Publication: Brand Packaging

Pentawards Announces 2016 Packaging Design Winners

September 26, 2016

The international jury of Pentawards®, the first worldwide competition devoted exclusively to Packaging Design, chaired by Gérard Caron, is announcing its 2016 winners.

This year, which celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Pentawards, the winners received the following global awards in Shanghai’s design hotel Hyatt on the Bund in front of more than 250 designers and brand owners from all around the world (24 countries represented).

PENTAWARDS 2016: 5 Platinum Pentawards, the Best in each Category

Besides the Diamond Pentaward, the best of the show (Domino’s Pizza) the international jury chaired by Gérard Caron also awarded the 5 “Best of the Category” prizes.

The BEVERAGES Platinum …went to the superb bottle of Imayotsukasa Sake created by Bullet agency (Japan)

This special sake is named after the carp, a famous ornamental fish and a symbol of Japan, which has been bred for decades in the same Niigata prefecture where this Nishikigoi sake is manufactured. Considered a living jewel, the carp has beautiful red patterns on a white body and this scheme has been adopted in the bottle design where the red is printed directly on to the white bottle. Japanese brush-work was used to create the red elements, while the […]

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The Changing Landscape of Branding and Packaging

May 5, 2016

The industry continues to change at an increasing pace. Here’s what the start of the next 20 years brings.

In two decades, brands have found many new ways to express their identity and connect with customers through packaging. We look at what is coming next.

Twenty years ago, when BRANDPACKAGING put out its first issue, the packaging world looked very different. The way companies operated then wasn’t wrong; the CPG industry simply has an entirely changed set of marketing, branding and packaging ideals and undertakings today. Understanding the past is important, as is living in the present, but especially critical for brands now is watching the horizon for what will happen next in four key areas.

BRANDING For decades, brands have used packaging to differentiate themselves from the competition, and to great success. Now, companies are requesting agencies take branding a step further: to their physical space.

“When you are buying and selling products to consumers, branding is important everywhere,” says Anthony Deen, creative director, Environments at CBX. “When you walk into someone’s house, you form an impression. Everything from the artwork on the walls to the rug on the floor to the light fixtures on the ceiling all help […]

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When Did ‘Private’ Become a Dirty Word?

November 2, 2015

The terminology we use in daily life can have a subliminal effect on the way we look at things, from advertising to packaging. Why? Because terminology shapes our thinking, and our thinking shapes our actions. As a case in point, contemplate the usual connotations around the word “private.” Typically, it’s a term that connotes something special and elevated: If you work for a top private equity firm, you’re a big shot. If your kids go to a private school, and your family belongs to a private country club, those are good things, too, right?

And yet when it comes to use of the term “private label,” it is hard not to notice an undercurrent of discomfort in certain quarters. This is understandable: Consciously or unconsciously, many people still link private label with cheap knockoffs. In all likelihood, this is why so many retail executives bend over backward to use an alternate term like “own brands.”

This ambivalence around terminology might actually be a wise, almost instinctive, understanding that older approaches to private label are now thoroughly outmoded. The oldest approach literally was brand-less: In the 1970s, a generic bag of potato chips on U.S. grocery shelves offered little more than […]

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Is Water Having an Identity Crisis?

September 11, 2014

By Rick Barrack

Back when I was growing up, the only water I ever drank came from the kitchen sink. Every once in a while, I’d go to a friend’s house or a restaurant and see a bottle of water with the name Evian or Perrier across the front, but I didn’t know what it was, partially because my parents didn’t pay for water and partially because I didn’t speak French.

But then, in the late 80s, a new water brand, Poland Spring, appeared on the scene, and by the early 90s, the market became saturated (pun intended) with brands like DASANI, Aquafina and FIJI Water. These waters were differentiated by their brand stories, which were featured on their packaging, rather than the way they tasted.

Evian was known as the first premium water; drinking it projected a certain kind of Reagan-era wealth. Poland Spring was earthier and came from a spring in Maine (although that source has recently been debated). Aquafina, with its exotic-sounding but vague name, was Pepsi’s attempt to snag some of bottled water’s market share, and DASANI — equally vague — was Coca-Cola’s attempt to compete with Pepsi in the water arena.

Then, in the early […]

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Where’s the (Private Label) Love?

August 1, 2014

By Todd Maute

Where on “The Spectrum of Love” does your private label brand live? After all, if you think about how people relate to brands, there really is quite a broad array of possibilities, from the cynical (“I couldn’t care less about that brand.”) to the quasi-mystical (“The brand and I are one.”).

On one end of this spectrum — call it the left side — you start with brands that are sadly lacking for love stories of any kind. These are brands people know about but rarely or never use. On the other side of the scale are those beloved, even iconic, brands people gladly identify with and use.

Unfortunately, the ho-hum side of the spectrum happens to be where a great many private label brands reside. This includes everything from below-average product quality to meet a price point to the merely functional. The common thread is the lack of inspiration in packaging and overall product and brand vision. There is simply nothing interesting or enticing about many of these products; they elicit a “So what?” type of response from consumers.

For the most part, private label branding continues to be rooted in appeals to the price-conscious buyer, […]

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How to: Contemporize a Classic Brand

March 11, 2014

By Nancy Brown

There are brands that have lived in our hearts for decades, which we have stocked in our pantries and come to depend on year after year. Marketers call these heritage, or classic, brands. They’re the ones loyalists will continue to buy no matter what. Or, will they?

With more competition in virtually every category in the store and the elevation of private label to private brand status, some of these classic brands need to re-examine their recipes for success. By doing so, they will stay relevant with their loyal consumers while demonstrating a reason to be considered by newcomers.

Some truly iconic companies — such as Hamburger Helper and Ritz — have kept their brands fresh and remained favorites with consumers. How? By applying one or more of the following four fundamental strategies: maintaining relevance, leveraging their equities, differentiating themselves from their competitors, and innovating.


In today’s ever-changing world, there are many different ways of learning about and purchasing products. Additionally, today’s consumer behavior is increasingly influenced by time-management pressures, changing taste preferences and nutritional concerns such as organic, gluten-free, local grown, etc., etc., etc. To stay relevant under these conditions, even trusted and familiar […]

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LIQS Shots

February 3, 2014

LIQS come in sealed and tamper-resistant 50ml recyclable, crystal polystyrene shot glasses. Brand agency CBX recently assisted start-up company LIQS with the design of innovative packaging and the formulation of other branding initiatives for its eponymous line of super-premium, ready-to-drink cocktail shots.

The CBX design team worked with LIQS cofounders Michael Glickman and Harley Bauer on a variety of efforts, including strategic alignment and development of the LIQS’ brand mark and package design. “We took our design cues from LIQS’ target customer, a sophisticated millennial who loves spontaneous get-togethers with friends, whether poolside, at the beach or boating,” says Gregg S. Lipman, CBX managing partner.

Sunny and stylish Miami, where LIQS was launched and is based, offered CBX inspiration for the package designs. The firm reinterpreted a sunburst in a series of colorful graphic bursts to correspond with each LIQS flavor — red-orange for Tequila Cinnamon Orange; yellow-green for Vodka Cucumber Lime; aqua-blue for Vodka Kamikaze; and red-pink for Vodka Lychee Grapefruit.

Produced in the U.S., each LIQS product comes in a 50ml recyclable, crystal polystyrene shot glass that’s sealed and tamper-resistant. The product is sold in a multi-unit package that offers three individually sealed shots of a single flavor. […]

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Elevating Everyday Products to Extraordinary Indulgences

November 4, 2013

Even seemingly commonplace products feel premium with the right narrative. By Nancy Brown

Have you ever found yourself telling an elaborate story at a dinner party, all eyes on you, when you realize … you have no idea where the story is going? That’s precisely what it’s like when your brand doesn’t have a good story to tell: It falls flat with its audience. And if your brand doesn’t have a good story, chances are your packaging doesn’t, either.

Most brands and many of our clients have been working on focusing their stories and delivering them on pack. Even if they don’t have a riveting backstory, they strive to forge an emotional connection with consumers through narrative. In fact, “narrative” and “storytelling” are two of the biggest buzzwords in the branding world right now.

Luxury brands know that in order to get people to shell out the big bucks, they have to create a world that makes people aspire to live a certain lifestyle. A recent Louis Vuitton ad showcased Angelina Jolie on a boat in Cambodia, and Tiffany ads have always evoked a romantic, fairytale mood, long before the store was immortalized by Audrey Hepburn. But it’s interesting to […]

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Nostalgic Packaging: Those Were the Days

September 6, 2013

By Rick Barrack Why “something old is new again” works every time with design.

Whenever I hear the word “nostalgia,” an image of grumpy old Archie Bunker and his dowdy wife Edith sitting on their musty old furniture in their Queens house singing “Those Were the Days,” pops into my head. But the truth is there’s nothing old-fashioned about nostalgia, which Webster’s calls “a wistful or excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period.”

Nostalgia has been a staple marketing and branding tactic for decades, but lately it seems like every product in the supermarket aisle is borrowing something from years gone by. Why does nostalgia speak so strongly to us as consumers? Because it taps into the fundamental human need to feel safe and secure, in our lives and in our choices. It’s like that old pair of blue jeans you never want to take off — it just feels cozy, familiar and right. And it speaks to me the way it speaks to all of us: I’m wild about Stewart’s soda bottles; I keep my receipts in an Altoids tin on my nightstand, and I’ve always loved the look of Jack Daniel’s bottles. But […]

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Getting to the Root: 2013 Claim Trends

June 4, 2013

By Nancy Brown

Claims are popping up everywhere on packaging, and brands are using them for education, not just attention.

Michael Pollan is at it again. His new book, “Cooked,” is guaranteed to be a runaway hit, largely because Pollan has become the high priest of ethical eating ever since he published “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” in 2006. So, I guess we have him to thank for the fact that we now spend $2 more per gallon on organic milk, suddenly believe the world should be gluten-free and think twice before reaching for that hot dog at summer barbecues.

We have him to thank for one other thing: The fact that pretty much everything we eat now touts its lineage right front and center on its packaging. Back in the ‘80s and ‘90s, food claims were mainly about how products would make you look, e.g., they were low calorie and fat free. Today, claims are all about where your food actually came from — in other words, how your food was grown or what your food ate before it landed on your plate (in the case of meat and eggs). Have you ever seen the “Portlandia” sketch with the couple at […]

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