The winners of the annual Young Designers Award 2019 – run by Pro Carton, the European Association of Carton and Cartonboard manufacturers, that promotes young talent in the packaging industry – has been officially announced, with students from Austria and Germany taking the four top awards.
Joined by six other finalists, the designers and their tutors were honoured at an Awards Gala Dinner, held in Malta on 19 September, where they also had the chance to network with the leaders of Europe’s major cartonboard manufacturers – a potential first step into their professional career.
Showcasing the next generation of innovative and sustainable packaging concepts, this year’s competition was hotly contested, with a record number of entries. In total, 461 designs were entered, with submissions coming from 70 universities and design schools in 24 European countries.
This year prizes were awarded across four categories: Save the Planet, Creative Cartonboard Packaging for Food & Drink, Creative Cartonboard Packaging for All Other products and Creative Cartonboard Ideas.
And the Award goes to…
The highly coveted ‘Save the Planet’ Award went to Alessia Businaro from Austria. Her Powder Stories entry aimed to solve the issue of eye shadow palette packaging, which she said on average uses 20g of hard plastic per unit for just 3g of product. The judges thought her innovative new solution “could have a huge impact on the industry”, ensuring that the plastic used – which is only present so consumers can see the colour of the product – is reduced to a minimum.
Sonja Herr, Liane Jehle and Philipp Tretter from Germany scooped the ‘Creative Cartonboard Packaging for All Other products’ Award for their entry, La Paonneau, which wowed the judges with its theatrical design. The creative packaging for scissors offers an easy and fun opening experience that mimics the mechanism of a pair of scissors, with a beautiful peacock fan unfolding.
The winner of the Creative Cartonboard Ideas award, Mariella Drechsler from Austria, created Dustbuster, which the judges described as “extremely inventive, as well as creative”. The DIY aid that guarantees drilling without the mess of dust can be used several times due to a special adhesive coating, and the dust can be easily emptied thanks to the exceptional folding technique.
The Creative Cartonboard Packaging Food and Drink Award was presented to Martin Winner, So Hyeon Kim and Nguyet Nguyen from Germany for their entry, Ploffie, a unique way of packaging nuts. The packaging solution has a unique opening mechanism and attention-grabbing design that demonstrates the full potential of cartonboard. When opened for the first time, the perforated flap functions as a tamper-evident closure and then the box can be squeezed to open and close the packaging with a popping sound. Once opened, the carton serves as a clever dispenser, making it easy and fun for kids and adults to pour out the nut contents.
As part of their prize, the winning young designers can look forward to a trip to Sweden to gain valuable insights into two leading European carton companies: the Stora Enso board mill and AR packaging. They will see the whole process from the Scandinavian forest right through to the finished printed pack being printed.
Tony Hitchin, General Manager of Pro Carton, said:
“We were so impressed with the high quality of submissions this year, which demonstrated how our next generation of designers truly think outside the box. We are proud to see the Young Designer Awards growing year-on-year, with entries coming from across the whole continent and an additional 20 schools and universities taking part compared to 2018.
“The growing popularity of the Awards is testament to the reputation of cartonboard and how students regard it as an important material for the future of packaging design, particularly with brands wanting to support a circular economy.
“2019 will be a tough act to follow, but we’ll be launching next year’s awards in the Autumn. Sustainability is the watchword for packaging, which is why recognising the talented work of our next generation of designers in this field is so important. We would encourage even more schools and universities from across Europe to get involved in the competition, cartonboard is the most sustainable packaging material, it’s the future of packaging.”