Nick Pitscheider

Good in Packaging Design.

About Nick Pitscheider

Nick Pitscheider is an award-winning independent branding consultant and designer. After a First Class Honours Degree in Visual Communication in 1994, his career developed between London, Milan and Dubai, working for leading communication agencies and branding firms. He is author and coauthor of rebrandings for some of the most popular international brands in Italy. His book includes banking, furnishing, luxury goods, food, beverage and more. Expertise: Brand Creation, Branding Strategy, Corporate Design, Packaging Design, Type Design, Brand Advertising. He is Brand Manager at Cedea, Dolomites' Luxury Mineral Water and Associate Creative Director at Maggipinto Agency.

  • Winner of Packaging Design Award.
  • Specialized in Packaging Design.
  • Original Design.
  • Creative, Diligent and Innovative.
  • All Designs
  • Packaging
Cedea Glass Bottled Mineral Water

Cedea Glass Bottled Mineral Water

Packaging Design

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Interview with Nick Pitscheider

Could you please tell us more about your art and design background? What made you become an artist/designer? Have you always wanted to be a designer?
Since high school I wanted to develop a career in communication and design. At that time I could not imagine what was the path coming, but definitely I had a strong interest in design, graphic design, communication and advertising.
Can you tell us more about your company / design studio?
I've been working independently since year 2000. Freelancing for major advertising and design agencies at international level, with a number of different collaborations. Since 2010 I am also Associate Creative Director of Maggipinto Agency, which collaboration started years earlier. I specialised mainly in branding and corporate design, but my expertise covers consumer packaging, typography and advertising.
What is "design" for you?
Design is something very special. It's a discipline, it's a passion more than a job. It's something that can be done only believing in ideas and creativity. Design is the will to step beyond, to achieve more, aiming to reach higher.
What kinds of works do you like designing most?
Brand Identity is what I really love and my starting point. Of course, everything else is connected very closely and the development of projects is often wide and deep, allowing to build brands in many different sides.
What is your most favorite design, could you please tell more about it?
Difficult question. The thing is that every single project is different form the others (even if within different brief there can be elements that seem similar). So, different projects are different developments and different executions. As a designer it's difficult to say which is my preference because the kind of love for every single project is something unique.
What is your favorite material / platform / technology?
I love paper. Also, and I might be old fashioned but I'm proud to be like this, I love the physical sensation of paper and materials. The digital side of the world is deeply fascinating, but I love the pathos of physical touch.
When do you feel the most creative?
There is no rule for this. Any time, anywhere. After all, the brain never sleeps. The important thing is to have with me something that I can use to fix an idea, a concept. Paper and pencil, or phone or anything that can hold a sparkle until I can start working on it.
Which aspects of a design do you focus more during designing?
Today the crucial factor is very often the challenge of facing competitors and other brands on the global market. Creativity first, always, but intelligence to make it worth. Always.
What kind of emotions do you feel when you design?
Ideally fun and satisfaction, but designing is always a challenge, therefore sometimes there are conflicting emotions when a route feels like not a good one, or research for the big idea takes longer than expected.
What kind of emotions do you feel when your designs are realized?
First of all pride, of course. But the best feeling is when the clients I did the design for, understand the magnitude: when they realise how good the project was done. A happy client is the greatest reward.
What makes a design successful?
It's capability to be understood by its target. A design difficult to understand cannot be a success.
When judging a design as good or bad, which aspects do you consider first?
Honestly, when judging a design (an actual project on the market) I always think that such design is a mid point between the designer and the client he did it for. So, often I wonder what percentage of responsibility the designer actually had in a project not too brilliant, in case the client held him back too much.
From your point of view, what are the responsibilities of a designer for society and environment?
Great responsibility. On Culture, on Education, on Environment, also on Trends. Designers can help people understand that a better design is a better world, and we all need a better world.
How do you think the "design field" is evolving? What is the future of design?
