Behind the Project: A More Playful Packaging

In this series, we’ll look deeper into some of the projects on that were especially admired in our community. Steve Simpson is a Dublin, Ireland based illustrator. His projects have ranged from an award –winning projects based on sign language to a children’s book. We spoke with him about his recent project, Illustrated Barcodes, a playful take on a portion of product design most take for granted. 

What was your inspiration for this project?
A few years ago, I was given the chance to design and illustrate a packaging project for an Irish hot sauce company, Mic’s Chilli. I’ve done some graphic design, but I’d primarily been working as an illustrator; to me the 2 disciplines were quite different. So, I decided to treat the design as one big illustration.
By looking at the project from a slightly different angle, I was able to question things I’d previously taken for granted—namely the humble bar code. Did it need to be so ugly? What could I do to make it blend more with the rest of the packaging? I searched the web for answers and rules and was surprised to find very little information on what you could do and what you couldn’t. For the most part it’s been about experimenting and it’s surprising just how far away from the white box, black sticks and digital type face I’ve come.


By looking at the project from a slightly different angle, I was able to question things I’d previously taken for granted—namely the humble bar code. Did it need to be so ugly?


Can you describe your process in creating this project?
I had collated all the illustrated barcodes from a variety of projects to show as examples to a new client. I hadn’t initially planned on putting them up on Behance but the thought occurred to me that it would be handy to have them all in one place.

Did you expect it to be as popular as it’s been on The Behance Network?
No, not at all. I was quite shocked to see how quickly the appreciations racked up. Shocked, but delighted.

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Meet the Team: Raewyn

Who are you and what do you do at Behance?
Raewyn Brandon, Rae Rae for my friends. Patterns, music, antiques, wood, flowers, jewelry, color in summer, dark in winter, vintage & eclectic at home, simplicity in my design.

I am the Brand & Communications Designer here at Behance. I spend most of my time designing all of our printed materials. I make sure anything printed that leaves Behance not only communicates a cohesive message, but also looks beautiful and in brand. Some of the work I’ve done lately includes the 99U Conference collateralthe 99U Books, Portfolio Reviews collateral & our Manifesto Letterpress poster.

What are three desktop tools you can’t live without?
1. Illustrator – Lets me create beautiful designs
2. Spotify – Music is my best friend.
3. Creative Cloud – Love seeing notifications as people comment, appreciate & follow my work.

What have you worked on recently that you’re extra proud of?
The design for this years 99U Conference. It was an awesome feeling seeing all the materials come together, and having twice as many people as last year looking at all the designs was extremely rewarding! Oh, and I absolutely loved the fluorescent color we used!

What do you listen to while working?
It depends what I’m working on. Generally I listen to fun upbeat music like Pheonix, Darwin Deez, Postal Service or the Black Keys. When I need to focus, I listen to chilled out stuff like Bon Iver, Kings of Convenience, The National or Radiohead.

Where did you grow up?
Most people know my country as ‘The Shire’. Yup, I’m a proud kiwi! Born and raised in a small town – population 5000 – called Te Kuiti, also known for the mass amount of sheep. Yeah, we have a “running of the sheep” down our main street once a year haha!

See more of Raewyn’s work and keep up with her latest projects on Behance

New Feature: Responsive Projects

Behance projects just became responsive!

We’re so excited about the newly responsive project displays for a few different reasons, but most of all because it means viewing Behance projects will be easy, intuitive, and look great on a wide variety of devices—tablets, smartphones, and desktops alike.

That’s because a responsive site molds to fit to the context within which it’s being viewed—scaling itself to adapt to each display. In other words, viewing the responsive Behance home page on an iPhone screen does not require resizing, zooming out, or scrolling in order to have an experience that rivals viewing the site on a desktop computer. The page molds itself to fit onto a smaller screen proportionally by registering information from the site.

The move towards responsive design has also been a big learning experience for the Behance team—our very own Jackie Balzer recently wrote a piece for Net Magazine about the nitty gritty behind the dev and design decisions while making the search and discovery tools on the homepage responsive.

In other words, viewing the responsive Behance home page on an iPhone screen does not require resizing, zooming out, or scrolling in order to have an experience that rivals viewing the site on a desktop computer.

As she explains, transitioning to a responsive design required the Dev and Design teams to reconsider everything from the organization of their code, to the way basic navigation tools would be displayed. The big changes included hiding the navigation toolbar (in a “basement”—accessibly only when pulled up) and removing the ability for users to zoom in (hopefully, there’s no need to), but the project also required countless smaller detail tweaks. The next step after the code and design building blocks were in place? Testing, testing, and more testing… on a variety of different (real!) devices and operating systems.

Jackie’s article has lots more information about just how much we were able to learn during this process. If you’re curious about coding specifics or the other design decisions, you can find it here.


Pioneers of Now: A Talent Audition by Wacom Europe

Are you a creative pioneer with unique style and vision?

Wacom Europe is looking for its next “Pioneers of Now,” an evangelist program designed to support a group of the most visionary, daring, innovative creatives. To participate submit a self-portrait in any medium, that represents your “Pioneers of Now” spirit (artwork from any creative field that is exciting, original and dynamic, and bonus points if it was created using Wacom tools).

Participants can upload new work or select any past project from their Behance portfolio to enter. Click here for the full rules, more info and how to submit.

→ Find out more about Wacom’s “Pioneers of Now”

Most Appreciated Projects: Monthly Roundup

Appreciations are a way to send genuine kudos to another creative professional on Behance. This is our community’s way of curating the network, so that the best projects gain the most exposure. Here’s a look at two of the most appreciated projects on Behance this month:

The folks at Creative Lab created and shared the visual guidelines they designed for Google. Check out part 1 and part 2 to see all the product icons, logo lockups and illustrations they compiled.

Illustrator Tobia Hall was commissioned by the Holiday Inn to design and paint a custom mural.  He documents his process and the finished piece in this project.

A Closer Look with Bex Glover

We had the pleasure of interviewing Bex Glover, a graphic designer, artist & illustrator living and working in Bristol, UK. 

How long have you been in design/illustration?
10 years

Do your personal projects differ from your professional work? If yes, how so?
Yes to some degree, my personal work is often more hand rendered / painting based -using markers and spray paint, and it tends to have a more abstract aesthetic. I like to emulate the hand rendered feel in my digital illustrative work too, but the style and subject matter will be dictated by the requirements of the brief. Some can be cleaner cut, simple, and digital in style, others more urban and freestyle. It’s great when you get projects where the client wants to do something based on your personal work –that’s often the more fun, creative stuff.

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Remix Challenge

To celebrate the 106th birthday of iconic designer Charles Eames, we’re inviting you to pay homage to the iconic Eames armchair by designing your own remix for a chance to win an Eames molded plastic armchair, a limited-edition Eames Foundation print and more. Show us your Eames armchair remix. how would you paint it? Deocrate it? Build on it? Reinterpret it? Share your remix!

Here’s how to play:

1. Download images of the Eames armchair
2. Create your remix (Here’s what six top designers did with it)
3. Upload it to Behance – either from or from Creative Cloud

Option 1: Upload Straight to Behance

Just go to, click “Add Work” –> “Work in Progress” and go to town! Make sure to add the tag createnow.

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Kuler for iOS!

Kuler, Adobe’s social color platform, has been a hit with creatives everywhere and now if you’re an iOS user, you can have the power of Kuler in your pocket!  Kuler for iOS allows you to spin the color wheel to find your perfect combination and HEX/RGB values, but it gets really awesome when you flip the app into Camera mode.

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