Interview – David Popov
by Jon Dowling·
We were very lucky to catch up with David Popov a while back, for 'Counter-Print Packaging', to ask some questions about Pop & Pac's wonderful branding for Huxtaburger.
What was the brief for this project and how did the opportunity come about?
The project actually came about as a referral from a company we use to produce/print most of our packaging projects. The brief was initially for a brand refresh, however, after our initial workshop, it was clear that we needed to take Huxtaburger in a new direction. They started as an ‘American Burger’ restaurant and we ended up positioning them as a ‘Kiwi’ lifestyle brand advocating for people to smash life, live it to the full and not be afraid of doing whatever they are passionate about; whether it’s eating a big fat juicy burger or base jumping off a cliff.
Can you talk us through the design process?
We started with a tailored design questionnaire that on the surface poses a lot of seemingly abstract questions, however they are all targeted in a way that get the client thinking less literally and more laterally. This process helps us lock in a brand story and helps with establishing our creative territories, it also integrates the client in the creative process and solidifies the collaborative process. Once we are through this first stage, the thoughts that come out of this process then form the starting points for our ideas and creative directions. These ideas are first presented to the client in the form of ‘design territory’ moodboards. The client choses one creative territory, of which we develop three concepts. Once one concept is chosen, we refine and apply the visual elements (logos, patterns, language, type etc) to all the applications, from packaging and web to signage and more.
How did you develop the illustration/graphic style?
The creative response took inspiration from the ‘urban’ landscape (of the restaurants) and ‘flavour’ landscape (of the burgers). The textures of different ingredients and the various locations of the Huxtaburger stores all informed the textures in the packaging. The logo was a nod to the past but also completely customised to emphasise the new direction. The little people on the landscapes represent the lifestyle component.
What challenges did you face when creating the design?
The printing and reproduction of the colours and textures on pretty ‘run of the mill’ stocks had to be consistent, which was challenging, plus different items were printed at different factories in China, which meant getting consistent reproduction was very challenging, but the guys from O’Kelly Group did an amazing job.
If you could pick one aspect of the finished design that you like the most, what would it be and why?
I love the colours and textures. It’s very different to Huxtaburger’s original brand, however, in some way it feels somewhat like it’s always been their brand, which is a really positive thing for them. They feel like they really own it.
Interview taken from the book 'Counter-Print Packaging'
Creative Director – Pop & Pac