Well, it is definitely evolving! But the digital world could reveal total new scenarios and not what we expect. The physical relationship with the things that surround us need to evolve. The digital will support this but a designer needs to ride both sides. Collaborations and partnerships are becoming essential in order to be able to give 360 degrees service.
When was your last exhibition and where was it? And when do you want to hold your next exhibition?
I've never done an exhibition. So far, I never really considered making one.
Where does the design inspiration for your works come from? How do you feed your creativity? What are your sources of inspirations?
Everything is inspiration. Personally I love looking, feeling and touching physically rather that digitally, but, again, everything (and everyone) is inspiration.
How would you describe your design style? What made you explore more this style and what are the main characteristics of your style? What's your approach to design?
I believe that if you can recognise a designers style in his different projects, then this means that such designer has tight limits. The best style you can have is to be so versatile and diverse, in order to be able to match different projects goals.
Where do you live? Do you feel the cultural heritage of your country affects your designs? What are the pros and cons during designing as a result of living in your country?
I mainly live in Milan. My origina home is on the Dolomite mountains and when I can I go up there to get fresh oxygen! I love Italy but i nay career I lived abroad for quite awhile. In London, in Dubai and also somewhere else. Generally, I really believe that my Italian culture is a factor that always made the difference.
How do you work with companies?
Very well. I enjoy meeting people from anywhere, I enjoyed working everywhere I've been.
What are your suggestions to companies for working with a designer? How can companies select a good designer?
Companies often have policies that will influence a new designer. They should take advantage by the outsiders' view rather than educating them in a forced way.
Can you talk a little about your design process?
The design stats analysing. Not only listening to the clients but analysing what they say. In fact, it may happen that as branding consultant you need to make them understand that their brief contains points that need to be rediscussed. Creativity comes later.
What are 5 of your favorite design items at home?
Poltrona Barcelona by Mies Van der Rohe, Audio video system by David Lewis, fridge fifties style by Smeg, furniture elements and table by Kartell, my collection of pens and pencils. And my hero, Wile E. Coyote, which I have in several puppets and toys.
Can you describe a day in your life?
Difficult. My days are normally different, and if I realise that they start to be too similar in a row, then I do something different to break the monotony, like working on personal projects overnight, or having lunch at 4pm... In my day, I hate things that keep being the same.
From your perspective, what would you say are some positives and negatives of being a designer?
Sometimes can be very frustrating when clients seem not to appreciate all the efforts done. Another thing is when a client becomes a long-term one: in this case, you have to be more dynamic and more proactive in order to make it feel like a renewed client. That, after all, is very useful for them too, as they feel more dynamic too. Being a designer, often is very challenging.
What is your "golden rule" in design?
Golden rule? Work, enjoy, love, feel. Always. And put yourself in the shoes of the client and its customers.
What skills are most important for a designer?
Personally I love sketching. I believe that the artistic side is something that inspires the digital execution. Ok computers are our tools, but if ideas can take shape on a piece of paper through your hand, then you can catch the carpe diem. And have fun too!
Which tools do you use during design? What is inside your toolbox? Such as software, application, hardware, books, sources of inspiration etc.?
The usual Adobe, mainly the apps for printing. And all the usual stuff we all know. Good selection of international books and magazines, paper and pencil always on my desk and music, music, music, always.
Designing can sometimes be a really time consuming task, how do you manage your time?
As many designers say, it's a shame there are only 24 hours a day.
How long does it take to design an object from beginning to end?
Not possible for me to answer such question. Some projects are quick to accomplish. Some are much more complex.
Who are some of your clients?
In portfolio, mix of past and present: Gazzetta dell Sport, AC Milan, UBI Banca, Barclays, Credito Valtellinese, SKY tv, Ferrarelle, Marchesi de' Frescobaldi, Diageo, Pasta Felicia, Unilever, Natuzzi, Primadonna Collection, Globo giocattoli, F**K, Assicurazioni Generali, Warner Brothers...
Do you work as a team, or do you develop your designs yourself?
As Associate Creative Director of Maggipinto Agency I work in a team, but when I am called as independent Branding Consultant I manage other tasks differently, based on the projects needs.

