Craig Hench

PTW2019_CRAIG_HENCH

CREATIVE DIRECTOR, DRAGON ROUGE, NEW YORK NY

Craig joined Dragon Rouge in 2014 prior to which he worked for a variety of brand and packaging firms after first working in the film production industry. His thoughtful and strategic design approach paired with his keen attention to detail, organization and work ethic are traits which have helped him create successful and award-winning design solutions. Passionate about all things relating to design, from a young age Craig frequented a local art center where he painted for the majority of his summers. He believes that great design should tell a story, be intuitive and functional. As Creative Director, he works collaboratively with teams across the eight Dragon Rouge offices. His insights and perspectives help lead the creative team to bringing brand strategy to life for local and global brands across consumer goods, beauty, hospitality, retail and fashion. His emphasis on a collaborative process with clients from the beginning promotes an engaging studio environment and cultivates meaningful relationships.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND WHERE DO YOU LIVE NOW?
Born in Dallas TX but grew up in Central Pennsylvania. Currently live in Brooklyn NY

DID YOU GO TO DESIGN SCHOOL AND, IF SO, WHICH ONE?
BFA, Visual Communications, University of Delaware

LEFTY OR RIGHTY?
Wacom with my left, Mouse with my right.

MORNING PERSON OR NIGHT OWL?
Night owl

FICTIONAL OR HISTORICAL CHARACTER YOU IDENTIFY WITH?
Some sort of cat, probably Garfield

ARE YOU MUSICAL AND/OR PLAY AN INSTRUMENT?
I have aspirations of learning the piano.

FAVORITE BOOK?
Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

FAVORITE MOVIE?
Grumpy Old Men

FAVORITE TV BINGE WATCH?
Breaking Bad, Great British Baking Show, House Hunters

FAVORITE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM?
Instagram

FAVORITE PODCAST?
Katie Couric, Getting Curious with JVN

FAVORITE FINE ARTIST?
Marcel Duchamp, Dali, Max Ernst, Charles Bragg, Lucian Freud, Hieronymus Bosch

FAVORITE CHARITY OR CAUSE?
World Wildlife Fund

FAVORITE FREE TIME ACTIVITY?
Running, spending time outdoors, visiting museums and anything that can get me away from the computer.

COLLECT ANYTHING?
Everything! Artwork, Stamps, Books etc.

WHICH AREA OF GRAPHIC DESIGN IS GROWING THE MOST?
All design disciplines play a role in society and therefore inevitably grow and evolve. Some faster than others. I think it’s how you define growth. We’ve seen packaging evolve substantially in the last year with more companies thankfully committing to lower environmentally impactful materials and production methods.

DESIGN MENTOR/INSPIRATION/HERO?
Charles and Ray Eames, Steve Frykholm, Saul Bass

GREATEST STRENGTH/WEAKNESS AS A DESIGNER?
Strength: My ability to organize and plan. Weakness: Overthinking the plan to death.

ADVICE TO A YOUNG DESIGNER JUST STARTING OUT?
Stay curious. Don’t get stuck on the computer too soon. Find the right environment where you can be yourself. Surround yourself with people you respect. Try not to be too self-conscious, we were all beginners at one point or another.

IF YOU WERE NOT A DESIGNER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE?
An antiques and fine art dealer

A MANTRA OR SAYING YOU LIVE BY?
“Follow your Instinct.”

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