Ep. 094 – Making Packaging Pop Off The Shelves with Derryl Kostynuik, President and Creative Director at Pencilworks Studios


I’m glad after 94 episode we have someone to represent the packaging side of the food industry.

Derryl Kostynuik lives in a small town north of Calgary and he works with a lot of food companies to bring out the best in their brand.

How do you do that? With creative and innovative packaging. Derryl gives some great examples of brands that went to him to get their packaging reworked.

So in this episode, we go into a great detail on the creative process of designing a killer packaging design. We also get pretty into things, on how to make your own design firm (if you’re into that) but I think the most valuable lesson in this interview that I got out of it, was a really interesting method on how to be creative.

You can sign up for Derryl’s newsletter at: pencilworks.com

About Derryl

There are so many ‘me-too’, ‘blend-in’ and ‘boring’ package designs and not enough ‘stand-out’ package designs in the marketplace. Sadly, a lot of packages are collecting dust instead of ‘selling themselves’. It doesn’t have to be this way. My mission is to change the way packaging presents itself on the shelf by designing packaging that becomes your companies best sales person. This is so your company can truly enjoy the benefits of increased sales and the consumer enjoys the benefits of the products that they purchase.

From my early childhood years, I knew that I was more creative than most. In fact, I’ve been playing in the world of creative design before I knew it by that term. As a 6-year-old boy, I just called it ‘doodling’. I’d doodle as I designed hockey uniforms for my imaginary team and I’d doodle while I crafted my own line of muscle cars. Creative and expressive before it was cool to be so.

My mission is to create dynamic packaging that becomes your company’s ‘best sales person’ through my 7 Step Best-Selling Packaging Design System. This system analyzes your packaging, then provides a market positioning solution that immediately helps you ‘stand-out’ from the competition and attract more business. So now all your packaging efforts have a unique and strategic story that not only is different but declares your position in a ‘stand-out’, market dominating way.

Specialties: Best-selling packaging design, packaging audits, stand-out marketing strategies, corporate and product brand identity design, product naming, product and service positioning/analysis. All these engagements are considered ‘In-Frame’ context. This means consideration is made to ‘what’ makes you different and then crafting your image and message in a way that appeals to your audience. It’s the only way I can have you stand-out where and when it matters most.

Sponsor – FoodGrads

If you are even just a little bit interested in a career in food & beverage, you should join FoodGrads.  It’s an interactive platform where you can hear about different careers, hear from your peers, have a voice and share your story as well as ask specific questions and get feedback from industry experts across the sector.

You can create a profile, add your resume and search for co-op, internships and full time opportunities just for Food Grads. Employers can find you too, they can recruit you for jobs and projects they need help with to give you the relevant industry experience you need.

Join FoodGrads today! Just go to Foodgrads.com

Sponsor – ICON Foods

What’s worse than marketing saying, ‘we have to clean up these sugars?’

They want clean label sugar reduction because that’s the trend.

So I advise you to skate to where the puck is going. Whether it’s to make your product a bit healthier or following the ever-changing FDA laws, my friends at Icon Foods – formerly Steviva Ingredients – are here to help. They have more than 20 years of R&D experience with natural sweeteners and sweetening systems in a wide range of applications. With a product list of twenty different sweeteners and plug-in sweetening systems that keeps growing, you can’t go wrong. Check out stevivaingredients.com to learn about the newest all-natural sweetener solutions and collaboration opportunities.

For more information, visit ICON foods at ICONfoods.com

Key Takeaways

– It’s hard to tell someone’s baby that it’s ugly
– Dealing with rebranding versus brand new products when it comes to packaging
– Beef Jerky story – the “Bite Me” slogan changed a brand completely
– How to be innovative and think creatively

Question Summary

Describe yourself in a sentence or less?: I have a design firm that makes packaging pop off the shelves
Quick Tip: Your packaging could be causing you to lose sales. If they are not buying from you, they are buying the competitor
Beef Jerky storythe “Bite Me” slogan changed a brand completely
Dog Food story – Wanted to develop a natural dog food line, developed new packaging. Now sells 1 dog food every 48 seconds
How do you go through the ideation process?: I have a 7 step process.

  • Research everything about the consumer. “What does use quality ingredients mean?”
  • Walk around in stores or go to the websites. The last thing you want to do is to have a package that is like everyone else. It’ll blend and disappear
  • Discuss with the brand owners to make a package that will still be familiar with their product based

Describe to where you are today: I had a graphic design company, and got a food client. I got really interested in how food was packaged including placement, processes, and material.
How did you get into design?: I loved to draw as a kid and when I was going to college, I had to take an entrance exam and got in. A lot of people there were so much better than me.
Quick Tip: If you want to be a designer, learn how to draw. You have to keep on practicing
How can you learn to be creative: look a lot, read a lot, always look at what everyone is doing. Be observant. Imagine things, dreaming of things. Day Dreaming, blue skying. Spend time doing nothing.
Are you born creative or can you learn it?: Everyone is creative in their own way.
Was there anything you read or observed or day dreamed that you designed?: A gaming system. Their gaming rig was jungle themed so I made a jungle themed box.
Quick Tip: People don’t buy because you’re good or creative, it’s because they need your service.
My Food Job Rocks: I get to create amazing packages and creating a package to be their best sales person
Food trends and technologies: The science of eye movement to see what packages are more enticing.
One thing in the food industry that you’d like to know more about: I’d like to know more about the materials in packaging
Favorite Quote: I try to think but nothing happens!  – Bugs Bunny
Favorite Kitchen Item: a fork
Any advice on going into the packaging/design industry?: Learn the business side of things, people will buy based on your services. Then study EVERYTHING about packaging
Business resources used to help you: There are books
Society of Graphic Designers: resources about graphic design and how to sell them
Quick Tips: Be honest, have integrity, not all things work out. They have to win.
Where can we find you for advice?: papercut@pencilworks.com

Other Links

Arduri Canada – Calgary Alberta Canada
Montreal, Quebec
Disabled artists can draw graffiti in the hospital bed
Heat map
Canadian thanksgiving
Ukranian food


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *