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John McGuire Celebrates 2010 with Designs for JanSport and Gregory Mountain Products

JanSport messenger bagAnyone in the market for sports gear this winter may have come across the designs of Academy of Art University alum John McGuire. John has spent over a year designing for JanSport, one of the most popular backpack and sporting brands in the United States.

JanSport is currently releasing three different lines that John created for the brand: a line of daypacks, a line of technical daypacks called "Cloudripper", and a lifestyle line entitled "Career." For a designer, there couldn't be any better way to start the New Year.

From the looks of it, 2010 will just keep getting better for him, too. He took a design position at Gregory Mountain Products just a few months ago. "There's a great team here at Gregory who have all been here a long time," says John, who loves life at his new firm. Gregory has currently tasked John with revamping a line of products with the company's sponsored athletes for trail running and adventure racing.

JanSport backpackWhen asked what he loves most about being at Gregory, John is quick to reply: "The Japanese market. Gregory is even bigger in Japan than it is in the U.S. I get to design specifically for a foreign market, which is something I'm really excited about." John just got back from his first trip to Tokyo, and is also working on a line of urban lifestyle pieces for Gregory.

John began his career as a professional designer at Timbuk2, the San Francisco-based company that creates those ubiquitous, stylish messenger bags. He worked at Timbuk2 from 2005 to 2008, where he designed and managed development for the brand. During his time at Timbuk2, John spent about two months out of the year in Vietnam and China, where he facilitated the development process.

JanSport laptop bag"Usually, you go to the factory to begin the development process, which means passing off the designs and camping out in the factory for a few weeks to oversee commercialization," he says. But, as John explains, "Sometimes, you start from scratch at the factory itself, doing all the early to mid-stage prototyping on location. It can be better to do the prototyping at the factory, even if it means more time spent away from home."

John's trips to Asia for Timuk2 turned out to be a valuable learning experience, teaching him everything he needed to know about production, operations, and development. Just before he left the company in 2008, John led Timbuk2's launch of an entire travel line complete with tooling and assembly of custom molded components.

Originally from Brunswick, Maine, John received his BS in Engineering Psychology from Tufts University and his BA in Industrial Design from Academy of Art University.

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