February 19, 2024

Pavla Chuykina

Discover the interview of Pavla Chuykina:

How did you become designer?

I want to start by saying that I never imagined myself as a designer. I didn’t attend any art school as a child, but I grew up surrounded by traditional folk art. My parents are artisans in the field of folk art, and I constantly saw their beautiful works. My dad is talented in woodworking: he creates carved art items. My mom is skilled in various folk-art styles, and I especially admired her work in the Mezenskaya folk art style. Originating in the early 19th century, this style features simple, often geometric designs in just three colours: red, black, and either white or yellow as the background. Its symbols, blending ancient Slavic and Finno-Ugric traditions, narrate stories. I think my parents’ focus on detail has significantly shaped my design approach.

My journey as a designer began at the British Higher School of Art & Design, where I joined the Design and Visual Communication course. This was right after I had completed my Master’s in Animation and Computer Graphics at Saint Petersburg State University of Cinema and Television. These two educational experiences further shaped my design principles, especially in areas such as creativity and storytelling.

How would you define your vision of design, your style? 

As a designer, I want to think that I don’t stick to a single style. I would like to able to adapt to various styles to meet different project requirements. However, in my work, my vision of design is cantered around three key principles: smart solutions, emotional connection, and aesthetic appeal.

First, I focus on smart solutions. A good example is the ‘Happy Ghost’ bottle I created in 2020. I took a standard bottle with its usual parts – the bottom, body, and neck – and made a slight tweak to create something different and give the design a distinctive character. The ‘Happy Ghost’ concept is straightforward, which is what makes it special.

Secondly, I aim to design packaging that triggers emotions. This approach is not just about aesthetic appeal; it’s about storytelling through design. Each element of the packaging is thoughtfully chosen to reflect the brand’s identity and the emotions they want to evoke in their costumers. In essence, my design philosophy is to create packaging that not only captures attention but also touches the heart.

Lastly, I pay close attention to details, knowing that consumers often notice and value these subtleties.

For the future, what are your professional projects?

At the close of 2023, I turned the page on my career with design agencies to start a new, personal journey. Together with my design partner, we are launching a new project, ‘Galima & Pavla’. Finding a like-minded design collaborator isn’t easy, but Galima Akhmetzyanova and I have a decade-long history of teamwork. Over the past ten years, we’ve tackled numerous projects, discovering our niche in the beverages and beauty care sectors.

Our portfolio boasts standout projects, including our latest, ‘B!ATCH Tequila’. The packaging design of B!ATCH Tequila is a true statement to its bold and feminine spirit. Started by female entrepreneurs it encourages women to take their place and make the difference. Encrusted with shimmering crystals, the bottle exudes glamour and sophistication. No detail is too small for B!ATCH Tequila, and the closure is no exception. Resembling a large diamond, the closure serves as a luxurious finishing touch to the bottle’s design. B!ATCH Tequila’s distinctive, proprietary lip-shaped bottles have made appearances at prominent events and parties in Atlanta, L.A., Las Vegas, London, Miami, and NYC.

One of our other milestone projects, Caketails, where we brought to life a unique concept. This bottle design features a neck resembling a birthday candle, and its cap, crafted with wax and a wick, doubles as a candle. Customers can blow it out, making the bottle an interactive and joyful element of their celebration. On this project the biggest challenge for us was to find a manufacturer that could produce the cap that contains wax and a wick. This year 2024, the product has finally been launched in the U.S. market, which is very exciting.

These projects are reflective of the kind of work we aspire to continue doing, focusing on creating engaging and memorable experiences through design.

What do you like the most in your job?

I love seeing my designs become a reality. For the last six years, I’ve worked at a design agency in Melbourne, where I had the opportunity to contribute to the rebranding of Twinings, a renowned tea brand with a rich history. When I visit stores and see the shelves filled with these new Twinings packages, it makes me happy. I do like helping brands find their unique voice and enabling them to connect effectively with their customers. I enjoy making products stand out on shelves and resonate powerfully with their target audience.