Every-Weather Match Box | Skillshare Projects

Tom Weimer

Graphic designer. Hand-lettering & DIY enthusiast.



Every-Weather Match Box

Hello, my name is Tom and I'm a graphic designer in San Diego, California. I started art when I was very young, and after a communication art course in high school, I was hooked. I graduated with my AA in Graphic Design & Illustration in 2009, and my Bachelor's in Graphic Design in 2012. In the last year and half I have began utilizing hand-lettering into my works, and hope to progress even further.

This will be my first project with Skillshare, and should be a fun one.




For my first project I wanted to create a new label inspired by a match company's product, whose roots lay in camping.


Matches are a timeless product, that has a long-running history throughout the world; especially in the United States. By the year 1850, there were already 60 matchstick manufacturing plants in America; this was due in part by tobacco smoking which was commplace in both adults and children. But even in 2013 matches are still used for a variety of uses, most prodominantly as a marketing tool for a small business, as matchbooks and boxes have always been handed out to customers to remind them to return. Despite all this, my experience with matches puts one activity to mind: camping.

Every camping trip I've taken I've always had a fire lit by matches, yet every time I go to purchase these items I see the mundane packaging that has been used for the last 15 years. For this class I researched and explored the history behind matches, and the manufacturing of their boxed variety; I looked through a handful of companies, some of which still produce matches to this day, and others that have moved on to making matchboxes exclusively for small companies. 

I eventually settled on designing a matchbox for a fictional company, as none of the existing companies had exactly what I had in mind, with added benefit of flexibility and not concerning myself with fixed branding standards or procedures. I want to create a product that I would buy off the shelves, and hope to breathe some more life into what some call 'the original business card'.


Here is a mood board made exclusively of images I've found off Google Images. My aim isn't simply to copy old designs or make it look vintage, but to utilize the colors and typography from that time period and create a matchbox people would want to buy just to have it.



For my sketches I started out with basic thumbnails, and narrowed it down to one overall idea. From there I focused on some simple typography exercises to explore the look and feel of some elements to be used in the label.

Sketches 1

Following this, I utilized the video tutorials to explore a full label design, and incorporated some more details into the piece. 

Sketch 2

Inking & Exploration

After finishing my initial sketches, I drew a fresh copy of my working label, and began inking it as well as exploring other type options for some of the minor lettering. This exploration allowed me to give better definition to the minor details and give them the right amount of presence on the label. 

Sketches 4

Digital Process

Following this, the final design was scanned in and worked over in Adobe Illustrator, something a bit different as I usually use Photoshop for post-lettering work. Regardless, I was able to clean up and thicken the lines where necessary.

After this step I proceeded to look into color ways; I knew right away I wanted something vibrant and very noticable against the background of nature. My Midwestern roots took me immediately to Safety Orange, which I mixed a bit of red in to provide more pantomime. This, mixed with a simple black for an extra color, kept the proposed print job to just two colors.



Product Mockup

Finally, after taking a few product shots of match boxes I applied the digital label to the photo for a quick product mockup. Overall, I feel the design is vibrant and would easily be noticable against the greens and browns of the forest, the white of snowy tundra, or even the beige tones of the desert.

Product Mockup

Given the less-than-ample amount of time I was allowed to spend on the project due to other design obligations, I pleased with the result.

Let me take this time to give a big "Thank You!" to all those who viewed and gave their honest critique of my project; it allowed me to go back and explore some areas that I might not have given as much attention to. As well as a gracious thanks to Jon Contino for taking the time to craft this Skillshare class; it was a great amount of fun. Any additional feedback is greatly appreciated.




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