Artist Interview: Asilda Packaging Designer, Peter Kortleve

Peter Kortleve is a designer who has a hand in the resurgence of hand rendered design. From typography to illustration, he mixes digital and hand-drawn pieces to add depth and warmth that you can't always get from design that's strictly digital. That's why he was perfect for branding the packaging of the pins and patches in the Asilda Store. 

To make the packaging for Asilda pins and patches, we wanted to evoke a lifestyle of travel and adventure, and finding the perfect guy to portray that lifestyle was the hardest part. Peter's sketches evolved into the perfect face for Asilda packaging. 

sketches of original asilda store product packaging

From his home in Deventer, Netherlands, Peter told us more about his brand, his growth as a designer, his process, and how he created the design for the Asilda Store packaging.  

photos of Peter working on our packaging designs

Why did you choose the name "Shortlife” for your brand?

Shortlife is the metaphrase of my last name, Kortleve, and when I was a kid friends of mine sometimes jokingly called me that, yelling across the school yard: "Hey, Shortlife!" It became sort of a nickname. I get asked about the name frequently; it sort of breaks the ice. Some think it has a negative sound, some think quite the opposite. Anyhow, that tells me a bit about the person in front of me. I don’t care how they interpret it, I just like that they’re talking about it.

Can you tell me a bit about the original direction for the Asilda patch packaging?

At first I concentrated on a vintage mountaineer. But after I presented that drawing to the team at Asilda, we decided we wanted to go for a more modern look with a handsome, bearded man holding a vintage camera. In this case, a Hasselblad. A cool dude like that may appeal to both women and men. I also designed another (colorful) concept, which we refer to as the Cali designs because they're based on a more vintage Californian look and feel. 

sketches of original asilda store product packaging

sketches of original asilda store product packaging

What was the biggest design challenge for the packaging of the pins and patches?

Getting the drawing(s) right, finding the right typography, and fitting it onto the two different packaging sizes. I also tried to draw the typography, but that would have been too much.


"It’s great to step away from the computer every once in a while."

What have been some of your favorite packaging projects to work on?

Any packaging project really. But I tell you, next to being a passionate graphic designer I’m also very fond of music. (I play guitar and some bass.) So working on album artwork and merchandise for great musicians is something I can really enjoy. It’s the best of both worlds, you could say. I got those kind of jobs when I started my own business. Before that, I’d work on stuff I initiated myself that would combine the two passions. For instance, a book about songwriting, interviewing some of the greatest songwriters of Holland and Belgium. (And one from the U.S. — Ben Folds).


one of original Asilda Store pins in new packaging
asilda products in new packaging - iron on patches and stickers

Your work mixes hand-drawn and digital elements. Have you tried illustrating more digitally? Why do you continue to use hand renderings?

I do both actually. But lately, I get asked to do more hand-drawn stuff. Which I like. It’s why I went to study at the graphic art school in the first place. And it’s great to step away from the computer every once in a while. Not that I dislike digital illustrations by the way. Not at all. 
You can (and definitely should) follow Peter on Instagram to see what he's up to in his studio and get a peek at his latest projects.


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