Sessions @ The Dieline Conference: Michael Osborne

The Session: Exploring the Package Design Process - Join Michael Osborne as he takes an in-depth look at the evolution of package design. Showcasing the final project from his "Packaging 4" class at the Academy of Art University, San Francisco, Michael takes you step by step through the development of a comprehensive branding and package design system for a fictitious large retail store. It's a fascinating glimpse into the creative minds of his students – who also happen to be the next generation of package designers.

In Detail: This course focuses on the launch of a retail private label store brand and category-specific sub-brands, with the goal of designing product-packaging systems for each. The project scope includes market analysis and research, development of brand and sub-brand names, logos/logo¬types, and the development of 3-D product line packaging across multiple categories throughout a theoretical retail store. The class is divided into 4 groups of 4 students each working as a team throughout the semester. The 4 teams, while working individually on the same project, develop unique written design strategies detailing their approach to the project objectives.

More info regarding the class project & Michael Osborne below!

Session Date: Friday, June 24th, 2011

Session Time: 11:45 am- 12:45 pm

Session Location: The Dieline Package Design Conference, Chicago

Package Design 4 is conducted with an emphasis on “real world” situations. The class environment is treated as if it were a real design firm, working on an actual project under realistic circumstances, with the intention of readying students for their first job. Leaders emerge, performance is rewarded, and responsibilities are shared. Group dynamics come into play just as they will in a graduating student’s first job.

Each team is responsible for developing a strategy brief, creating a store brand and sub-band map, and identifying a list of products to be packaged in each category. The instructor covers these project deliverables in great detail throughout the semester, while as much as possible, conducts the class as if it were the workplace.

Brand category research is an integral part to successful problem solving and must be a group activity. Research provides the intellectual authority needed when creating a brand and/or package design, and is necessary knowledge for each member. 

Michael Osborne is President and Creative Director of the San Francisco-based graphic design firm, Michael Osborne Design, Inc. The firm's work in brand package design, strategic identity and branding programs, and print collateral systems has been recognized for outstanding design by virtually every design organization and design publication. Michael's work is in the permanent collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington, D.C.

Another of Michael's passions is letterpress printing, a craft requiring dedication and diligence to create something handmade and original. In 1991 Michael opened One Heart Press, a letterpress printing shop producing fine press books, corporate business systems, broadsides/posters, invitations, and other unique printed materials.

In 2006, Michael started Joey's Corner, a 501 3 c non-profit design organization named after his son, Joseph Michael Osborne, who passed away unexpectedly in 2004. Joey's Corner provides pro-bono graphic design services for non-profit organizations. Clients have included the Alzheimer's Association, Junior Diabetes Foundation, March of Dimes, Heart to Heart, Family Service Agency, California Music Project, San Francisco Unified School District, among many others.


Previous student work for a K Mart private label design, Fall 09. 


Ivan Navarro