In a few weeks, John is leading a team to PLMA’S Private Label Brand Show, “Store Brands and Beyond.” We wanted to make sure you all had a chance to get to know him before he sets off!
John Davis, our Creative Services Manager, joined Cyber Graphics in 1998. His background in advertising and brand management are what led him to Cyber, and now he and the rest of the creative team provide design, branding services, photography, prototypes, and more for our customers. In a few weeks, John and a few other member of Cyber’s team are attending PLMA’s Private Label Brand Show “Store Brands and Beyond,” and we wanted to make sure that you all have a chance to meet him before he hits the road.
Marion, Illinois. I’ve been in Memphis since 1990.
[laughs] I was the 1982 Juvenile World Grand Champion showing racking horses! That’s something not a lot of people know.
Tell us about yourself.
I grew up in Southern Illinois and went to college for graphic design. In 1990, I moved to Memphis with my wife and worked for an ad agency as an art director for a few years. I realized that the advertising industry was too volatile and economy dependent, so I went to work for a sporting goods manufacturer as an industrial designer. While there, I learned a lot about designing for flexo, which led me to Cyber in 1998. I’ve been here ever since.
Tell us about your role at Cyber.
Being a Creative Manager, I’m responsible for branding, package design, prototyping, photography and more. I lead all of those creative efforts and manage our two graphic designers, our photographer, and our two interns. My days are very fast paced and I can usually be found in the department being hands-on rather than sitting at my desk, which I enjoy.
What is your favorite part of your job?
I get to work on different brands and new projects every day. When I was a brand manager, I worked with the same brand every single day for years. That’s what I love about Cyber- it’s never stagnant. There’s always a challenge and always something new. I can be sketching logo concepts one hour and then working on 3D visuals the next! I enjoy the challenge.
What sets Cyber’s Creative Services department apart from the competition?
What makes us unique is the fact that we can design with the printing method in mind. A lot of ad agencies have very talented designers, but they make things that can’t be reproduced on a press. Cyber has a team of designers and a very talented photographer, and when we work, we’re always focusing on how our work will be affected by the print process. I believe that’s what helps our department go above and beyond.
Tell us about your plans for PLMA.
We’ve been going to PLMA for a little over ten years now. It’s really a great show for Cyber because it’s an opportunity for us to really showcase all of our abilities. Historically, we’ve done a lot of “salty snack” packaging, but PLMA really allows us to show that we excel in other areas (like packaging for home goods, pet food, etc.) as well. This year, we’re really aiming to focus on our prototyping business, while continuing to grow our photography work, prepress capabilities, and Creative Services department. Cyber is one of the only companies that can make prototypes that look and feel like the final package, something that we’re very proud of. Even our digital prototyping is becoming more and more popular- recently at a conference, the keynote speaker suggested that “conventional” grocery stores won’t be popular in 15 years as people turn to digital shopping. We have two software packages that we create digital prototypes with, which allow vendors to have a three dimensional representation of a product in a digital world. People don’t want a flat photograph anymore. They want an object they can rotate, flip, and view at any angle from their screen at home. Cyber’s creative team can provide that. We have examples of all of our work to bring with us to PLMA and can’t wait to show them off.
Anything else you would like to share?
We’re excited about the show! I think there’s an incorrect idea that branding and packaging have to be separate things, and I’m excited to show that Cyber really offers the whole package and can take your product all the way from initial branding and design to plate production.
How do you take your coffee?
[laughs] Cream and a little bit of sugar, but usually just the flavored cream is enough for me!
PLMA’s Private Label Show brings retailers, wholesalers, and customers together to focus on private label programs. More than 1300 companies from across the globe will be coming together to focus on “Store Brands and Beyond.” It’s all kicking off on Sunday, November 15th and wrapping up on Tuesday the 17th. This year, John and other members of Cyber (Craig Hatfield, Tim Cooper, and Burt Tabora) will be attending to showcase Cyber’s experience with pre-press, photography, and prototypes. Stop by to visit them at booth #2527, and make sure to check out PLMA’s Private Label Show here!