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Turlock design firm creates packaging for organic brands nationwide
green valley organics
First receiving the 2011 American Package Design Award for their work on Green Valley Organics lactose-free yogurt and kefir packages (pictured), Turlock-based Nishihara/Wilkinson Design Inc has been featured in the leading publication Graphic Design USA for their custom illustrations and subtle organic farming undertones. - photo by Photo by Annie Proctor

NAME OF BUSINESS: Nishihara/Wilkinson Design

LOCATION: 737 E. Main Street

CONTACT: (209) 668-7627;

HOURS OF OPERATION: By appointment only


HISTORY OF BUSINESS: Although Turlock might not have a Whole Foods grocery store, a little bit of Turlock can be found in the national chain. Doing work for national brands that are sold in stores like Whole Foods and Costco, local design firm Nishihara/Wilkinson Inc. has been creating powerful packaging in the world of food marketing for over 25 years.


While principle owners Darice Nishihara and Ron Wilkinson have years of experience in developing design solutions for food packaging, the two believe that it was their roots in farming that provided them with a comprehensive knowledge and passion for food.


Although Wilkinson says that their firm is small when compared to “big city” advertising and marketing agencies, they continually work alongside national brands that are sold in stores such as Whole Foods because of their connection to the natural and organic food industry.


“We’ve had our fingers on the pulse of the natural food movement since 2003,” said Wilkinson. “You can’t just stick ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ on a brand and expect to sell it, sometimes it requires a whole new brand.”


Because of their farming experience in the Central Valley, the two say that they understand firsthand the challenges faced in all levels of the business, from farmers, processors, retailers and the consumer. It is this holistic knowledge of the trade, they say, that has given them a unique perspective and appreciation for the market, while reaffirming their values of hard work and fair play.


Both having a formal education in Graphic Communication and Fine Arts, Nishihara and Wilkinson worked for several years at a commercial printing business and advertising agencies before breaking apart to form Nishihara/Wilkinson Design Inc. Since then, the two have expanded their firm to include a tight-knit team creating packaging designs that have received awards from Graphic Design USA for four consecutive years. The firm has helped companies switch to healthier, ethical and sustainable products by developing creative packaging and effective branding focused on marketing natural and organic foods.


“Great food packaging needs to appeal to the shoppers appetite as well as their intellect and curiosity,” said Nishihara. “It should check off the immediate demands of the consumer to help them make a quick decision.”


BUSINESS SPECIALTY: Branding, logo development, brand redesign, line extensions, slogans and product names, packing design and development, folding cartons, flexible packaging – bags, wraps and films, beverage containers, corrugated packaging, labels, additional advertisement support – brochures, newsletters, promotions and coupons, photography, illustration, tradeshow booths and materials.