Interview with Angela Spindler, Depot Creative

Winner of Packaging Design Awards

Award Winning Designer Angela Spindler, Depot Creative shares insights


Interview with Angela Spindler, Depot Creative at Sunday 23rd of October 2016:

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
AS : I have been in the design industry for 30 years, have a Masters Degree in Design and have worked across continents gaining valuable experience and insights.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
AS : I became a designer as from an early age I had a very keen interest in type and calligraphy. I was very captured by the art of lettering, the forms and the power of type to express. My very first commission was at the age of 16, I lettered certificates for Oxford University and after that was lettering pub menu boards and anything where I could develop this craft. Becoming a designer, a packaging designer was a natural progression and my passion has remained constant. I am motivated by the idea that design can make aspects of the world a better place to experience.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
AS : It was something I chose.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
AS : I am a packaging designer and have found areas that interest me, so beverage, gourmet food, skincare and kids products.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
AS : I think I was very privileged to work with some amazing mentors, so I listened, took criticism, and did things over and over again! That would be my advise.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
AS : I think great designers are a fusion of many things, they marry creativity, intellect, skill, technical prowess, intuition with humility.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
AS : Really good design has a unshakable idea behind it and is executed in a sharp and compelling manner.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
AS : Good design can change the way you think, the way you experience and interact with all the things around you.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
AS : I would like to move more in the direction of product design.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
AS : I enjoy working with different substrates and so I have a dream project in mind that is product orientated and involves using some of my favourite utilitarian substrates-all going well this may be realized next year.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
AS : I don't think I have a secret recipe as such, I work in a very honest and genuinely passionate way and I never settle, so perhaps success lies in in a quest to always push harder, to always do more.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
AS : The list is long and they rank among the classics but Mies van der Rohe, for his clarity and simplicity- less is more.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
AS : Outside of being a packaging designer, I have a love of chairs and both my studio and home are filled with many- my current favourites are a string of circa 1930's cinema seats from a cinema here in Sydney, sadly I don't know who designed them - I suspect rather that a carpenter craftsman was commissioned. The design is simple, the detail quite lovely and they are enormously comfortable.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
AS : If I have reached my greatest it would possibly be some work I did on a coffee brand where a very simple idea took a very regular, predictable format and shattered convention in its solution.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
AS : I simply spend a lot of time listening.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?
AS : I would like to have been an architect.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?
AS : For me personally design is about making things better in whatever capacity that may be, giving meaning and creating memory.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
AS : As I mentioned, I worked with great mentors and my biggest supporter was Knut Hartmann, founder of Hartmann Design in Germany. He was generous with his knowledge, a brilliant typographer and hand lettering artist, a packaging design master and teacher who gave me space, autonomy and freedom to create and resolve.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?
AS : Never losing my passion.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
AS : I have lots of interesting projects on at present but those involving collaborations with industrial designers are what you should expect to see.

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?
AS : To keep on producing for as long ask can!

DL: How does design help create a better society?
AS : In many ways, how we engage, exchange and consume.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?
AS : My collaborations.

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
AS : Those that remained true to the original idea, so little deviation from the initial concept.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
AS : That largely depends on the project.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?
AS : With research and lots of it.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?
AS : Design decides the trends.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?
AS : In touches all facets of it.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
AS : Mac based, so Creative suite led.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?
AS : For a packaging designer all of these things contribute to awakening the senses.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
AS : I wish I had done it!!

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?
AS : I work with a number of very talented people around the world who help bring projects to fruition.

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
AS : The skills need to be crafted, and that takes time.

DL: How do you feel about all the awards and recognition you had, is it hard to be famous?
AS : The awards are a great way of validating that you are contributing to better design and with that perhaps giving us all better experiences.

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
AS : Favourite colour is charcoal grey, favourite place today is New Caledonia, all time favourite food is sushi, favourite season if I'm in the northern hemisphere is autumn, the southern spring, my favourite brand for as long as I can remember is Converse...

DL: Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
AS : Being asked to move type by 1 point by my creative director, doing nothing and representing my visual and receving a rapturous response of 'you see how much better that is'.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
AS : No two projects are the same and I guess I am genuinely lucky that 30 years on, my job excites me as much now as it did then.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
AS : A great designer no, a creative person yes.