Sessions @ The Dieline Conference: Andy Kurtts & Alex Blake

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The Session: Private Brand Package Design: The In-House Perspective

Private brands are big business for retailers of all kinds. Store brands are no longer considered generic or sub-par and companies are constantly looking for ways to add unique products to their house lines—and they want to use innovative design to market them. That’s where the in-house package designer comes in, someone who needs to be as comfortable with current design trends as they are with boardrooms and spreadsheets.

Check out some of the work Andy and Alex have produced while working for The Fresh Market and learn about what they do in their spare time below.

Meet Andy Kurtts and Alex Blake of The Fresh Market, Inc., a specialty grocery store. Using examples of projects they’ve worked on, they’ll explain the trials and tribulations an in-house package designer faces, explore the wide variety of tools they use to navigate the corporate world, and show you how they keep their creative sanity within the confines of “the office.” You’ll get insight into the private brand design process, as well as tips for selling your work to non-creatives and advice on staying creative in a world of cubicles.

Andy Kurtts is an illustrator and designer at the corporate office of The Fresh Market, a specialty grocery store. He studied illustration, design and printmaking at Ringling College of Art and Design, where he graduated in 2006. His responsibilities at The Fresh Market include working as part of the in-house design team on in-store signage, promotional pieces, catalogs, and private brand packaging design. Outside of the office, he enjoys printmaking and creating work for himself.

Alex Blake has worked in the graphic design industry for eight years, with a diverse background including international ad design, POP retail design and photography work. Currently at The Fresh Market, she is involved in building and developing their in-house creative department, as well as creating in-store publications, catalogs and packaging design.


The Fresh Market Baking Mix

We wanted to create packaging that has a homey, vintage feel that also feels familiar and approachable to attract the novice baker.

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The Fresh Market Canned Vegetables

Our goal was to create a sense of nostalgia and an assurance of quality inspired by vintage canned vegetable labels.

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The Fresh Market Chocolate Bars and Hazelnut Melts

Our chocolate bars and melts are premium and from Italy so we needed to convey these qualities in unexpected ways. We were inspired by the characters of Commedia dell'Arte and marbled paper from the Renaissance. We actually marbled the paper ourselves for this project.

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The Fresh Market Thin Crust Pizza

We created frozen pizza packaging that shouted from the freezer case. We steered away from product photography and went with a bold letterpressed style layout to make our product different from everyone else.

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The Fresh Market Organic Jams and Marmalade

Our task was to create packaging that expressed the organic handmade qualities of these amazing jams and marmalades. We created watercolor paintings for each fruit and scanned in the handwriting of a person in our office to create the lettering for the packaging.

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The Fresh Market Dry Dressing Mixes

We created our own potato stamps for this project to convey the all natural quality of these dressing mixes.

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Projects outside of The Fresh Market


I have a small print studio where I create woodcut prints. My prints are inspired by nature, especially North Carolina’s unique ecology. I feel really strongly about doing outside creative work especially something that gets your hands dirty. It really keeps your design work grounded and human. I have an online shop over at Etsy (APK Printworks ) as well as showing at local handmade markets and galleries.


Along with starting her new family Alex is super passionate about cooking and spends lots of time in the kitchen creating and adjusting challenging dishes and keeping up with the culinary cutting edge. Alex is always coming into work inspired by a new dish she has experimented with. She also religiously follows food blogs.

Interested in seeing this session and many more? Sign up today for The Dieline Package Design Conference.