Don't look now. Or maybe you should. Sustainability is catching up with pulchritude in package design competitions. The latest proof of this desirable flirtation is some of the more prestigious prizes for package design presented by Clio Awards (www.clioawards.com) on May 14 in Miami Beach, FL.
Always an example of the fewer, the more desirable, the category's awards in this annual media prize festival number only eight; with no gold Clios chosen this time around.
All of the winning packages would appear to affirm package design's point-of-communication efficacy, some with a nimble glint of wit. Most follow the current graphics trend toward minimalism, which can heighten impact.
Most interesting, all of the winners lend themselves to post-purchase reuse, retention or recyclability.
Symbolizing this spirit is the 250-mL contoured aluminum bottle for Coca-Cola, marketed by Atlanta-based Coca-Cola International (1). The bottle, in 2007 test markets using a splashy bright design by Turner Duckworth (www.turnerduckworth.com), captures the energy of the original bottle's configuration as well as the elegant script font and colors first used in the brand's packaging.
The recyclable aluminum bottle, which is impact-extruded, is supplied by Exal USA (www.exal.com), The bottle and its threaded closure are lithographed in three colors.
The two winners of silver Clios, both from Apple of Cupertino, CA, are backed up only by descriptions of visuals, since the marketer has not responded to inquiries by this publication.
The two are cartons. One is for the Apple's new iPhone (2), and appears to be a fully telescoping style. The lid's top panel seems to be decorated directly or by label with a full-color graphic depicting the product. The cartons' side panels portray alternately the familiar Apple and new iPhone logos.
For Apple keyboards, the other silver Clio winner (3), what appears to be a conforming, narrow tuck-top folding carton possibly made from a single blank, is identified by a keyboard graphic, seemingly varied with the product style.
It's a simple solution that wastes neither words nor symbology.
A bronze Clio winner also finds high inspiration in the potential of paperboard. In an overall design program for trade show exhibits by Takeo Co., Ltd., producer of fine papers and packaging papers with operations throughout Japan, good design company (www.gooddesigncompany.com) designs a promotional carton that relies for its impact on a play of words (4).
With the concept of good design, art director Manabu Mizuno, the carton graphic is based on a jigsaw puzzle, its interlocking parts centered on one piece printed with the word “peace.” The play on words, good design graphic designer Shinya Nakayama explains to PD, results from considering the carton as the world, with the puzzle pieces representing every nation and person in it. Thus, lacking the piece printed with the word, “peace,” the puzzle and the world cannot hold together and be complete.
Glass, ever recyclable, reusable and retentive, accounts for two bronze Clio winners for the same marketer by two different design firms. The marketer is Waitrose Foods, based in Bracknell, Berks, England. Both of the winning packages also demonstrate the growing sophistication in design used for private-label brands that cannot only compete successfully with the nationals, but also differentiate quality through segmentation to tempt the consumer ever upward.
The first, by Turner Duckworth , is a container for Waitrose honeys (5) that aligns them within the marketer's good-better-best display scheme, PD learns from TD spokesperson Vicci Baigrie. The designs, she adds, differentiate between everyday honey and the provenance-based honeys for cooking “or that special weekend treat.” The 454-g glass jar from Ardagh Glass Ltd. (Rockware) (www.rockware.co.uk) features designs printed flexographically in up to four colors on a Fasson (www.fasson.com) biaxially oriented, polypropylene pressure-sensitive label. Metal closures are produced by Crown Packaging U.K. (www.crowncork.com) and Massilly U.K. Ltd. (www.massilly.com/uk).
Beneath a small, restrained Waitrose logo, the Turner Duckworth designers have fun with the letter “e” in honey, playfully rendering it as stripes on a bee's body while also referencing a wooden honey twizzler stick. Simple, imaginative, effective.
The second Waitrose winner of a bronze Clio is a glass jar for a series of three mustards (6). The design system by Lewis Moberly (www.lewismoberly.uk) has an equally simple approach for a package with only one specification given. On a full-wraparound Raflamatt label stock from Raflatac (www.raflatac.com) that is printed flexographically in two colors on white, an equally retiring Waitrose logotype is joined in the main display areas by the descriptives “English mustard,” “Wholegrain mustard” and “French mustard.” Above each product descriptive, a glob-shaped die-cut reveals some of the mustard, which is also somewhat visible above and under the label area.
A chip off the block
A second bronze Clio for Turner Duckworth—the sole package design firm to capture more than one—also rewards imagination. It's for a line of wall paints (7), and it's aimed at consumers who never believe the shade of product in the container is exactly the same as that printed on the label.
For PPG's Sigmakalon (www.ppg.com) 2½-L and 125-mL stainless-steel cans holding the Flawless paint series, the Homebase chain is now reportedly selling the do-it-yourself British market by gluing an actual paint chip to the can. How it's done isn't explained, but the promise of a shade that is exactly right isn't lost on amateurs and professionals.
Introduction of the Flawless can designs comes after of period of changing ownership. Sainsbury's reportedly sold the Homebase chain to a venture capitalist company, with the firm eventually becoming part of the Greater Universal Stores p.l.c., now GUS. It then became a component of the GUS Argus Retail Group, then renamed the Home Retail Group. Thus the powerful new design system for the paint collection provides a clear opportunity to reach new consumers with a memorable, useful and unified identity.
One and only annual
The final bronze Clio is presented for a design by artists in the advertising agency, Arnold Worldwide, for The One Club in New York City. The club describes its existence as a way for people to champion and promote excellence in advertising and design.
In this connection, it held its One Show exactly a month before the Clio awards night for package design. In anticipation, Arnold's artists and copywriters designed a three-volume set, the One Show Design Annual, in a rigid paperboard sleeve, honoring agencies involved in creative communication endeavors in advertising, design or interactive. It is produced by Craft Printing Intl. (www.craftprint.com), which also prints the three volumes it holds.
Arnold associate director of Marketing Meredith Velines tells PD, “We all strive to get into the annual because it's a lasting memorial to our talent.”
So the volumes are provided with p-s labels that enable a high degree of customization by the ad agencies cited within. Some are affixed to the cover, flagging particular pages; other are amusingly designed Post-it type notes that highlight special pages. And of course there's a page admitting the owner isn't in it. Or, as Velines says, “You are either in the book, or not in the book.” And while Arnold is in the book, it can now also relish a bronze Clio.
|More information is available:|
|Clio Awards, 212/683-4300. www.clioawards.com|
|Ardagh Glass, Ltd. (Rockware), 44 01977 574 111. www.rockware.co.uk.|
|Craft Printing Intl., 65 6861 4040. www.craftprint.com.|
|Crown Packaging Ltd.,44 01235 772929. www.crowncork.com.|
|Exal USA, 330/744-2267. www.exal.com|
|Fasson, 800/944-8511. www.fasson.com.|
|good design company, 81 03-5728 1711. www.gooddesigncompany.com.|
|Lewis Moberly, 44 20 7580 9252. www.lewismoberly.uk.|
|Massilly UK Ltd., 44 01443 421391. www.massilly.com/uk.|
|Raflatac, 909/390-4807. www.raflatac.com.|
|Sigmakalon, 44 1924 354 100. www.ppg.com.|
|Turner Duckworth 415/675-7777. www.turnerduckworth.com.|