Molly Humphrey


The Sheetz Brand Design Team is a high-energy bunch of creators on a mission to inspire, disrupt, and build long-lasting impressions for customers and employees of the coolest C-store on earth—Sheetz. Headed up by Brand Design Director Tammy Dunkley and Senior Creative Manager Zack Sheffield, the team makes the most of every touch point, executing the brand through store design, visual media, digital / social content and graphic design.

Senior Graphic Designer Molly Humphrey has the privilege of leading the Graphic Design team which focuses on translating strategic thinking into reliably kickass creative for brand messaging, packaging, print POP, internal identities, and integrated advertising campaigns—and that’s just a typical day. With a hands-on, tactile approach to design, Molly and her team consistently push boundaries to ‘break it, stretch it, bend it, crush it, crack it, fold it’ (Bruce Mau) and find candid moments of unexpected magic.

Prior to joining Sheetz in 2021, Molly’s 20+ design year career included running her own design business focused on non-profits in arts and education, working with ad agencies touching brands like BMW and MINI, and being part of in-house teams with PetSmart and Cold Stone Creamery. Her experiences have led her to a place where she’s learned enough to know she always has more to learn. Cue her theme song, Jungle’s ‘Keep Moving’.

A lifelong dancer, Molly believes branding is like choreography: orchestrating various moving parts to tell a single story on stage. Joy, humor and authenticity inform her process as she leads her team to the big ideas that bring action.

As we pivot into a post-pandemic era marked by societal challenge and change, are you optimistic about the future of Graphic Design in supporting and shaping commerce, culture and causes? Why do you feel the way you do? Are you optimistic about the future of your own design career or business?

No doubt that the last few years’ events have created major shifts for the design industry. The way we work has completely changed, from our physical spaces to the tools we use to more access than ever to a global design community. Systems previously unquestioned were broken and exposed, creating opportunities to rethink and reshape them entirely. Boundaries between functions are less rigid and graphic designers are pulling up chairs to the business table, bringing creative tactics to the conversation.

These challenges have transformed the way we think, celebrating vulnerability and empathy over bravado and perfection. I am optimistic for the role of graphic design in the future because I see this creating a shift toward greater authenticity in messaging along with more insightful targeting strategies to reach people where they are and create stronger connections.

I’m also optimistic for the future of Sheetz Brand Design Studio because we’re in a position to bring a bigger picture perspective of shared human experiences into everyday communications via retail advertising for a C-store that is anything but expected—we take people out of the moment, inject joy into the routine, and transform experiences from mundane to extraordinary.

We are seeing an increased focus on Package Design to advance the brand, tell the story, amplify the experience, forge an emotional connection with consumers at the moment of truth. Do you agree with this observation and, if so, what advantages does packaging have over other graphic communications? Also, do you see any notable trends regarding package graphics (e.g., color, type, imagery, texture, storytelling) and/or package production (sustainability, structures, materials, printing methods, etc.)

 Here’s where I see package design having a huge advantage over other media: In the C-store arena, we create packaging for food, beverage and convenience items that play a part in everyday life. Through this packaging we have unique opportunity to provide a real sensory experience in a world saturated with virtual input. When every piece of packaging a consumer interacts with—from their fountain drink cup, to a foil wrapper for a made-to-order hot dog, to a take-home box of our brand of coffee—tells a unified story, a tangible connection to the brand personality is formed. This leads to a sense of familiarity, positive sentiment and brand loyalty.

Trends my team and I see for 2024:

Interactive Packaging entices consumers to be brand ambassadors, through ‘grammable’ design that invites interaction or a direct CTA for sharing experiences via social media.

Obnoxiously large, bold typography. This one never goes out of style. We love the challenge of hitting all the legal specs for product message types while maximizing space to embody personality through type.

High contrast original art in flat design style. Hints at retro 90’s zine era but evolved to give a very in the moment look. Loving the infinite storytelling opportunities here.