Freelance Hasbro artist Jerry Wilson was kind enough to answer a few questions for us about his job and what it's like to design images for The Vintage Collection
. Can you tell us about yourself? What is your design background?
I attended the Joe Kubert School in New Jersey. I had originally wanted to go into comics but got work doing commercial art right out of school at a company in Manhattan called Mada design. There I worked on a ton of stuff, Video Game covers, children’s books, trading cards and toy packaging. Hasbro being the largest client I worked with. I gained experience in a ton of artistic avenues I never thought I would get to try out. I then left Mada design to work at a casino gaming company called High 5 Games, I still work there today as the Director of Customer Experience (CX), I oversee all app and marking art, the UI/UX of our customer facing products, our branding and the technical art implementation. Once my non-compete ran out with Mada design I reached back out to Hasbro to see if I could get a free-lance job with them here and there, I just missed doing that kind of work. They started me on some Nerf stuff, then Marvel, Baby Alive, Furreal Friends, Disney, a bunch of board games etc. I have been steadily working with Hasbro as well now for 8 years on my own. What is a good description of your role in Hasbro's Star Wars and Marvel Legends packaging design?
For Marvel Legends, I do photo retouching, illustration and a bit branding, Star Wars so far has been photo retouching and illustration. How long have you been working with Hasbro?
As Hasbro was my largest client at my previous job as well, I have worked with them for about 14 years total. Can you tell us some of the general guidelines that Hasbro provides to you?
Photography and basic layout is often settled on before I get a project, but I have room to play for sure. They have been very responsive I have a different take on things. What are some of the challenges that you face with adapting and retouching existing photography?
Quality of the source material for sure. If the photo provided to work from needs a lot of clean-up, like an old frame from a film, I have to work all that up before I even get started on the polished look I would want for a product package. What are the most common tools and software used during the process?
Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Sketch Book Pro on iPad. What are some of your inspirations, for The Vintage Collection line, and in general?
I draw inspiration from all over, for the Vintage line, I want it to maintain the look of the original line of Star Wars figure above all else but I also want to modernize it so its look is stands out compared to everything else its competing with on the store shelves. Do you have a favorite image you've worked on, or a favorite packaging design as a whole that you contributed to?
There is a Walmart Exclusive Thanos I did for Marvel Legends I really like and I am very happy with how the latest wave of Star Wars Vintage figures just released have turned out. Are you provided with any samples of the completed toys after the fact?
Nope, I go toy hunting like everyone else haha Are you a collector? If so, what?
Big YES! I collect Comics, Sideshow statues, Marvel Legends, all kind of action figures and will be picking up the Star Wars Vintage figures I worked on. At one point I was buying all the toys I worked on but as the years have gone on, its 100’s of packages so I had to slow down on that haha. Is the current wave of The Vintage Collection the first Star Wars merchandise you've worked on?
Not the first I worked on but the first to be announced. This set was done very early on in my Star Wars jobs. How has the Lucasfilm approval process been? Do you find yourself doing multiple revisions?
Maybe a handful, so far so good. I attempt to make things as bullet proof as I can for myself before I send it out anyway. I am very proud to be working on these amazing licenses and as a point of personal pride I want each one to be as good as I can possibly make it. Obviously you can't speak about anything that hasn't been revealed, but in general how early are you given source images before the general public gets to see them?
This varies a ton, some images I do don’t even get announced until a year after I finish work on them, some get shown three months after. Any notable differences between working on Star Wars vs. Marvel?
A number of the images I do for Star Wars are trying to accurately reproduce the original figures packaging 100%. The Marvel Legends work is much more free form where I get to illustrate a bit more as I am often producing the backgrounds, lighting and layout as I go.
We want to thank Jerry for taking the time to speak with us and for sending us these great images. We can't wait to see more examples of his work down the line. You can visit his website and view his portfolio at JerryJWilson.com
, and follow him on Instagram at @jerryjwilson
You can also view a high resolution version of The Vintage Collection cardback images here