We had a chat to Natasha Alimova, Senior Designer at Onfire Design in Auckland. She talks to us about her career starting with an internship, and how curiosity, ideas and the variety of projects lead her into the packaging design realm.
Can you tell us a bit about your career background and what drew you into FMCG/packaging design?
As the majority of designers, we all shifted into this career because we loved drawing when we were kids and then figure out that Graphic Design would make it payable. I was lucky to get my first internship role at a packaging agency, where I’ve learnt how broad this can be, from the food category to tech packaging. Every project was different, fun and challenging. I was very curious about research, focus groups and human behaviour. And how all of that had to be translated into ‘one picture’.
What is the day-to-day of a Senior Designer at Onfire Design?
I started at Onfire not long before the COVID-19 lockdown so it hasn’t been a normal transition! It’s all about creating ideas, ideas that stick to your mind and gives you an instant understanding of what the product is about.
How did you end up working at Onfire Design?
This one is quite funny. I met Sam a long time ago through my husband (who did an IT project for them). He said that I should go and meet them as these guys were fun and nice to work with, so I did go to just catch up and get to know each other (6 years ago).
Time passed, I had a kid, got quite busy with motherhood, and this year they contacted me for a role in case I was interested. So I took the chance, and here I am, being part of the Onfire team now.
It looks like you moved from Buenos Aires, Argentina to NZ – could you tell us a bit about designing there, and if/how it’s any different to designing in NZ?
It’s pretty much the same. A different verbal language, but same visual language. Your work has to appeal to people (brand emotional connection) and sell (client brief). All of that tied to brand strategy and people trends and behaviour.
Is there a notable project you’re especially proud of?
I love projects when you get the connection with the client and you get to understand them not only from the brief point of view, if not from personal level. That’s where best projects come to life. Like for Puraty Tea: Client came to the office once to give me a hug because they absolutely loved what was designed for them 🙂
What are your favourite types of projects to do?
I love creating packaging for small / start-up companies. They are very open to new and fresh ideas which allows you to play a lot with concepts and design.
What hobbies or interests do you have outside of work?
I think I’m fully becoming a mum now, my hobby has shifted from Photography to Gardening 🙂
Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to move into FMCG/packaging design?
Be passionate, curious and ready for a fun ride.