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Q&A with the Visionary Behind Contra Design Co.

Need some fun, one-of-a-kind stickers, buttons, or labels? Well, we have found an incredible creator, sraight out of southern California with an amazing eye for design!

We were thrilled to get the chance to sit down with Corona Nguyen from, Contra Design Co, about her business, her design process, and how our rubber stamps have palyed a role in her success!

Can you tell us a little bit more about Contra Design Co.? Where does the name come from?

Contra Design Co is an AAPI woman-owned creative studio based in Southern California that specializes in the design and craft of labels, stickers, digital goods and more! The name of my business comes from the word “contrast.” In design, contrast is used to make an impact, highlight what’s important, and ultimately make the design more bold, exciting and interesting. That whole idea is what I hope to embody in my brand and products!

What Inspired you to start the business?

I’ve been a brand and graphic designer for 7+ years now and have done a ton of client work. I’ve felt burnt out many times throughout my career and have been longing to create things for myself and I’ve always wanted to open up my own design shop.

So at the end of 2021, I decided to take a leap and start Contra Design Co as a place to create whatever I wanted without the pressures of satisfying a client. In January 2022, I opened up a Etsy shop where I first started designing and selling packaging labels for other small businesses. Since then, I now have my own website with 35+ label designs, stickers, tote bags and more!

Is there anything specific you'd like readers to know about you and/or your business?

I have a BA in Communications, where I focused on photo and visual design because I wanted to become a photographer and have my own photo studio. I was doing that for a little bit until I realized I had zero knowledge of running a business. So I decided to go back to school for my MBA and at the same time, I was working as a designer and I also interned at an advertising agency for a summer where I learned more about branding. Somewhere during all that, I started to fall more in love with design so I ditched my original plan of being a photographer and focused on becoming a brand designer.

I’ve been really fortunate to work with some awesome clients and build my portfolio from there. Honestly, my creativity comes and goes. I wish I could say that I can look at a beautiful scenery and inspiration comes instantly but that’s not usually the case. That’s why Contra Design Co has become so important to me because this space allows me to be creative in any form and speed I want without the pressures of another person’s opinion. I have so much fun working on my business now that it doesn’t even feel like work, which is the best part, and having that freedom really fuels my creativity too.

"This space allows me to be creative in any form and speed I want without the pressures of another person's opinion."

We love your stickers, where do you get your ideas for these designs? Do you have a favorite?

I browse around a lot on Etsy and Pinterest to see what’s trending and what designs are out there already! There are a lot of generic phrases but I try to think of labels and stickers that can be personalized to my customer’s small business and have designs that will help them spice up their packaging. I have a few favorites, such as “Packaged on TikTok,” “Order Ready For,” and “Thank You USPS.”

What project/product are you most proud of?

At this time, I’m obsessed with my new I Can & I Will button pin! It’s my first pin ever and I really love how its paired with the backing card I designed. You’ll definitely see more pins in my shop!

We really love your logo for the stamp. What was your inspiration behind it?

My current logo is actually not the first design I had for my brand. When I started the business, I whipped up something real quick and it served me really well for a few months. But as I started to grow, I wanted a logo that is more simplified and timeless but still gives me the flexibility to experiment with different designs within my products. So when you look at my products with my branding, nothing competes with each other. And a fun fact, the little star that you see in my logo is a nod to my love for camping, offroading and exploring!

How are you using your stamps?

I ordered two cling stamps and I’m using them as part of my packaging design.

Why did you decide to use a rubber stamp, as compared to another branding option?

I use my own labels as part of my packaging and I really love how the stamps look on Kraft mailers. I feel like it complements my labels really well and gives it an extra charm that makes the packaging more fun and exciting for the customer to open! I also wanted something that is easy to use and doesn’t take up too much space so the cling stamps are perfect since I really only have to use 1 acrylic block but I’m not limited to how many stamps I can use with it.

How Can Customers Find You?

To shop, get in contact with, and see more from Contra Design Co. check out their Instagram and Website.


SHARE YOUR OWN SMALL BUSINESS STORY!

Tell us how your small business got started, why you do what you do, and how you decided to use rubber stamps in your business. We'd love to share your story with others and inspire more people to support small and dream big!

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