Portrait of Caroline Hughes
People Spotlight
I’m fortunate for the brands we work with at Avery Dennison. Helping them solve problems and create real solutions gets me excited about a project.

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Caroline Hughes

Senior Manager, Packaging, Global

What I do:
I work in branding and my area of expertise is packaging design. My work is part of me because I love what I do.

I’m a creator:
I always wanted to create. At school, I was not the most academic student, but I loved math and science. I loved DIY–it drove my parents crazy because I always wanted to know what they were doing and how they were doing it. I’ve been passionate about creating things and construction ever since. Then when I was introduced to the world of graphic design, I quickly became entranced with logos and branding. Over time, I began to understand the customer and the psychology of packaging design, what made them choose a particular product

Where I find inspiration:
Inspiration comes from going for a walk, visiting an art gallery, or digging into my kitchen drawer. I’ll open a container of tea bags and think, oh, I can apply that to apparel packaging. It’s wonderful to have a career where ideas can come from anywhere, whether it’s new material innovations or innovative graphic design. I take what intrigues me and apply it to packaging concepts.

How I inspire my team:
I hope my passion for packaging inspires them. We’re an integrated group. What we do is high pressure in retail–packaging is usually the last element people think of when developing a product. At the end of a product cycle, we have to react quickly, so staying constructive, positive, and encouraging goes a long way in getting the best results from my team.

Why I love what I do:
I’m fortunate for the brands we work with at Avery Dennison. Helping them solve problems and create real solutions gets me excited about a project.

What influences my designs:
Successful packaging has to protect the product and identify the brand. A big creative driver for me is graphic design. But there are many aspects I have to take into consideration: color, texture, material, environmental impact, and brand perception.

The future of packaging:
Personalization will become more important for brands. Packaging graphics are increasingly concealed inside the package to create an experience of surprise and delight. Smart technology is also a key brand-enabler, it will provide whole wealth of information for the consumer.

Successful packaging:
Great design that is visually engaging and resonates with brands and consumers, but also has minimal impact on the environment.

Advice for aspiring packaging designers:
Commitment is the most important thing. Communicating with brands, product designers, and your team is key. Take inspiration from everywhere. And don’t get too personal about what you’re creating; sometimes missing the mark is the best way to learn as a designer.

My path to this role:
After University, I worked at a branding agency then an advertising agency. I loved the branding agency, but the advertising agency wasn’t for me. I joined an in-house design studio where I was responsible for packaging, the consumer catalogue, merchandising corporate identity, point of sale. It was here I learned to really get under the skin of the brand. I did that for seven years, leading creative design and developing packaging. I decided to go back to the agency world because I liked the idea of working with different brands with different needs and identities. After heading several retail brands in packaging and point of sale, I took a position as creative director before coming to Avery Dennison. And really this is my dream job: packaging, branding, and passion.

Best career advice I’ve received:
It's not how good you are, it's how good you want to be.