Fashion Brand Fossil Gets a Fresh Perspective on Packaging Workflows with Adobe

by Adobe Dimension Team

posted on 11-27-2018

From its headquarters in the Dallas suburb of Richardson, Texas, a team of artists, designers, and creative directors have turned Fossil into an iconic fashion and lifestyle brand that is loved around the world.

A foundational piece of the Fossil brand ethos is its iconic watch tins. The small metal boxes are the essential canvas for the brand’s distinct Midcentury Modern design aesthetic, but getting them from the ideation phase to retail store setting hasn’t always been easy.

Sarah Stanley, an art director for packaging and brand products at Fossil, credits Adobe Dimension CC for changing how the company creates and approves tin packaging.

“We’re already a pretty solid Adobe shop. We use Adobe Illustrator extensively for product design, and Adobe XD is a key tool for our web team,” she said. “When it comes to our tins, we have about three designers working on them at any given time. And until recently, we had always used the same tedious process.”

That process went something like this: A designer would illustrate a new concept in Illustrator. Then, they would print it out, and physically cut and tape it onto a box tin for approval. Every change, every tweak, every bit of feedback along the way, meant yet another round of printing, and physical cutting and pasting. The hours and days started to add up.

For a shop with little to no previous in-house 3D experience, Dimension has already cut Fossil’s tin development time in half, Stanley said. Concepts created in Illustrator are simply dropped into Dimension, quickly rendered in full 3D, and then emailed for approval in a matter of minutes instead of hours or days.

“Product packaging is a really hard thing to do digitally. You need a good rendering to get an accurate representation of what the finished product will look like, and our physical mockups were not an ideal solution,” Stanley said. “Before Dimension, there simply was no way for us to give stakeholders a good sense of our creative intentions. Even the mockups were less than ideal.”

Because Dimension is part of the Adobe ecosystem the team already uses – even many of the keyboard shortcuts are the same – it has been an intuitive tool that they were able to put to work right away. A design team versed in 2D, but not 3D, can easily drop graphics onto a 3D tin model to see how it will look in the real world.

Among the Dimension features the team most enjoys is the ability to create and reuse templates to make photorealistic scenes with accurate materials, textures, lighting and shadows. It has made Dimension an essential tool that helps Fossil designers work smarter instead of harder to deliver creative excellence, Fossil Creative Director Dustin Wallace said.

“Dimension is a game-changer for us, particularly at the ideation phase where we’re trying to come up with as many great ideas as we can for our tins,” he said. “We’re in a very visual business, and now we can go from inspiration to final product much faster and more efficiently than before. We’re no longer being slowed down by having to physically create a true to life representation of what the product is going to look like – Dimension makes everything so much better.”

Topics: Creativity, Design

Products: Photoshop, Illustrator, Creative Cloud