Jennifer Butler


My career started as a package designer at Mattel Toys after graduating from Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, Ohio. I came to California for a visit and two weeks later I was working on Hot Wheels and Barbie and never looked back. I then broadened my experience creativity at another toy company, Applause, where we worked with large entertainment brands from Warner Bros., Disney and Jim Henson’s Muppets to various strategic partnerships overseeing premium based programs and large retail inhouse display programs, winning a POPAI Award, which celebrates innovation and excellence instore and throughout the shopper experience. Shifting to the other side of the toy aisle, I managed the creative teams at Lakeshore Learning Materials, an educational toy company and then changed courses again and dove into the food and beverages categories within Nestlé. As an Art Director/Project Manager for their inhouse Design Agency, I had the opportunity to work with many high-profile brands including Nescafé, Nesquik, Nespresso, Purina, Boost, Butterfinger and Haagen-Dazs. Fast forward to today where myself and a group of seriously talented folks left Nestlé to create ICON, a creative agency with national, international and multicultural experience in CPG and beyond. Our expertise includes creating packaging, digital and experiential campaigns for both growing challenger brands and multinational corporations. We have a proven track record of delivering effective, award-winning creative work for projects of any size–and for clients around the globe.

Has the pandemic changed your workplace and your workflow? Do you expect to return to pre-pandemic ways of working or will any changes become the ‘new normal’?

ICON is fortunate to have been able to maintain and actually grow our client base during the pandemic. We miss not being in the same physical space as a team, but we’re just a text or zoom away from both clients and each other so the workflow has not suffered. As for what the future holds we will most likely evolve and flex based on the needs of the business.

What do you expect 2021 to hold for graphic designers and the design business?

I think there are lots of opportunities to partner with both large and small businesses as they re-invent, pivot and re-build. Clients are needing design.

Have the challenges of 2020 changed the way you think about your job and career or the role of design?
If anything, it’s made me more aware of the power of design and how important storytelling and truth telling is. We as designers have an important role to play in shaping opinion and at the same time, the political landscape is so divisive it can be tricky to navigate.