Chris Zawada is the editor-in-chief and founder of Lovely Package - a blog that covers the best package design from all over the globe.
You work from an ad agency and also from home. How long have you been working in both places…and where is ‘home’? I’ve been with TAXI Advertising & Design for 3 years. We’re a passionate group of people striving to produce award-winning campaigns and designs for our clients across the network of offices (Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver, New York and Amsterdam). Lovely Package was founded in late 2008 in Vancouver, Canada where I currently reside.
What does an average work day involve? The average day tends to be a long one. I usually get up early and check my email to see what new package design submissions we have received. Myself and a team of 3 other editors will sift through the work and prep submissions that we feel adhere to a high standard of design which will be posted that day or throughout the week. From there it’s off to TAXI for the day where I still monitor the site, approve and delete comments and generally just make sure everything is working as planned. Being that I have other obligations during the day which don’t allow me to focus all of my time towards Lovely Package, I am grateful to have Helen Shaw who is also a Vancouver-based designer and our Deputy Editor help keep things running smoothly. Nights are typically filled with going through more submissions or scouring the web in search of those elusive lovely packages. Lately a lot of my free time is focused on building the new version of Lovely Package which visually and functionally will be a big departure from the current site. I think our readers are really going to like what we have in-store for them.
Is there any form of technology that really inspires and helps with your work? Hands down my iPhone. I was a late adopter to this technology having got mine a few months ago, but it has really changed the way I do things. Being able to reply to emails on the go and monitor Lovely Package both online and through the WordPress’ iPhone app has really increased my productivity. Now that I have it, I don’t know how I lived without it.
How do you organize your space? I’m thinking here of your physical space but also your virtual space. Is there any particular software or program that helps keep things under control? I hate clutter both in my physical and virtual space. You’ll find plenty of shelving and storage to keep things clean and organized in my environment. When it comes to my virtual space I like to keep it simple. No fancy applications, just clearly labeled and organized folders which house inspirational finds, resources, documents, etc. I then use Adobe’s Bridge to browse the contents of these folders.
What item from your desktop can you not do without? My computer of course!
What piece of office furniture do you most treasure? What do you want to replace? Working on a laptop allows me to roam around and work in various places so I really consider the entire house my office. I’d have to say that my favourite piece of furniture would have to be my Eames Lounge Chair. Not only is it a beautiful example of mid century modern design, it’s possibly one of the most comfortable chairs I have ever sat on. I have an older Keilhauer Tom office chair and while as comfortable as it may be, it looks a bit dated. I’d like to replace it with an Eames Aluminum Group chair.
What inspires you? Inspiration is all around. I may find it in the unique way a leaf has grown on a tree, or in the design of a piece of cutlery. When I need to be inspired I just step outside and take in the world around me.