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Are You Ready to Get Packing?Are You Ready to Get Packing?

Get the behind-the-scenes scoop of our latest Pilot Gear Product

Whether packing is your worst nightmare, or you love neatly organizing your suitcase by category of clothing, we are certain that you will enjoy the new Pilot Gear Packing Cubes. To understand why we went with the packing cube, we interviewed two AOPA employees that helped create them.

AOPA Pilot Gear
AOPA Pilot Gear

It is time to get excited about packing with the new Pilot Gear Packing Cubes. We are always here to help you along your journey, whether it is finding the next location to fly to or finding new organizational tips. And, the Pilot Gear Store is no stranger to this concept.

The Pilot Gear Store’s goal is to make products for you that you can use or wear to show your love for your favorite hobby and that make day-to-day things that you do more enjoyable and vibrant (pst. check out this tumbler).

Given this, it was only natural that AOPA Graphic Designer Jen and Product Marketing Manager Brittany worked together to make the most practical thing a pilot could have packing cubes!

What is a packing cube, you may be asking? Our AOPA Pilot Gear packing cubes are lightweight ripstop nylon cubes help organize everything you put into your suitcase.  Each cube has a built-in stuff pouch to keep it tucked away, yet handy when you need it.

To tell you more about this awesome new product and to get you excited about packing—yes, we promise it can be exciting—we sat down with Brittany and Jen to ask them about the creation process for the packing cube!

AOPA: What was the initial inspiration for creating the packing cube?

Brittany: We’ve always wanted to have packing cubes in the Pilot Gear store. Given we are a store that focuses on aviation, adventure, and travel, packing cubes felt like a natural fit. We wanted to offer everyone something that could be their go-to product for packing their bags before their next flight or vacation.

AOPA: What was the sourcing and testing process like when developing the packing cube?

Brittany: We have a great vendor that we work closely within product development for all Pilot Gear store products. For the packing cubes, we knew what we wanted, and our vendor did a great job sourcing the product for us that would allow us to fully customize it to fit the needs of the Pilot Gear store shoppers!

AOPA: What is the experience you want people to have with the new packing cubes?

I really wanted the packing cubes to be bright and fun. Packing isn’t always the most fun thing to do, so we wanted to make something that was exciting so people would be ready to pack up their stuff and go on an adventure.

AOPA: What was your favorite part of developing the packing cube?

Brittany: My favorite part was dreaming up fun ideas with Jen, the designer on this project. We’ve worked together on a lot of different products for Pilot Gear, and she always brings a new perspective and a lot of creative insight to help bring our visions to life.

AOPA: What were your main steps when developing mock-ups for the packing cube?

Jen: I wanted to make sure that the product would resonate with multiple types of pilots. So, I used different types of GA planes flying in multiple settings. First, there were sketches to get the idea across and approved. Initially, we thought it would be fun to include iconic movie monster references like Godzilla and The Kraken. But ultimately, we decided we keep it a little more universal. Once the sketches and general idea were approved, I moved onto the main illustration process.

AOPA: What artistic tools and platforms do you use to bring your ideas to life in a visual representation?

For this illustration process, I worked in Adobe Illustrator and used a couple different sets of digital brushes and textures to layer on color and give the flat vector elements dimension and character.

AOPA: What is your process for developing products for the Pilot Gear Store and how has that changed over time?

Generally, I try to think about what our audience would like. What would make them smile, and what makes us a unique place to come for products that relate to a hobby people want to share.

AOPA: What was your favorite part of developing the packing cube?

Pushing myself artistically and finding a new part of myself as a designer. Shout out to my colleague Melanie Judd for letting me constantly bombard her with questions and hand-holding me through this process.

AOPA: What are you hoping people get out of the packing cube?

I hope people enjoy a product that is utilitarian.

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Topics: AOPA Products and Services, AOPA Store

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