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Gerlinde Gruber, freelance packaging designer

Gerlinde Gruber, freelance packaging designer

Published by Leonardo Calcagno

Who are you: 

My name is Gerlinde Gruber, I am a woman.

Your current job: 

I am a self-employed Packaging Designer.

In which city are you located? 

Vienna, Austria

A word to define what kind of worker you are: 


What tools are essential to your life (app, software, etc..) 

Cutting mat, cutting knife, folding bone, some punching knives, lots of carton and paper, iMac, iPhone, iPad, Adobe CS, CAD-software

What does your office space look like? 

I am working in my home office in a flat in a Viennese house from 1900. You can find piles of a carton, lots of scribbled paper, many packaging prototypes and a piano as cutting table here in my office room.

What kind of music do you listen to when you are working? 

It depends on what I am working on: When I am building mock-ups I listening to stimulating music like rap, techno or to make me jump around I put 90s euro dance on. When I am drawing, creating or planning I often hear alternative, singer-songwriter and everything between Falco and Vivaldi. But half of the time in my office it is very quiet.

Do you have a way to organize your day to maximize your work? 

Every morning, I grab my to-do list from yesterday, cross out some points and bring some new on. 

What tips would you give to improve productivity? 

Give your ideas a face by leaving the draft phase very early for building prototypes.

You’re better than your colleagues to:

 Being good at understanding people is very helpful when you have to differ between what customers say and what they really want.

What is the best advice anyone has given you? 

don’t give a f***

What is your best tip for saving time? 

First things first. 

What is your routine start and end of the day? 

There were no routines in my life except for the fact that I am having breakfast with coffee every morning. In September I became a part-time teacher for packaging design in a higher technical school here in Vienna, so there is now this routine to teach students every Monday and Friday.

Aside from your computer and your phone, what gadget can you not you go without?

I called it “my smartbook”, where I write every briefing down, scribble some designs or make notes. But… is something a gadget when it’s not powered by the current?

Instagram and Twitter: @ggerlinde