May 11, 2020
Langara Alumni & Community Engagement had the opportunity to sit down with Publishing alumni Brendan Glyn-Jones to chat about what he's been up to.
Thanks for chatting with us, Brendan, and congratulations on your new position as the production manager at Petcurean.
Can you tell us more about what your company and your role there?
Petcurean is a local premium pet food producer. As their production manager, I am responsible for managing the in-house production team and work closely with our design firm and third-party printers to develop new packaging, ensure it meets print-ready standards, and get it printed on time. Basically, I'm in charge of the design and production of all of the physical packaging and promotional material. That's everything to do with the packaging at our company.
How long have you worked there?
I've been with Petcurean for about four years. I started as a maternity leave replacement and slowly moved up to become the production manager this year.
How many people work on your team?
It's a team of five. I have three direct reports.
What do you like most about your job?
I love learning more about print processes, specifically about colour and how it can be affected by the simplest things like the shade of white of the material.
What do you least like about your job?
Driving to Chilliwack 3 times a week.
What are you most proud of?
The thing I am most proud of are the comics I co-wrote with my best friend Brandon.
That's amazing. Tell me more about your comics and where folks can buy it?
We've actually written two comics. Dotty & Marting: Catching Shade and The Backpack. We're really proud of them. Both are available online for free if you want to check them out.
What would you have liked to have known before going into your industry?
How to work with dielines. Dieline refers to the template used to ensure the correct layout of a physical package. It marks all of the folds and cut lines of a package in a flattened form. Design and artwork on the packaging has a lot of little complexities that you just never think of.
What advice would you give people wanting to go into your industry?
Figure out what section of the industry interests you and then get really good at that. When I took the publishing program at Langara I found I had a huge affinity for production work and the technical aspect of design. Leaning into that passion has led to every job opportunity I have gotten in my career. Also, really think about what kind of environment you work best in. I worked in a small design firm before I worked at Petcurean. I found out the hard way that a small design firm is not a world I thrive in.
What are the misconceptions most people have about design/production?
The misconception that you are going to be creating these wild and creative designs that you see from "superstars" at TED Talks or design conventions. Most companies have specific brand standards they want you to follow and freelance clients are going to regularly push back on your designs. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how creative or revolutionary your design is. It's all about what the customer wants/needs and working productively with the feedback they give you. They are always going to have a lot of notes for you.
How has your work changed since COVID-19?
I have been very lucky. My entire team has been able to do all their work from home which has led to no interruptions on our end.
What has been the most challenging thing about it?
Definitely the most challenging thing is making sure communication with your team is still running smoothly.
My commute has gotten a lot shorter since I don't have to drive to Chilliwack every day.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
No idea. I generally only have shorter-term goals. So ask me again in nine years. If I'm lucky, I'll be working for Pixar by then.
Any last words of wisdom?
Yes, go read Creativity Inc. It's a fantastic book about the history of Pixar as well as a terrific insight on how they manage their projects. I honestly used a lot of their techniques to my benefit.
Thank you so much Brendan for sharing your story with us.