In 1989 John acquired his Bachelor’s degree in Commercial Graphics from Southern Illinois University. Starting out, as an Art Director in the advertising world, he saw that advertising expenditures were dependent on the economy. In 1992 John accepted the In-House Industrial Designer position at True Temper Sports. He learned everything about manufacturing and every type of printing process. Yearning for diversity in subject matter, in ‘98 John became Creative Director at Cyber Graphics. Cyber is owned by the Bryce Corporation which has 100 years experience in packaging. In 1994 their internal plate making department grew to the point that it could become a business all its own. Hence the birth of Cyber Graphics. Cyber offers everything from Brand Creation, Package Design, Photography, Prototyping, 3D visualization to Flexo Pre-Press & Flexo Plate manufacturing.
John’s creative method has a very specific approach, specifically developed to print flawlessly with flexographic printing. What does that mean? If you know flexo, you know that DOT GAIN is a design killer. A 1% halftone dot printed flexo gains to 20% resulting in a flatter, duller process image when printed. Cyber’s method of Flexo Press “fingerprinting” and proofing processes ensure that our digital proofs mimics the press’ dot gain. To battle dot gain, John lights product photography using mostly hard lights, accentuating highlight detail making it POP on a Flexographic press without losing critical mid-tone detail. Our vector graphic creation also accounts for dot gain to avoid hard edges. Not an easy task. Cyber’s “Graphics” ensure our clients get what they want, on budget, and most importantly with accurate color reproduction.
Looking forward to 2023, are you optimistic about the role and impact of Graphic Design and Visual Communication in Business? Culture? Causes? Have the events and disruptions of the past few years changed the role or trajectory of Graphic Design?
Hopefully Optimistic: Covid did a number on the workforce and our supply chain. Costs of raw food, packaging and production are at record highs with longer lead times.
Visual Communication: Graphic Design moving forward will need to be simplified and boiled down to only necessary elements on the package. Why? Since Covid, we have customers who went from 15 SKUs or flavors down to 3 on the shelf. Moving forward, you have to make a lot of impact with simple, easy to read graphics. Keep it simple.
Culture/ Causes: Today people say I want high quality, fast, and cheap. Truth is, you only get to choose 2 of those items. Most of our common paper is manufactured outside the US that is now in short supply. If you want it fast, you have to be willing to pay for a premium US paper, or wait for the cheap stuff to arrive. In flexographic films, the same is true. We hope the supply chain will be at full capacity soon. The hard truth is we may not recover for another year.
Most influential graphic designer(s) or art directors(s) of the past 60 years? Of today?
Primo Angeli – Great typographer and he attended the same University as me – SIU – Go Salukis!
Saul Bass – Basic graphic design at its most simple expression – Less can be MORE!
Favorite or most influential logo or branding project of the past 60 years?
FEDEX. Based in Memphis, Simple and basic, and I love the Arrow in the logo that most people overlook.
Favorite or most influential design project or campaign in any medium for the past 60 years?
“Where’s the beef?” – Truth in advertising!