Extended Interview with Nick Pitscheider

Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?
As High School I did Artistic studies in my region of North Italy. then I moved to Urbino, central Italy, where there was the only one University in Graphic Design at the time, the ISIA of Urbino. I had my first-class honours degree there, then moved to Milano after the compulsory military service.
What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?
I had the belief that things well designed can make the difference. And I have it today. Good design makes the difference, and you as a designer can make the difference. It's always a challenge, but after all we need challenges to sparkle life, don't we?
Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?
I chose it. I always had a passion for sketching, drawing, designing and at high school I initially wanted to draw comics.
What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?
I like sketching anything, really. Designwise I have expertise in several different directions and I appreciate doing different things rather than concentrating in doing only one.
What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?
I am passionate and what I don't do too much is looking at my watch. I think that to be a designer requires a lot of dedication and it's definitely a tough job many times. But the trick is living your life colourfully, enjoying the beauty of what you do. In other words, if you do have passion, then you can be a designer. If you don't, you can't. So the answer is love, passion and generosity for what you can do, challenging yourself. And if you can enjoy this, it can be a very good fun too!
What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?
The will to be improve, to get greater and better than we are. As a person and as a professional.
What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?
Well my thinking is the other way round. Many times, a very good design is completely seamless. Good design is something that makes your life better, easier, lighter, richer, more colourful, more energetic. Good design makes you feel good. And when we feel good not always we realise that such feeling is thanks to something very well designed. Instead, a bad design is always very sharply noticeable. Always. An uncomfortable fork or chair, or a book not well paginated, immediately makes you feel an effort, a discomfort, a negative sensation. Good design? if you feel good, it means you are interacting with good design.
What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?
Because good design is what can make the difference between success and failure.
What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?
I became a designer specialising in branding, but I always wished I could make experiences in industrial design.
What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?
Making my own furniture. I have ideas and one day I will make my own pieces of design for my home.
What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?
There is no secret ingredient. The key is always curiosity and will to discover, will to create, enjoyment. The idea that, as designers, we create things that before were not there, excites me a lot and can make my work very enjoyable.
Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?
During my university studies I had the fortune to have great designers as teachers. I will mention just one for all: Alfred Hohenegger. Then, there are many international designers, from Neville Brody to The Designers Republik, and industrial designers such as David Lewis or Jacob Jensen, and architects from Gio Ponti to Zaha Hadid or Tadao Ando. I feel fascinated by their talent. I have many books at home, by designers of all kinds. From typography to car design. Many years ago I fell in love with a pen: the Pelikan N.1 by Luigi Colani. Looking at that pen, still today I see his genius. There is not just a master. We have so much to learn and discover, that we have to explore what great designers of any kind have done.
What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?
The list is long. But generally speaking, if it's for myself I prefer very minimal styles.
What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?
The word greatest can have different meanings. It could be a unique prototype of something I am working on privately, or a largely diffused bank brand. Anyway, Cedea water is definitely one of my favorite projects.
How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?
Design is creation. Creativity and skills don't develop staying still. We all need to gather as many inputs and stimulations as we can. Our brain needs to elaborate, to process. I love exploring places, music, landscapes, and also the insights of people. I love the physical touch of surrounding objects. If you wanna grow, you need to feed your brain with the right food and not always the same. You will grow your creativity, your talent and also yourself as a person.
How do you define design, what is design for you?
Design is something that can change things in better. It's something that makes us enjoy life more. Something that makes our lives more beautiful and easier. Human beings need design.
Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?
Many people who trusted me, many people I learned from. It's quite a list.
What helped you to become a great designer?
Advice and support by my superiors, but also my determination to keep my point of view when someone else tried to pass over me in bad ways. Unfortunately, these things happen.
What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?
Other people intentions against me. Again, it's sad but these things happen. And sometimes, to keep steady is hard.
How do you think designers should present their work?
A designer's work should reflect his or her personality. The success of a designer is very much related to the kind of person he is and it's actually very much a matter of trust and good feeling, not only of good items in portfolio.
What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?
There is no just a next project, they are multiple. And many times some new project that seem not very exciting can become really cool and very good fun!
What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?
Expectations are always high. Effectively, especially the first project presentations are challenging because you have to convince your client that they made the right choice to hire you. But what I can definitely say is that people and clients appreciate not only the project developments, but their feeling that in such projects there is your energy.
How does design help create a better society?
Everything can be improved, always. And design improves kind of everything.
Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?
Difficult to say. Some projects were paid more than others, but others were a great fun! So, there are definitely different kinds of satisfaction!
What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?
Generally (this means that there are different cases)I would love the Italian industry to be more aligned with the better standards that often we find abroad, speaking in terms of will and belief to invest in design as a primary asset.
Where do you think the design field is headed next?
Well, the development of the digital world offers definitely more directions.
How long does it take you to finalize a design project?
It depends on many factors, but it's mostly a matter of management of the project, and the client has always an active role in this.
When you have a new design project, where do you start?
Analysing the client to understand as deep as possible the big picture that needs to be faced. Then, strategy and planning, to pin point the starting flags of the communication project needed.
What is the role of technology when you design?
Technology has a primary role, of course. But I always, always, always start with a pencil, or pen, or marker, or whatever happens to be in my hands to bring ideas on a sketchbook.
What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?
Mac only, and the usual Adobe package, mainly the print applications. And FontLab for typo design and some 3D software. Beside the presentation apps obviously.
When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?
I think that every time you see something well designed, you learn something.
How did you develop your skills as a master designer?
I believe that you mostly learn how to work... Working. And challenging yourself.
What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?
I like fashion brands making a lot of black. Because I only wear black or greyish colours. I tried many cooking styles travelling and living abroad, but in the end I love Italian food. I love all seasons. They all give you different feelings.
Please tell us a little memoir, a funny thing you had experienced as a designer?
Many years ago, once I had been working very very late, I got closed into the office building by the guards, not knowing I was still there. So I left through a window to the inside gardens and got out of the building by a secondary door, after I long looked for a way out. The door was alarmed and the alarm got off! But I made it home, while the police were on the road rushing to the building. The day after the whole building was talking about some intrusion, believing that someone wanted to steal equipments or what. I was too ashamed to say anything and left those colleagues and people to hang around the offices for a couple of days trying to understand what happened. I quite enjoyed it, ahah!
What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?
We either have to find or create fun within what we do, to feed the sparkle!
When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?
I had drawing skills. That's why I thought I could draw comics.
What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?
Just think of something impossible now. Likely, it will be possible.
Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?
I respect every piece of design I buy. I own things since many years a go: things that I value as good pieces of design, that I keep as new. I like treating well objects, thinking that someone made them.

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