planted, grown, and finally harvested, and what’s left are the “stems” of culture bunched together and cut into the circular medal shape. You can clearly see these stems depicted on the front. However, turning the medal sideways reveals that the stems are actually extruded letterforms of the PyeongChang games. 

Tags: PyeongChang Olympics Medals Industrial Design

CIA Women In Design

March 01, 2018
Category: News

It was a proud moment for me at the Cleveland Institute of Art when six former industrial design students came together to demonstrate skills and talk about their careers. They were part of the exhibit— X Perspective: CIA Women in Design - Growing Influence. It showcased women who have graduated over the past decade, in addition to two current students. The graduates work across the U.S. in different industries, including automotive, toys, consumer electronics, furniture, housewares and medical products. The show was designed and curated by Rebecca Bible-Churavy, a 2009 CIA graduate, with the support of Dan Cuffaro, Department Chair, Industrial Design. 

~ Carla

Tags: Cleveland Institute of Art Industrial Design careers

Digital Fireworks with Drones at the 2018 Olympics

February 12, 2018
Category: Likes


Intel has broken a world record by creating a lightshow comprised of over 1,200 illuminated drones at the opening ceremonies of the 2018 Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. The flying points of light are synchronized via computers to create stunning animated 3D figures in the night sky. The audience was awed by images of a snowboarder, a flying dove, and the Olympic Rings flying overhead. Watch the video from ABC News to see how it was done.

Tags: Winter Olympics drones

Cinemagraphs—A Graphic Design Trend For 2018

January 23, 2018
Category: Graphic Design

There are new graphic design trends every year and this year one of the more interesting trends is the use of cinemagraphs. Cinemagraphs are “living” photographs: It is a mix of an image and a video together, where only part of the image is animated, and the rest remains static. It loops seamlessly without any visible breaks or edits. 

The term “cinemagraph” was coined by photographers Kevin Burg and Jamie Beck in 2011. They were the first photographers to really put cinemagraphs on the map through their stunningly beautiful fashion photography.

By defining which elements in a cinemagraph move within the frame and which are static, the cinemagrapher can emphasize certain details, tell stories, or create a unique atmosphere.

To learn more about cinemagraphs and how to create one go to the following websites:




Tags: graphic design cinemagraphs photography design video

Ellen's Giving Away Panwaffles!

December 11, 2017
Category: Product Design

Christmas is just around the corner and Ellen is promoting her 12 Days of Giveaways where she features unique and interesting gifts. One that caught our attention is called the PanWaffle that we designed earlier this year. It's a griddle that makes a pancake and waffle in one. In this fun video you can watch Ellen introduce the Panwaffle to her studio audience. You can learn more about the Panwaffle at https://panwaffle.com.

Tags: panwaffle ellen 12 days of giveaways product design christmas

How to Solve Problems Like a Designer

November 29, 2017
Category: Product Design

Design is a constantly changing and rapidly evolving field, from product design, graphic design, transportation design, visual design and then to system design. No matter how design changes and evolves, all designs share the same problem-solving methods. The four main steps are: 1) observation, 2) ideation, 3) prototyping and 4) testing. Check out this 5 minute video by TED+Vox+IDEO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOrmr5kT-48

Like IDEO President, Tim Brown says “everyone is a designer.” Knowing how to solve problems can make you and your communities’ lives better and more enjoyable.

Tags: Vox video product design human centered design IDEO

Flexi~Bling - Handmade Jewelry

November 17, 2017
Category: Graphic Design

Flexi-bling — flexible jewelry launched their website today! The Design Interface team created the brand identity for founders Linda Jones and Alenna Smith. We started with the foundation of a descriptive logo, then worked on labels, packaging and signage. The website needed a few days of intensive photography and video production done in our photo studio at Design Interface Inc. We worked with outside modeling talent and used our own art direction expertise to create the look and feel. The responsive e-commerce website was developed in WordPress along with the other elements. Visit their website today!

Team Members: Anita Morselli-Zakrajsek, Carla Blackman, Tim Safranek, Doug Halley and Matt Moss

Tags: Logos packaging brand identity photography art direction website design and development

Packaging for Pet-owners

October 26, 2017
Category: Graphic Design

Recently we had the opportunity to create this whimsical custom die-cut package and hang tags for Crochet Kitty™, a Cleveland company specializing in handmade cat & dog accessories. The plush toys are attached to a cat-shaped card and the paw folds across to hold them. If you’re a cat lover then be sure to check out the Etsy store.

Tags: Package design Crochet Kitty cats

Pantone’s Top Ten Colors For Fall/Winter 2017

October 11, 2017
Category: Graphic Design

The Pantone Color Institute released their color report and I am excited to share this season’s Top 10 Colors for Fall 2017! “The color palette for Fall 2017 leans more to warmth,“ says Leatruce Eiseman, Executive Director of the Pantone Color Institute. Both Autumn Maple and Butterum have a warm and comforting seasonal feel to them. There are also other unique shades such as light pink Ballet Slipper, an eye-catching Golden Lime and a bright Marina blue.“ These hues add a striking touch when paired with the classic autumnal shades of Navy Peony, Neutral Gray, Butterrum and Tawny Port,” said Eiseman. 

Here is a description of the Top Ten colors at a glance.

PANTONE 17-1558 Grenadine-A powerful, evocative, dynamic red, Grenadine is a confident and self-assured attention-getter.

PANTONE 19-1725 Tawny Port-Taking the Red family to new depths, Tawny Port is elegant, sophisticated, and tasteful.

PANTONE 13-2808 Ballet Slipper-Descended from the Red family but with a softer touch, Ballet Slipper is always flattering and reminiscent of the rosy glow of health.

PANTONE 16-1341 Butterum-This snug, warming, and toasty shade is evocative of drinking a glass of Butterrum by a roaring fire on a cool autumn evening.

PANTONE 19-4029 Navy Peony-A mainstay for the season for both palettes, Navy Peony is a dependable and an anchoring shade. Solid and stable, the hue takes some of the load off of black as a go-to neutral.

PANTONE 17-4402 Neutral Gray-The standard bearer of all neutrals, Neutral Gray shares the anchoring role with Navy Peony in this palette. It can be used as an accent or a head-to-toe statement shade.

PANTONE 19-4524 Shaded Spruce-This is a green you might see in the forest – sheltering and protective as evergreen trees.

PANTONE 16-0543 Golden Lime-Earthy tones with a twist, the golden undertones of Golden Lime makes this yellow-green shade a refreshing complement to fall classics.

PANTONE 17-4041 Marina-Cool with an enhanced vitality, Marina is the only truly cool color in the fall palette that brings with it freshness and brightness.

PANTONE 17-1145 Autumn Maple-A quintessential autumn color, Autumn Maple is tawny and russet, introducing warmth into the palette.

Learn more about Pantone, Color of the Year, Trends, Color Trends, and Fall 2017 at www.pantone.com.

Photos courtesy of Pintrest and DiscoverStyle.ru.

Tags: Graphic Design Product Design Package Design Fashion Design Interior Design Graphics Pantone

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