Caroline Hughes | Avery Dennison
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.