Harrison Shaw: Innovation is his brand

FIT’s campus covers little more than a city block, but for their inspiration, students have all of New York City — and sometimes the whole world — to explore. Harrison “Harry” Shaw (Packaging Design ’23), took advantage, starting during the pandemic. His product concepts and presentations come across as almost real…as if we could walk down the street and buy them this afternoon after work.

Here are four of them:

Tagged Brewing Co. by Harrison Shaw

“Tagged Brewing Co.” (Capstone Design Studio, taught by Prof. James Silva)

“This was one of my first big school projects during the pandemic,” says Shaw. “I was living in Bushwick and it was hard and nerve-racking to take the subway to commute around the city. I went by foot to explore areas near my apartment.”

That is when he came upon The Bushwick Collective. The Collective hosts a year-round outdoor art exhibition and annual block party that brings together local businesses.

“From there, the beer idea just took off. It gained a personality on its own,” he says.

Tagged Brewing Co. by Harrison Shaw

“Harry came into the program with a strong design foundation and motivation to succeed. His determination in his coursework led to outstanding design projects,” says Prof. Marianne Klimchuk, former chair of Packaging Design

Shaw’s assignment was to develop a 360 brand identity (that is, looking at a brand’s positioning and opportunities from every angle) that hit on four different BFA design majors: Packaging, Advertising, Spacial Experience Design, and Graphic Design.

As with other Packaging Design class projects, Shaw started off by taking a dive into the landscape of brands, mapping what might motivate potential customers in the category. Then he created a brand that clicked with his insights.

“I describe it as finding a solution to a problem consumers never thought they had,” says Shaw. He then created territory boards, sketching out ways to motivte the consumer. And finally on to addressing digital development, typography, illustration, brandworld creation, to arrive at a packaging design concept.

Tagged Brewing Co. by Harrison Shaw

Nottinghill Distillery (Designers Portfolio, taught by Program Coordinator Prof. Sandra Krasovec)

“Nottinghill Distillery was inspired by my study abroad in London and Scotland, an opportunity I was afforded through the Packaging Design program.

“We visited 12 brand and packaging design firms like Bulletproof, JKR, Pearlfisher. We sat in on their design process presentations, and went over case studies. We asked questions and gained insight into the design world in the UK,” says Shaw.

Nottinghill Distillery by Harrison Shaw

“I was so inspired by the architecture, particularly in Notting Hill, which has this amazing juxtaposition of old, classically designed buildings, but with vibrantly colored facades,” says Shaw.

“I wanted to  capture the essence of what I felt there, developing a gin brand that held both an essence of class and striking color.”

The brand story Shaw created tells of a place where “passion, creativity, and smoky allure converge.”

Nottinghill Distillery by Harrison Shaw

The allure of Nottinghill Distillery is its smoky infusion made from “smoldering embers and aromatic scents that waft through the air of Notting Hill.” The Distillery uses a “time-honored technique,” that includes “carefully selected, hand-charred woods to infuse the gin.”

Nottinghill Distillery by Harrison Shaw

“BUZZZ!” (Strategic Design Studio and Design Strategy, taught by profs. Marianne Klimchuk and Susan Palombo) 

Shaw then segued to another type of suds. His BUZZZ! is a men’s personal care soap brand that he suggests be used for showering at night.

“This was a fun project that required upfront research and strategizing the development of a robust brand design concept,” he says.

Says Prof. Marianne Klimchuk, “I am beyond proud of Harry.  I have no doubt that we will be seeing a lot of outstanding brands and packaging designs in the marketplace that Harry had his hands on.” 

Buzzz! by Harrison Shaw

“The overarching concept of BUZZZ! revolves around being inspired by night life — to bring a sense of a neon glow and the ‘buzz of the night’ to customers’ showering routine,”  Shaw’s brand story states.

“In my communication style, I wanted to give it a voice that millennials can connect to, playing with modern slang.”

His line “Night Showers Hit Different” does that. His playful yet bold approach to the night shower has “unique charm,” as he describes it: “It’s a moment of escape, a sanctuary where one can wash away the stress of the day and emerge refreshed.”

Buzzz! by Harrison Shaw

“Harry came into the program with a strong design foundation and motivation to succeed. His determination in his coursework led to outstanding design projects.” – Prof. Marianne Klimchuk

Buzzz! by Harrison Shaw

“Vibes CBD” (Brand Identity Design, taught by Prof. Candace Allenson

“Vibes CBD” was one of my first projects coming out of the pandemic, and the start of my bachelors degree. I was missing that feeling of vacation and that feeling of relaxation and playful spirit that comes with being on a beach with a cold drink to just relax,” says Shaw.

Vibes CBD by Harrison Shaw

“I took that yearning for something fun again; I wanted to develop a brand that was just super fun, one that captured that essence of what I felt was missing because of the pandemic.”

His brand story states: “The waves are your playground with Vibes CBD. Colorful and playful branding will transport you to the beach with retro typography inspired by classic beachside neon signs, palm trees, and iconic sunsets that explode in the sky.

“Whether you’re catching waves or just chillin’ with friends,” Shaw writes, “Vibes CBD’s refreshing flavors and soothing properties will be your go-to beachside companion.”

Vibes CBD by Harrison Shaw

During his time at FIT, Shaw interned for two outstanding design firms. The first was with graphic design agency Piscatello Design Centre. “It gave him a keen sense of what excellence looks like,” says Prof. Klimchuk. Shaw then spent several semesters interning for JDO, a global brand and packaging design agency.

“These educational experiences and his innate abilities took his design thinking skills and executional abilities to a new level,” says Prof. Klimchuk.

Vibes CBD by Harrison Shaw

Shaw is currently employed by the design agency Vault49, working on packaging and branding design.

Says Prof. Klimchuck “I am beyond proud of Harry. I have no doubt that we will be seeing a lot of outstanding brands and packaging designs in the marketplace that Harry had his hands on.”

Harrison “Harry” Shaw

To see more of Harrison Shaw’s work visit his website: HarrisonShaw.myporfolio.com, and on Instagram @shawgraphics.nyc.

To learn more about the School of Art and Design’s Packaging Design program, go to Packaging Design at FIT.

All images used with permission.

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