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Interview with Damien Moyal

Home > Designer Interviews > Damien Moyal

Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Damien Moyal (DM) for A’ Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Damien Moyal by clicking here.

Interview with Damien Moyal at Monday 14th of April 2014

FS: Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
DM: I have been drawing and painting since I was able to hold a crayon or a brush, and I think the progression into commercial design was inevitable. I was sort of forced into a graphic design position after my workplace lost our designer, and since then have served as a Designer, Sr. Art Director, Design Manager and Design Strategist in various design disciplines.

FS: Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
DM: ScorCreative at Amcor is the design studio located within the celebrated Amcor Rigid Plastics R&D and Innovation Center. Amcor is a global packaging supplier, and ARP is a division that develops and produces blow-molded plastic packaging. Our studio serves world-class food, beverage, spirits, personal care and household care brands by acting as either the primary agency to the brand, or as consultant to the agency.

FS: What is "design" for you?
DM: Problem solving.

FS: What kinds of works do you like designing most?
DM: I have become quite partial to structural packaging design.

FS: What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
DM: My favorite design is actually still in concept development, so I can't speak in great detail about it, but it's for a client of Amcor's who is looking for game-changing innovation in the Ready-To-Drink alcoholic beverage space, and this design combines several developmental technologies to provide consumers with an experience previously only available in a bar or pub. Nothing like it exists in market today.

FS: What was the first thing you designed for a company?
DM: A t-shirt!

FS: What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
DM: Perhaps because it's my focus these days, but I really enjoy blow-molded plastics. They're lightweight and versatile, and have so many recyclable applications.

FS: When do you feel the most creative?
DM: In the middle of the day, just after lunch.

FS: Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
DM: I tend to first emphasize the silhouette itself. If the overall design doesn't have strong, confident form, any other details built into the structure seem forced, mechanical and out of place.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
DM: Because we often work with established brands, I try to align myself with the brand’s spirit and promise, to deliver something meaningful to their audience. I want to satisfy, if not create, desire.

FS: What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
DM: It's incredible to be in the supermarket and pick up and hold a package that began with a stroke of the pen on paper. It's even more fulfilling to know that the design is proving successful to the client and to the end user.

FS: What makes a design successful?
DM: Design should simplify a proposition. It should organize noise and cut through clutter, to help a great brand tell a great story. But most of all it should meet or exceed the business objectives that compelled it.

FS: When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
DM: Is it simple and easy to use? Is the value and concept accessible, or do I have to work to figure it out?

FS: From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
DM: Designers should always be cognizant of the materials and energy used for their applications, and always look to reduce both. I am lucky enough at ScorCreative to operate under Amcor's strict sustainability platform, as the organization is vehemently dedicated to innovations that allow for material reductions (lightweighting) and other technologies that result in lower carbon footprints.

FS: How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
DM: When it comes to fast-moving consumer goods, we are starting to see more and more in-home systems for flavor customization of food and beverage, which creates a new packaging opportunity: Packaging to take the product FROM home, rather than TO home, and the design community will need to be ready to accommodate and innovate.

FS: When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
DM: n/a

FS: Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
DM: The brands we work with and for are the inspiration, as are their particular audience and the audience's needs and lifestyles. Traveling keeps my gears turning, as well as reviewing other things happening in the marketplace, or in adjacent marketplaces.

FS: How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
DM: I like strong but fluid lines - like sweeping, gestural, brush strokes - but punctuated with an element that celebrates or exaggerates a feature that enhances the brand or a function.

FS: Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
DM: I live in the USA, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. We're pretty close to Detroit, and I think that grit sometimes shows through in design.

FS: How do you work with companies?
DM: ScorCreative works either as the agency working with a marketing team or brand owner on our client's side, or as a consultancy to agencies tasked with a packaging design project but lacking in technical expertise. My role is quite front-end at the concept and strategy stage.

FS: What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
DM: Look for proof! Not just in design quality, but in the business implications or impact of the designs they have commercialized.

FS: Can you talk a little about your design process?
DM: When we receive a design brief from the client, I will look to see what's missing, or perhaps what's erroneous. Occasionally we may challenge a few items in the brief, and typically the client supports these perspectives. We start a discovery phase where we research the competitive landscape, the cultural inputs, and the consumer's behaviors, and we start generating concepts. The first round is always in 2D (sketches), and we present a carefully curated selection to the client. When they hone in on a few of the concepts, we move those into 3D and rendering, and continue to tighten up details as we narrow down to a final design.

FS: What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
DM: (1) Vitra Verner Panton Chair, (2) Royal Holland KMD pewter coffee/tea set with teak handles, (3) a set of Colorstone plates and cups by Massimo Vignelli for Sasaki, (4) a mid-century modern desk that I've never been able to identify or find any maker's mark, and (5) a mid-century modern end table with a drawer that I've also never been able to identify or find any maker's mark

FS: Can you describe a day in your life?
DM: Work!

FS: Could you please share some pearls of wisdom for young designers? What are your suggestions to young, up and coming designers?
DM: Always, always, always start with a sketch.

FS: From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
DM: The biggest positive is seeing things you created - ideas born in your head - actualized and working for the business and the user intended. The big negative would be that there's a lot of emotion attached to ideas, and no matter how professional a designer may be, seeing an idea die always stings a little.

FS: What is your "golden rule" in design?
DM: Never design for the sake of design.

FS: What skills are most important for a designer?
DM: Understanding the business you serve, and understanding that design is indeed a business function, is something many designers miss. Develop a deep understanding of the less romantic components, like manufacturing, cost and operations. Your designs will be better informed, and your organization will take you more seriously.

FS: Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
DM: I mainly use a pen and paper. Because I work more on the front-end, conceptual phase of a project, my work is typically sketched. I then work alongside another designer to bring these concepts to 3D. We use various 3D software like Rhino, SolidWorks, Catia and others, and a proprietary mixture of rendering applications.

FS: Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
DM: Respecting the process and the stage gates at the end of each phase is crucial. So is coffee.

FS: How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
DM: Much depends on the client's involvement. Sometimes a project can go all the way from discovery to concept iteration to a final design that is ready to be released to the Product Development team in just three weeks, and then there are times where the process takes a year.

FS: What is the most frequently asked question to you, as a designer?
DM: "How long will that take?"

FS: What was your most important job experience?
DM: I'm in the middle of it!

FS: Who are some of your clients?
DM: PepsiCo, Campbell Soup Company, Starbucks, Captain Morgan Rum, The Coca-Cola Company and many others.

FS: What type of design work do you enjoy the most and why?
DM: I really have become quite partial to structural packaging design. It's necessary for product protection, and there are so many opportunities to innovate and create responsible and sustainable packaging that's great for the client and their consumer.

FS: What are your future plans? What is next for you?
DM: Hopefully working on a project that wins an A' Design Award next year!

FS: Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
DM: As a team. Although I do much more concepting and strategy, at some point or another I will need to work with another design to translate my concepts into actual 3D models, and often that designer and I will collaboratively refine the design as new variables (such as volumetrics or dimensional constraints) present themselves.

FS: Do you have any works-in-progress being designed that you would like to talk about?
DM: Unfortunately, anything in-progress is confidential. But I assure it's all really cool stuff!

FS: How can people contact you?
DM: I can be contacted directly at damien.moyal@amcor.com or through the studio at scor.creative@amcor.com

FS: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
DM: No, that about covers it! Thanks for your time, and we hope you hear much more from us in the future.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A’ Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.


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