5 Mins With… Matt Grantham – Creative Director, Onfire Design

4 years ago by

Matt Grantham will be running a packaging masterclass with Design Assembly on Friday 5th October, ahead of his workshop we caught up with him to hear a little about his background and the work he does today.

If you would like to attend the workshop with Matt, details below and link to purchase your ticket:

Auckland: DA Masterclass — Packaging Design with Matt Grantham

5th October
9:30am — 12:30pm
13 Rose Rd, Ponsonby

$350 Professional / $250 DA Friend / $95 DA Student Friend + GST
(Not a DA Friend? Details on how to sign up can be found here).


Matt Grantham

With over 20+ years of experience in brand and packaging design, Matt has worked on large-scale international brands through to small-scale ‘garage’ projects. Gaining a wide breadth of experience, covering brand and name creation, brand story building, copywriting, packaging, NPD, digital and corporate identity. As Creative Director of Onfire Design in Auckland, Matt currently oversees projects through the studio, taking the lead on project research and design strategy while proactively working with each client to get the most out of their brands — his experience is undoubtedly first-hand.

Design Assembly: How long have you been designing packaging for? or How did you get into graphic design/packaging design?

Matt Grantham: Over 21 years (I am older than I look! ;)). I was more interested in structural design at Uni and carried that through into my first junior roles but landed at a studio in London which not only done structural design but the packaging (graphics) side too and soon gravitated toward that.

DA: Can you tell us about a few of your favourite and/or most challenging projects?

M: Hubbards can cover both of these. It has been immensely pleasing to be part of the refresh of the brand, working with the stakeholders to get them onboard and creating that first new muesli range that is now the overwhelming #1 in the marketplace. But also the challenge of maintaining that brand over the whole portfolio and retaining its essence over so many years (since 2012).

Sujon Frozen Berries — working with another iconic brand that had a management team that had very little experience in refreshing a retail brand.

Manaaki Condiments — a small Marae business initiative. Helping them brand a modern Maori food product range and getting them involved in the execution of the packs.

Untitled Wine — Working with a one-man band winemaker helping him execute a brand which had a compelling message about the bland state of wine industry branding.

DA: Who has influenced you in your career?

M: Some great Creative Directors over the years. Rob Coats from Coats Design being the main one. The importance of handcrafting a design of the Mac and also to trust your gut, learning to take only the best nuggets from qualitative research.

DA: What’s this year about for you?

M: This year has been a challenging one. When I left Coats Design I had the opportunity of joining an established packaging studio in Auckland or Onfire Design, which had done work in this area but was not well known for it with the task of changing that perception, among peers and potential clients.

DA: What do you think the future of packaging design?

M: The future of packaging… Eco will be a big one. Doing more with less packaging. Supermarket own-brands are making serious headway against the big players. Through packaging and INNOVATION. Helping clients tell this story of new, innovative products is growing. Helping the packs survive with no, or very little advertising, the whole idea of ‘packtervising’ is a cliche but still relevant. Keeping in mind where consumers are discovering brands – WOM, Social etc. Interaction with the consumer after purchase.



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