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Andrew Gibbs and The Dieline: Quite a Package

Written by in Profiles


Guest Contributor Michelle Taute reminds us that “These days it seems like everyone wants to be a design blogger, but few have managed it as successfully as 25-year-old Andrew Gibbs.” He founded The Dieline back in 2007, because he couldn’t find a lot of inspiration out there for packaging designers like himself.

“I started it because it was my pure passion,” he says. “I had no idea it would be what it is today. And what is that exactly? Let’s just call it a mini empire. There’s a website full of envy-worthy package design that racks up about 2.9 million hits a month. A book called Box Bottle Bag,  a design competition known as The Dieline Awards and in June, The Dieline Package Design Conference presented by HOW. It’s no wonder Gibbs left his creative director gig to head up The Dieline full-time. He talked Neenah through a behind-the-scenes blog tour:

Why do you think The Dieline has been so successful?
I think it was really good timing when The Dieline started. There were a lot of other graphic design blogs, but there was absolutely nothing focused on packaging. So I think it was really just the first package design website that really struck a chord. We were the first ones that were able to show packaging as an art.



How many packaging submissions do you get and what percentage end up on the blog?
In a week, we could get anywhere between 100 and 200 submissions and probably only maybe 30, 40 percent of them make it onto the site. We are pretty exclusive with some of the stuff that we post. That’s kind of the thing that we’ve done really well. We’ve kind of built a Dieline style.  We curate and show the best packaging in the world.



Any tips for people who want to submit to the Dieline?
My biggest pet peeve is they’ll send me an e-mail and say, “Is it okay if I send in my work?”  I say, “Well, yes, of course, it’s acceptable, that’s the whole point.” So I have to reply back to say, “Yes.” Other than that, just sending jpegs is the best thing to do and you know we’re pretty fast at looking at every project and getting it online.



Are there any all-time favorite projects from The Dieline you can tell me about?
Oh, God, it’s so hard for me to narrow down. I mean, I’ve probably seen more packaging than anyone in the world. I think a lot of the packaging that catches my eye, personally, is stuff that’s really simple and contemporary and really clean lined.  But it just depends.  I love everything.  Literally, everything you see on The Dieline is what I love.



How do you think The Dieline affects the packaging community?
If anything, the Dieline has just kind of blown open this secret door, and it’s very good for people to see who’s designing what. When we feature student projects on there, they get seen by these big design firms who are reading The Dieline. There are several students that I originally featured their work and they got hired at a big design firm. Now, they’re sending in their professional submissions. It’s pretty cool.



Hungry for great packaging design? The Dieline serves up a never-ending buffet of fresh inspiration. (Pictued Above: Andrew Gibbs: the mastermind behind The Dieline.) First, The Dieline was a blog. Then it spawned a book. Look for the first-ever conference this summer. When The Dieline first started, Gibbs would roam store aisles, snap pics of packaging he loved then track down the designers.