Growing up with parents who owned a construction company with lots of workshop space, Jonathan Painter used to love making 3D models. At university, however, he initially got into graphics, and even though he loved packaging, he was keen to explore and push the possibilities of branding through different media.
After graduating, Painter set up a sonic branding consultancy, Anthem, to help bring brand stories to life through the use of audio, including some sonic snips and logos for mainly Internet-based projects. He went through the process of setting up the business, but admits that ‘it got to the stage where you need the experience and the contacts, so I looked to work for a branding consultancy where I could explore different avenues’.
That consultancy was Landor Associates, where he has worked as a branding and packaging creative since 2007. After only six months, he started work on the packaging and look and feel for Carling beer and the new Carling Cup logo, seeing the project the whole way through. Other identity and packaging work has included the new Sensations crisps, Tropicana Smoothies and a new Greek yoghurt drink called Frooze.
When Painter started designing he didn’t necessarily think about packaging, and even now he likes to think outside the box. ‘When I start a project, I don’t just think on-pack, but consider what you might to do a brand’s website and its look and feel as a whole – it keeps you fresh and you don’t become too narrow-minded,’ he says.
Like many packaging designers, Painter is aware of the environmental concerns that surround his industry, but concedes that it’s not always easy to balance environmental considerations and clients’ requirements. ‘Especially in packaging, trying to save the universe and not cutting down trees is something we all think about, but sometimes due to budgets you don’t necessarily have the options,’ says Painter. ‘When I have time on projects, it’s something I always think about, but often it’s a case of doing it in your own time, and if it’s a great idea you might be able to pursue it in the future.’
At the moment, Painter is keen to develop his career and move up the ladder, but striking out on his own once more is still at the back of his mind, ‘Ideally, I’d like to have my own agency in the future, even if it’s small.’
2006 BA Graphic Communication (Branding and Packaging) University for the Creative Arts Farnham
2006 Founder Anthem sonic branding
2007 to present Designer Landor Associates
‘Jonathan Painter is one of those really driven students. That can often make someone a bit dull, but Jonathan has so many other interests that relate to graphics.
He was very keen on music and wanted to create a link between that interest and sound and graphics. It wasn’t that long ago, but sonic branding wasn’t really talked about very much, so he found something that was on the edge of what we do in branding.
He’s also very entrepreneurial, and wanted to see whether he could pursue his project for real, and he managed to do that.’
Catharine Slade-Brooking Senior lecturer and pathway leader branding and packaging BA Graphic Communication University for the Creative Arts Farnham