Sometimes when you’re talking about an artist and their work, like Northampton Massachusetts based artist Nate Duval, you can take a quick peek at their portfolio or trail of labor and get a good sense of what kind of contract designer and visual artist you are dealing with. Consider this one of those times.
And while you are considering things, consider this short rundown of names to be worthy of review:
Nike, Whole Foods, Urban Outfitters, Patagonia, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Luke Bryan, Tim McGraw, Thrillist, Portlandia, Jerry Garcia Estate, Evian, Dave Matthews Band, Governors Ball Music Fest, Bonnaroo Music Festival, Phish, Lost, Wilco, Chipolte, Motts, Disney, Outside Lands Music Festival, and more.
Why? Well those are some solid bona fides in terms of a client roster, but in order to execute the perfect labels to go along with the history, taste, effects, and overall spirit of each strain from the Chemdog grown Smash Hits line, we knew we had to work with someone that could deliver. Take one look at the labels on Smash Hits and we think you’ll agree, Nate hit the mark.
CANNA PROVISIONS: You’ve gotten to work on some epic projects from beer to huge music festivals and concerts and even Nalgene design, puzzles, and COVID 19 pins and so on. How do you think of yourself artistically?
NATE DUVAL: I like to think of myself as a “commercial artist” or Illustrator above all. For the past 15 years I’ve just worked on my craft, gotten my work in front of as many eyes as possible and tried to stay true to myself and make things in as many different styles as I can develop, with the thought being that it may open more doors for artistic collaboration and creation.
For sure. How do you keep your personal vision and stamp while moving between all the different mediums in both a commercial and artistic sense?
I find joy in the sourcing and selling side of making things. I think that “less creative, but equally import” interest of mine is what has lead me to do so many different things and constantly thinking of creative and profitable ways to create art and products.
Where are you drawing inspiration from for the Smash Hits designs?
I look for inspiration in ANY PLACE I can find it. Like a lot of my work, I approach these labels not so differently than I would a rock poster, a tee shirt for a tour or a logo for a business.
Maybe there’s something in the strain name that sparks a creative idea, like with Smash Hits and Island G’s label, or Motor-Breath 13, Wonka Bars, etc, Gelato #45, etc. Sometimes it’s playing off an energy or feeling of the strain and its effects.
It can also spark from having to fit a long strain name or cross breed into the space and is more of a spatial problem-solving exercise, that the design leads the way and then style follows.
As Chemdog’s strain logo artist you now have a direct line to some Grateful Dead lore. But you already did some vinyl album reissues for them. What’s next, painting Bob Weir’s guitar for Dead & Co.?
Ha, I wish. I have worked in the music industry creating and producing merchandise for big bands all over the world, but the few times I’ve worked with the Dead certainly have felt like milestones for sure.
Take us through how you developed the different strain circles for Smash Hits. Each one has its own personality and look reflecting the strain it’s attached to, yet there’s definitely a connective thread to the voice.
Our collaboration has been a really fun and rewarding one for sure. The name – Smash Hits – the moment I heard it, I knew it could ONLY look and feel like one thing: A groovy little retro record company putting out hit after deep-cut hit! And that’s EXACTLY what Canna Provisions and Chemdog are doing.
To me, it was a “perfect storm” type of partnership. One that would allow me to combine my interests of being an avid music fan and record collector, my craft and profession of hand-crafted illustration and creative design, my years of making music merchandise, and the logo/branding identity work that I do a lot of these days; creating a system of labels that needed to work individually AS WELL as a grouping was crucial. It was the perfect combination of creative/packaging design and branding and I ‘m very glad we found each other.
Take a look at his work below or on his website:
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Canna Provisions is the next generation of cannabis dispensary focusing on a unique and thoughtful customer experience. We are here to guide you and towards the right provisions to fit your lifestyle, and provide knowledgeable support every step of the way. Founded by established industry pioneers with extensive cultivation, regulation and consumer sales experience, Canna Provisions stores provide a broad range of top-grade craft cannabis products that are locally sourced and thoughtfully produced. Life is a journey. No matter the path, trust Canna Provisions to better your journey. To learn more, visit CannaProvisionsGroup.com. Join us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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