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The Man Who Loves Packaging: Andrew Gibbs of thedieline.com at Creative Mornings LA

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Gibbs (Photo by Jon Setzen)
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I think the first thing that impressed me about Andrew Gibbs was his youth and energy. I’ve been reading his blog, thedieline.com, for the last couple years, and it’s so comprehensive, professional, and full of content, I somehow assumed he had to be older than 25. But he’s been ahead of the curve since he graduated high school early at 16, so he’s been out and about longer than most guys his age.In his talk for Creative Mornings LA, Gibbs outlined the basic milestones in his life that let him to design, and those in his career that put him right in the thick of creating custom dies for packaging designers. He expressed this as new and overwhelming at first, but once he wrapped his head around the puzzle of creating unique, custom packages, he fell in love with the process.

For anyone who doesn’t do this kind of work, any 3-dimensional assembled piece has to be built out of an irregularly cut sheet. The sheet of packaging material is cut by something called a die plate, a thin piece of plywood that is fitted with a metal blade in the shape of the cut, chomping into a printed stack like a big cookie-cutter. Once the die cuts the sheet, it goes through the assembly process of scoring, folding, tacking panels with glue or tucking tabs into notches—however the designer intended it should hold shape in its final form.