We’ve been having a great time introducing the people behind Green Chef, and we can’t wait for you to meet our next teammate. Courtney is our packaging designer, and her designs match her infectious personality: creative, playful, and passionate about organic food.
Courtney spends her days designing just about everything our customers put their hands on, from the ice packs to the recipe cards. Below, Courtney talks about the importance of aesthetics with food, her artistic family, and the intimacy of designing direct-to-consumer products.
What is your thought process when designing Green Chef’s packaging? What do you want to convey to our customers?
My goal is to surprise and delight the customer. Our style is pretty quirky. Take our ice packs, for example; they could be super mundane and overlooked, but we decided to put a pun on them. It says, “Ice to see you!” [laughs] Any chance to put in some level of personality and detail, that’s what makes my job enjoyable. It’s taking something ordinary and making it very fun and approachable. It makes our brand personality really come out.
Is there a particular item you’re most proud of?
I’m proud of any touchpoint with the customer. A lot of the holiday stuff has been awesome. We threw in a special insert for Valentine’s Day. We made really cute and funny pun valentines. There’s so much thought behind it. We try to make it really fun. And punny. We love puns so much.
I love working on all the printing. For smaller projects I try to use local, eco-friendly printers. One of our printers actually uses 100% recycled paper and soy- and veggie-based inks. It’s always really fun to make connections with printers and vendors like that who have the same type of mindset we do.
It’s all really exciting to see every little thing from start to finish, and how it all comes together in one box experience.
What got you started in this career?
I was always pretty creative. Growing up, I was always drawing, coloring, and exploring fine arts in school. But really, my family was pretty creative. My brother was a street artist, and now he’s a budding videographer. My sister did a little bit of floral design. At least four or five of my cousins are graphic designers. I’ve just been influenced artistically by my family so much.
I knew going into college that I wanted to do graphic design, because I love to make stuff. I was just trying to figure out how I could apply that to my life. It wasn’t until I took a packaging class three or four years into college that it clicked. I met one of the best professors I’ve ever had. It was definitely the hardest class I’ve ever had. But that packaging design class was my “a-ha!’ moment. I knew it’s what I wanted to do for my career. Just making physical things and being able to design them.
Are you a foodie at all?
Oh yes. Sometimes we restaurant hop. You know how people bar hop? My coworkers and I will go to two restaurants a night. Two days ago we went to get street tacos, and an hour later we were like, “Let’s go get ramen.” But I love cooking as well, and working here has made me more of an adventurous cooker. There’s always some ingredient I haven’t heard of before at Green Chef. I’ve always been super passionate about food and design, and what more perfect job to be working in, in the organic food industry in the center of design. I’m super blessed in that. But, yes, I love all food.
Being a foodie and an artist, do you feel aesthetics play a large role in enjoying food?
Yes. Definitely. I really appreciate it when the menu or packaging is designed thoughtfully. There’s so much information out there and things that aren’t true, especially with organic food. That whole space is so convoluted with marketing. I just enjoy when things are simple and enjoyable. The thing about Green Chef is just being super clear and simple, and standing by that. Food and design is super important in that regard.
I imagine it’s fulfilling, taking ordinary things and elevating them with good design.
My prior job was product in the consumer space, like in the grocery store. But with Green Chef, people are inviting us into their homes. It’s a very personal experience. Just being able to create that experience or be a small part of that is super exciting.
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Want to get a firsthand look at Courtney’s designs for yourself? Green Chef makes dinner simply delicious. Our meal kits deliver organic, pre-measured ingredients and easy-to-master recipes, with vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, paleo, and family options. Sign up today.