About Us

core leadership

  • Jenna Smith

    Jenna Smith

    President, Chief Executive Officer

    Jenna Smith

    President, Chief Executive Officer

    On any given day, you’ll find Jenna doing what she loves doing best—developing brand identity and package design solutions for a wide range of consumer packaged goods brands. Officially, Jenna plays a primary role in business development, account management and design strategy. Unofficially, she’s great at design and operations, which might very well be the “definition of rare” in this industry.

    Prior to joining Smith Design, Jenna spent five years in Silicon Valley where she was a marketing manager at Cisco Systems and McAfee Security. There, she was responsible for developing and managing marketing communications targeting small- to medium-sized businesses.

  • Glenn Hagen

    Glenn Hagen

    Chief Creative Officer

    Glenn Hagen

    Chief Creative Officer

    Glenn is an award-winning Design Director with two decades of experience creating and optimizing consumer packaged goods for leading and emerging brands in every category. With a passion for creative problem solving, Glenn leads his creative teams from the trenches, seamlessly integrates talent and strategic resources, and is personally invested in all his projects.

    Glenn is recognized for his all-access style. Direct collaboration among brand managers, strategists and his design team has proven extremely valuable, delivering high performance results from concept to commercialization.

founders

  • Laraine Blauvelt

    Laraine Blauvelt

    Founding Partner

    Laraine Blauvelt

    Founding Partner

    Laraine has been a partner at Smith Design for almost three decades. Inspired by a background in advertising at Hoffmann-La Roche and fashion for Christian Dior, her true passion lies in branding, where she plays an integral role in both sales and project management, as well as research.

    Laraine also leads our Interior Design practice and works closely with clients, artists and designers, to create beautiful spaces. The relationships are more intimate, and often lead to unique insights on how people live. This has particular relevance to lifestyle and luxury brands.

    Laraine welcomes the challenges found in all types of spaces. Whether it be a residential interior, a showroom or corporate event or creating the design aesthetic for a product launch party. Laraine finds the solution to make any surrounding beautiful, comfortable and functional.

  • James Smith

    James Smith

    Founding Partner

    James Smith

    Founding Partner

    James is the founding partner and our consummate creative force for over 30 years. Driven by a passion for “the work and the craft,” James leads a team who shares his vision of creative that keeps clients coming back for breakthrough ideas and flawless execution, which translates to business success.

    James has an equal passion for leading a successful business that gives back. Through Smith Design’s funding of many academic and design scholarships, mentoring programs, and internships, James is a well-recognized figure in the design community. His support of packaging as a career choice for design students is evident through his dedication to nurturing tomorrow’s new wave of talent.

services

Smith Design’s core strengths are brand identity + package design that delivers market results.
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What unique story and identity will set your brand apart? A brand’s positioning, strategy and name are the strongest basis for success when they're meaningful—and motivating to consumers. We initiate a rigorous assessment, diving into market, consumer, brand—and research what’s needed to uncover the white space to win.
We help uncover the research steps needed to minimize business risk and guide strategy + design, executing on site at our Morristown facility and in the field. Our in-house spaces include both informal, "millennial-friendly" settings for casual gatherings, tastings and consumer mixers; and a behind-the-glass observation room for more traditional focus groups.
We are experts in the graphic development of all the imagery that becomes your brand’s visual identity. From a brand’s logo to its tag lines and sayings, the colors, shapes and symbols used, the photography style and illustration— we create the visual brand that aligns to identity.
Structural and graphic packaging are the biggest opportunity to create a memorable connection to your brand at the point-of-sale. From entirely new brands to restages, special channels and club, our team has 3 decades of experience creating lasting impressions at shelf—in just about every product category.
Our nimble design and copy teams are adept at crafting just the right marketing materials to support your brand and bring it to life with collateral, print, in-store displays, palets and all forms of digital media.

our facilities

our approach

Our approach is tailored to each unique challenge; from strategic and consumer research steps through all phases design implementation. We've redefined full service by offering richer services to support brand design— all under one roof.

  • discovery

    The critical collaborative steps involving brand owner and design team to help crystalize and define goals. We identify trends, review the category, competitive sets, existing consumer insights and might plan initial research to uncover opportunities for your brand.

  • research

    Qualitative, quantitative, ethnographic and hybrid approaches; our team can develop, facilitate and execute consumer research steps on site at our Morristown facility, or in the field with your consumer insights team. From focus groups behind-the-glass to informal gatherings and consumer mixers, together we will create the optimal plan to support your brand challenge.

  • strategy

    With our collective findings, we will define what your brand stands for and the space it will thrive, through development of a brand brief. This blueprint will summarize the opportunity, audience profile, brand platform, final positioning and will serve as a basis for our visual exploration.

  • design

    We develop a broad range of visual approaches to bring your brand to life and position it for success. Explorations may include unique and innovative structures, graphics, iconography, words, shapes and colors that powerfully leverage visual equities and push the envelope further. Then we'll test ideas with your consumers to help ensure the design message aligns with project goals.


  • implementation

    Post-design research, we apply findings, fine tune designs and prepare all designs assets for legal review. We internally direct and execute illustration and photography to produce the final brand imagery and packaging. During this stage we develop hi quality 3-D renderings, to employ in your marketing and sales efforts.

  • production management/execution

    Digital mechanicals are prepared according to your production schedule. For multi-SKU lines, Brand Standards may be documented in a guide to serve as the tool kit for consistent brand execution. Our production team is well-versed in all print methods and will work closely with your vendors as needed—from pre-press to color proofs, to ensure optimal results.

our history

Since 1980, Smith Design has continuously evolved with the ever-changing brand design landscape by pushing our standards, broadening our expertise, and strengthening our relationships. We’re happy to mark our expansion from our roots in Glen Ridge NJ where for 35 years our studios were located in a former Daughters of the American Revolution meeting hall, to our new innovative headquarters with integrated research facilities, nestled in a historic 19th century brick mill building in downtown Morristown, NJ.

Smith Design was founded by James Smith, and later joined by Laraine Blauvelt. In 2005, his daughter Jenna Smith became CEO, where she continues to grow the business; we’re now a family of 22. As a Certified Women Owned Business, we pride ourselves on the diversity of our talent, which empowers the comprehensive insights we provide.

Longevity and loyalty is something we enjoy internally, as well as with our clients. Employees range in tenure from over 25 years to new, young faces that keep us at the forefront of design. Brands such as Popsicle and Sika have grown with us since our first days, while Skippy has been with us for over 20 years.

We have a commitment to excellence from thought-to-finish. This thrives within Smith Design’s collaborative and client-centric environment where great brand design begins before a single sketch is made. Our facilities act as a branding incubator with all the resources needed under one roof to execute strategies and bring brands to life. It’s one reason we have received dozens of accolades from our peers recognizing our standout performance in a crowded marketplace.

In business and community outreach, we have expanded greatly—from continuing to grow our established sales office in Carmel, California to participating in numerous mentoring and scholarship programs over the years. We look forward to continuing to do great work for years to come.