Taja Dockendorf is the founder and creative director of Pulp+Wire, an award-winning consumer packaging, branding, and digital agency. With an affinity for design, innovation, and strategic problem solving, Taja has led her team to produce brands, packaging, and web and digital solutions that are both visually compelling and rooted in functionality and effectiveness. Under her guidance, Pulp+Wire has won numerous awards for their innovation, brand development, and packaging design, while Taja herself has been recognized as a leader in the industry for her creative and strategic brand building excellence. With a passion for helping businesses of all sizes succeed, Taja empowers her clients to blaze their own trails from the revitalized brand foundations she helps them build. She is also known for her hands-on leadership and ability to foster a collaborative, driven team culture, which has played a significant role in the company’s success.
In addition to leading Pulp+Wire, Taja is the host of the Brand Alchemist Podcast, a weekly podcast that highlights brand owners and their journeys in the CPG space, and a writer on leadership and culture for influential business publications such as Forbes, Entrepreneur and Insider. She is also an investor in emerging brands and technologies.
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?
I am optimistic: I see a few areas of growth, some of which I am particularly energized about. While there are fears of a looming recession and a downward turn of venture capital investing in emerging brands, there is also a new air of community and opportunity. I see brands and designers collaborating more, sharing insights, and generating paths forward together instead of simply competing with each other. I’m excited to see the further evolution of better-for-you brands, along with packaging and creative design that can drive and underscore their deeper values. The continued push toward sustainable design, education, and packaging is where we should all be focusing. I’m also incredibly excited about what we are creating at Pulp+Wire: the brands we are building, the impact we are making, and the culture we are forging.
Most influential graphic designer(s) or art directors(s) of the past 60 years? Of today?
There’s not one specific person I’d like to call out, since my admiration lies with a truly wide collection of visionaries who’ve shaped my creative viewpoint. This includes those I see as impactful leaders in design along with the hard working, highly creative unsung heroes and geniuses that live inside the walls of creative agencies. Honestly, the designers I get to work and collaborate with daily are the ones that I find the most influential and who have shaped my creative outlook.
Most influential product, service or technology of the past 60 years?
The most influential (and exciting) are those aligned with a greater sustainability mission to create brands that are better for you and better for the world. The products of the last 60 years have brought us to a turning point, and now the next 60 are going to be about how we consistently show up and build better going forward.