Reynir Hauksson, Graphic Designer / Art Director
Reynir Hauksson is a senior graphic designer/art director from Reykjavik Iceland, who moved to USA in 1994 and is now located in New York. With a focus on retail packaging and more than 25 years of design experience, Reynir has created designs and packaging for companies all over the world such as; Fisher Price, Cardinal Industries, Jakks Pacific, Wizard Magazine (USA), Spin Master (Cananda), Educa Borras (Spain) and many more.
How did you get started in the graphics industry? When did you start using Strata 3D?
It was kinda by accident that I got into the graphic industry. In 1988 I started to work as a sales rep for a computer company in Reykjavik, Iceland (where I am born and raised). I had never even turned on a computer by the time I was hired, but within 2 months I was put in charge of selling and promoting this desktop publishing application called Finesse by Logitech. It was a very plain type of application similar to what Microsoft Publisher started out as. I loved messing with the program and started learning how to work on it, and after about 4 months, my boss came to me and asked me if I would be willing to design their catalog that year in the application. That would be the start of my life as a graphic designer. I worked at the company for another 2-3 years and was a one man marketing department within the company.
Later I would start working at design companies in Iceland and ultimately I moved to New York in 1994. In 1995-99 I worked as a designer at a design agency in Manhattan called MADA Design. I designed trading cards and magazines along with multiple other things. This is when I got introduced to Strata 3D – I would say it was around ’97-’98 and ever since then I have used Strata for any type of 3D designs I have needed. In late 1999 I started Studio Fun House, inc., a graphic design studio that now concentrates on packaging and logo design mainly for the toy and collectible industries.
What made you pick up Strata 3D? Was there a specific problem/need that caused you to seek out a 3D application?
Back when I started using Strata, it was the only really good 3D application that you could get for Macintosh that did not break the bank. As I said before, I designed magazines and trading cards for the sports and entertainment industries. This meant, you needed to be the best and create cutting edge designs. Strata gave me an edge back then and helped me create things the other designers could not do. I have tried many other applications over the years, but always lean back on Strata because of it’s ease of use.
What’s a typical day for you? What other software do you use on a regular basis?
A typical day for me is designing packaging for toys. There is a lot of production work, as I send files overseas for printing every day. So for me, my day starts in either Photoshop or Illustrator. I would say that the split between applications is about 75% Illustrator 15% Photoshop and 10% Strata. This can change over the course of one day to the next, as I create a lot of product elements in Strata for the packaging product shots.
Which features do you use the most in Strata 3D?
I use the Subdivision modeling a lot, and of course the UV texturing and rendering.
What has been the biggest benefit from introducing 3D into your workflow?
I really love how simple Strata has made it to create the UV’s and integrate the Photoshop layer compatibility into the application. This gives me the tools to model and render my packaging design as a prototype for my clients before they go to print, with a virtual “product photography” in place on the packaging and therefore show a 90% complete product. Most clients can not imagine what a flat packaging design will look like, so it is important to be able to show your designs as they would be produced. Also the option of importing Illustrator paths into Strata, has helped me model complex things based directly off other designers product design or packaging layouts.
Any advice for new users?
My advice to new users is to use the Strata forums and ask questions. The Strata community is really strong and has a wealth of experience with the application. I myself use https://www.strata3duniversity.com if I feel stranded or want to brush up on knowledge. If you have the funds to get the full Strata CX, I say buy it. It is probably the easiest yet the best tool to get started in 3D design of any kind. And as always, don’t be afraid to just jump into 3D. It is not as hard as many people may think it is. Once you start creating things in 3D it opens up a whole new world of design to you and your clients.