Proof Positive, The Advantage of Being an In-House Design Team: Meet Byron Reaves from Beam Inc.
Byron Reaves joined Beam’s design group, Proof, in August of 2010 as a contract employee to work on a global packaging assignment, and just never left. He now leads the Package Design Department for Proof. As an in-house design resource for Beam, Proof has been able to develop a more focused specialization/subject expertise in the spirits category. They have a vested interest in the long-term success of Beam and with the constant interaction we have with their products and brand teams allows us to build and maintain consistent brand standards and messaging. Before joining Beam, Byron was known for his brand-building efforts for some of the world's most recognized companies. He has created award winning branding, package design and advertising for Lands End, Kraft, Frito-Lay, Gatorade, North American Salt, Mrs. Fields, TCBY, State Farm, Case Western Reserve University, McDonald's, KFC, Anheuser-Busch, JCPenney, The Home Depot, Qwest, Dell and the list goes on and on. Byron's work has been featured in CA, Print, How, Rough, Logo Lounge and Creativity. Outside the world of design, Byron is an avid painter whose work hangs in galleries in Illinois, California and Texas. Reaves lives in Oak Park with his wife, three wiener dogs and a cat with ADHD.
We asked Byron a few questions about his career and inspirations. Read on!
Can you tell us about what you will be speaking on at The Dieline Conference?
I will be speaking on the (many) advantages of being an In-House Design group.
Why did you become a designer?
Iv’e been carrying around a sketchbook since I was 10. There was little chance that I was going escape being a creative. I had tons of really great mentors along the way, and learned I really loved the problem solving that Design required.
What was one of the proudest moments in your career?
When my daughters started pointing out my work to their friends. Nothing makes your heart swell like having your child bragging on you.
What was your favorite project you worked on?
The relaunch of Hornitos Tequila. So much fun, so much love.
What has influenced your design aesthetic?
Street art, Woody Pirtle, Fisher Price Toys and Wayne Thiebaud. Honestly, it never stops growing and changing.
Check out some of Proof - Beam Inc's recently designed packaging projects:
Please visit Proof - Beam Inc's recent Spotlight.
Meet Byron Reaves at The Dieline Conference
Good design is good business. In this session, you’ll learn how and why in-house agencies are better equipped to create great brands—and how immersing your team in the company culture and becoming experts in your category give your in-house group an advantage over agencies.
Often, design provides the only touch point a consumer has with a brand. They may not see an ad or hear a radio commercial, but they will see a product’s packaging on the shelf. Proof—Beam’s in-house creative agency—has undying, unending passion for good design, and they bring that passion to every bottle, label, closure, box and shipper they create for Beam.
Proof is the second largest agency on Beam’s roster with a core team of 28, building exemplary creative solutions that deliver their company vision of Creating Famous Brands. With that singular focus guiding them, they explore the possibilities by developing uncommon creativity that connects their brands and consumers. They are spirits-industry specialists with extensive experience and passion for Beam’s brands. Proof also brings wide-ranging external agency experience to the forefront, providing a broad-based spectrum of disciplines, brands and category experience.
Within their full-service structure, Proof houses an award-winning packaging design team. This specialized arm of Proof focuses on the discipline of structural and package design with dedicated strategic, creative and technical resources against those efforts. They always strive to bring the best, most innovative design forward but at the same time embracing real commercial implications that drive their design thinking. It’s always about finding the balance between developing best-in-class packaging design while also making sure the financials work. They achieve this with a great deal of partnership, teamwork, and innovative thinking from the whole Beam organization.
3 Main Take-Aways:
- Focusing the talent to become experts in the category
- How Proof uses the pride and passion of being part of brand
- How to make sure your team is part of the culture