FORCEpkg is a design and branding agency with print and prototyping capabilities. Their design studios are in the mezzanine and the very last floor of the Griest Building in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Built on a results-oriented philosophy, the FORCE crew delivers designs that impact consumer decisions at retail. They also have strategic and tactical design experience across numerous categories, including automotive, breakfast cereal, cheese, confectionery, fresh produce, frozen food, hardware, household cleaning, housewares, ice cream, nutritional supplements, meat, outdoor, OTC, and snacks.
While interning at FORCE, I had responsibilities such as Illustration, 3-D printing, printmaking, cutting, brand designing, and construction designing.
SOCIAL MEDIA POST DESIGN
One of the first projects for FORCE I worked on was the social media post design for each holiday: Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s. My job was to develop different concepts for each holiday and event for FORCE to post on their social media along with solid captions, such as on Facebook and Instagram.
I usually begin the design process by sketching out different ideas in a sketchbook before starting any projects. With this social media post design project, I sketched out four different concepts for each holiday.
For example, I started off sketching out four different ideas for this one holiday, Christmas. Each of the four concepts aimed to illustrate the scenes that scream Christmas, which involves Christmas trees, ornaments, snow, and fancy lettering. I sketched out a Christmas tree for the first concept, centered it in the background, and included snow sprinkles. I also made the font of the title a little fancier just to make it a Christmas feel. For the second, I included the FORCE mezzanine window and snow particles in the background. Third, I centered the title and FORCE logo in the foreground and Christmas ornaments all over the background. Moreover, fourth, I added just the title in the foreground and nothing to the background.
Based on the feedback I received from the Art Director, I transferred all the selective holiday social media designs to Adobe Illustrator to design.
For example, I transferred my selected sketch concept from my Independence sketch to Adobe Illustrator in 8x8 format and designed from there. I aimed to develop four concept ideas to see which designs stand out the most. Fireworks are what we expect to see at this time of the holiday. However, it didn’t go well when I attempted to create fireworks on Illustrator. My solution was to search YouTube for easy tutorials that helped me make fireworks on Illustrator. Illustrator has a firework sticker in the software, so I used them to play around with it and use it as a reference. I also used the same images my internship provided in the computer folder for the background of the holiday social media post: the galaxy background and the silhouette version of the Lancaster city skyline. I also included the yellow windows to the silhouetted building on the top, where the common area takes place, and on the bottom, where the mezzanine takes place. I found four different fonts for ‘Happy Independence Day’ on each concept. For every holiday social media post I designed, I never forget to add the FORCEpkg on the top or bottom of the design.
I was tasked with doing some graphic design engineering work to make cup sleeves connect without using glue or tape for our client, Aura Espresso Room. The goal was to ensure the functionality of the cup sleeves by fitting them on top of the coffee cup after the two sides connect and designing the aesthetics of the cup sleeves on Adobe Illustrator. I began the process through sketching to printing, then cardboard-cutting.
I printed the first cup sleeve concept in Adobe Illustrator, sliced them on the paper-cutting mat, and tested it on the cup to see if the sleeve fits. The supervisor’s feedback was that the corners of the cup sleeve were too sharp, and the stroke on the left side was too thin. The cup sleeve also went wrong, but I took many prints to get everything right.
Using the cardboard-cutting machine for cup sleeves was the next step. An intern from FORCEpkg, who had more experience with the cardboard-cutting machine, taught me how the machine functions. I dragged the exported file from Illustrator to a different computer where I could cut multiple wooden cup sleeves. Before that, I set the files up on the computer for the machine to easily read where to cut certain spots.
CUP SLEEVE DISPENSER
The next project I worked on was making a cup sleeve dispenser for our client, Aura Expresso Room. After cutting out multiple cup sleeves from the laser-cutting machine, the goal was to make a specific dispenser that helps as many as more than ten to fit into one large dispenser.
Tinkercad was the 3D website I was familiar with since my first year of college. Based on my experience with Tinkercad during my first year, it was the most accessible 3D software I used at the time.
I began to play around with the shapes and building things in Tinkercad to get familiar with what I had learned. I go to my supervisors for guidance for the parts I’m unfamiliar with.
I began using the software for 3D printing my exported file from Tinkercad called PrusaSlicer, a developed slicer software that prints out any 3D files after exporting them.
The feedback I received from the supervisor after 3D printing my first cup sleeve dispenser was that the cup sleeves were unable to fit inside the dispenser because it was too small. Feedback after printing my second was that the dispenser could fit as many as four or five cup sleeves but not as many as ten or twenty. In addition, the thickest sides of the dispenser should be as thin as the other two sides in the opposite direction.
CHRISTMAS COOKIE DESIGNS
For this project, I was responsible for developing three different Christmas-themed concepts for the Christmas cookies total. Each of the three designed cookies will accompany the Christmas box for clients, friends, and family to share and enjoy for the holidays.
I began the following process by sketching out and coloring over twenty different ideas of what the designs will look like on the Christmas cookies. I also ensured that the Star Wars theme should be present since the internship is known for it. The three strongest ones will be transferred to Adobe Illustrator to continue the designing process.
The Art Director’s feedback from the beginning of my sketching process was 1.) the designs were too simple and needed more details to make them stand out a little more, 2.) half of the designs were already taken in the past, and I needed to illustrate more ideas.
I transferred the three most robust designs to Adobe Illustrator, then traced them all over in vector form. The first two colors that came to mind were green and red when I thought about the Christmas theme. I decided to use these colors for the two droids from Star War, like R4-P17 and R4-X2. My supervisor also suggested replacing the Star Wars droid in the center of the snowflake for the FORCE logo instead.
These are the three final concepts FORCE will place on the Christmas cookies in the future.
FORCEpkg is a design and branding agency with print and prototyping capabilities. They have strategic and tactical design experience across numerous categories, including automotive, breakfast cereal, cheese, confectionery, fresh produce, frozen food, hardware, household cleaning, housewares, ice cream, nutritional supplements, meat, outdoor, OTC, and snacks.
One of the main takeaways I learned from FORCEpkg was that when you’re in the design field like FORCE, it’s all about meeting the client’s needs and ensuring they are happy with the design products we serve.
Interning at FORCEpkg was a phenomenal experience. I enjoyed my time here! One thing I enjoyed interning there was seeing my graphic design work brought to life through 3D printing and cardboard-cutting. Another thing that stood out to me about this internship is that we, as the FORCE crew, all have something in common, we are all Star Wars enthusiasts!