Lead On, Creatively: Jenna Krackenberger


Disc sleeves for Black Pumas: Collector’s Edition. Photo by Knox Photographics.

Disc sleeves for Black Pumas: Collector’s Edition. Photo by Knox Photographics.

The Lead On, Creatively series highlights TCU College of Fine Arts alumni, students and faculty who are putting their passion into practice.

We spoke to Jenna Krackenberger ’16 about designing the packaging for “Black Pumas: Collector’s Edition” which is a 2023 GRAMMY nominee for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package.

Black Pumas: Collector’s Edition

Box exterior of the Black Pumas: Collector’s Edition. Photo by Knox Photographics

Exterior of the Black Pumas: Collector’s Edition. Photo by Knox Photographics

Black Pumas is a psychedelic soul band that has been nominated for seven GRAMMY Awards, including Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Album of the Year since they formed in 2019.

“Black Pumas: Collector’s Edition” is a six-disc box set featuring 10 custom sleeve illustrations representing lyrics from their first full-length studio album and two remix tracks. Krackenberger and her team also created a hardcover lyric book with portraits and live show photography from Jody Domingue, Merrick Ales, Liina Raud, Jackie Lee Young, and Nicholas O’Donnell.

“I’m incredibly lucky to have worked on this project with fellow designer Anna McCaleb,” said Krackenberger. “I can’t overstate how much I’ve learned from her during our time at Preacher together.”

Krackenberger will represent Preacher at the 2023 GRAMMY Awards.

Background in the Graphic Arts

Jenna Krackenberger

Jenna Krackenberger ’16. Photo by Alison Narro.

Krackenberger was exposed to the creative field at an early age, lifting her pencil and creating campaign ideas for fun for her father’s accounts—Pepsi and Frito Lay. Her father was an art director, and Krackenberger got a behind-the-scenes look into agency life.

“Sitting at that desk, I decided that a creative career was for me.”  

Krackenberger pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design at TCU. Her professors and coursework laid the foundation for creative thinking and multidisciplinary collaboration. Krackenberger uses both skills in her daily work as a Designer and communicating with clients and her internal team.

“I have to give a special shout-out to Design Instructor Jan Ballard, who never fails to champion both her current and former students’ successes,” mentions Krackenberger. “Jan, I am grateful for every design critique.”

After graduation, Krackenberger moved to Austin at the suggestion of a fellow alumna working in the city. She interned at a tech company before landing a role at Preacher, a creative agency working with global brands such as Coca-Cola, ESPN, and YETI.

“I’m always working on a range of projects and clients, so I’m constantly sharpening new skills alongside some of the best people in the industry.” 

Krackenberger’s Advice to Young Designers

“In school I was so concerned with being the best in my class, I forgot to look beyond the bar set by my peers, said Krackenberger. “When I left school, I was extremely humbled by the level of talent that surrounded me.”

“Pay attention to the work other programs are producing. Follow independent designers and creative agencies. Look at work from other countries and cultures. Be curious about other mediums—music, woodworking, fashion, gaming, ceramics—whatever it is that piques your interest. These things will influence your creative perspective.”

“Diversify the work that inspires you, and you’ll be a more well-rounded designer (and human).”