Chad Michael Package Design: Cocolena Fong – Blog 2

Within the textbook, there were many posters, logos,  advertisements and book covers that were displayed but something crucial was left out. We see this everyday but not many people pay attention to it or do we? We need to include more package design within the textbook to showcase how a design can change a person’s feelings and persuade them in purchasing the item. An industry that continues to thrive is the production of alcohol. The labelling of the bottle and also the package design is very important as the item is seen to be high class and or looks like it has a high value. The design showcases how elegant the alcohol might be.

The mastermind behind a few famous liquor designs is a young designer named Chad Michael that has started his career by making his own studio in 2014; specializing in logos, branding and package design. He has won numerous awards as he worked in New York in multiple agencies as a art director and has mastered package design with his unique style, bold colours and use of high contrast. His designs showcase a clash of modernism, art-deco and surrealism. The works that have been made are meant to capture the audience’s attention by the use of colour, texture, contrast, scale, line and the creative use of typography. Most of his works are for liquor brands but the studio does design other things, for instance, they designed a whole deck of cards with a beautiful cover.

What makes his work really interesting is how he was able to incorporate many different styles within his work and create a harmony with them. There is high contrast with the choice of type that is chosen. For the Hywilde bottle, he chose a more modern approach with sans serif type and a geometric layout, making everything balanced and using hints of gold to make the whole design pop. Package design is very difficult as you need to make a unique design, determine the right colours and also make sure that it is printed properly on a certain material. During and interview, Michael mentions that,

“Finally seeing a design come to life and printed properly is the best feeling – it is why I only work in the world of print.” – HYDE.

Another aspect that makes his designs special are how he was able to incorporate the use of line, scale, hierarchy and colour. There are hints of geometrical elements, borrowed from art-deco to showcase a vintage feel and repeated these curved floral patterns within the piece. Since the lines are gradually changing from thick to thin, it captures the viewers attention right away due to contrast within colour and line. Though he has used these elements to enhance his piece, he was able to create a balanced design and explored different materials and finishes to achieve his final outcome. 

Michaels work should be featured within textbooks to showcase how package design has influenced modern society and how important past art movements were. This helps us understand the use of type, colour and balanced composition.


Interview with Chad Michael


Microsoft Office Revamp – Cocolena Fong

During my daily routine of going to school and work, I never really paid much attention to the things I use everyday. For instance, when I need to search something on chrome, I immediately gravitate to the colourful circle and not really analyse the design it had. We were trained to associate these particular colours or shapes to be a certain company/website. As I began to analyze the apps that I had on my computer, I realized how much the logos of Microsoft Office Applications have changed overtime. When icons get changed, it’s often subtle and generally keeps a certain characteristic to let the users know that it’s this application but with Microsoft Office, they kept some characteristics but changed the overall aesthetic. Their reasoning for changing the icons was to let the users understand that there are improvements towards this new update and showcases a new era. 

Fig 1. Microsoft Office 2019 Design
Fig 1. Microsoft Office 2018 Design

Over the years, they wanted to keep a clean aesthetic, easy to navigate and collaborative atmosphere. They were able to do that by playing around with proportion and following gastalt principles. Their goal for their latest design change was to be very versatile in terms of device displays and promoting modern life. Jon Friedman is the art director of Microsoft and helped create clean and effective work spaces within these applications. He mentions that there was a solution “to decouple the letter and the symbol in the icons, essentially creating two panels (one for the letter and one for the symbol) that we can pair or separate.” (Friedman) allowing familiarity and simplicity within the application.

Fig 2. Microsoft Office 2018 Excel Design
Fig 2. Microsoft Office 2018 Excel Design

The second pannels are simplistic designs that showcases what the program does, for instance the excel sheet icon. The excel sheet icon displays variations of green rectangles and that is to represent the cell blocks within the program. For powerpoint , the second panel is a small circular design displaying a pie chart shape. Microsoft was able to have variations of colours but kept the same tones, shades and layout for each icon to fit the modern lifestyle.

Fig 3. Microsoft Office Evolution 2003 - present
Fig 3. Microsoft Office Evolution 2003 – Present

Here we can see the evolution of Microsofts Word icon. Within 2003, it only had a letter with a frame, it slowly transitioned to the 2007 version, displaying a more realistic approach. This allowed users to understand that it was for documents but within the span of 11 years, they transitioned from realistic to minimalistic. I really liked how they were able to make it minimalistic as you can still see what the program does and it’s also paired with a reasonable sized type at the front. Overall, the choiced that Microsoft’s design team made were affective as it displayed modern life and simplicity. 


Works Cited:

Friedman, Jon. “Redesigning the Office App Icons to Embrace a New World of Work.” Medium, Microsoft Design, 29 Nov. 2018,

Friedman, Jon. “Designing for Power and Simplicity.” Medium, Microsoft Design, 22 Aug. 2019,