Judge's Report

The judging team would like to congratulate all award recipients on their success in the 2015 Australian Packaging Design Awards (APDA).

The APDA continued with the same six categories of recent years – Food, Beverage, Health and Beauty, Household and Office, Seasonal and Promotional and Industrial and Supply Chain - with the Food category once again taking the lion’s share of the entries. Consumer Experience and Emerging Technology was in its second year and promotes human centric solutions.

Constant renewal of our judging panel maintains a fresh eye to market trends and introduces a wealth of knowledge and experience to our process. All Judges freely give up their time and bring varied specialities across brand, design, retail, sustainability and technical areas. Joining me on the panel this year we welcomed new comers Alicia Burton and Adam Robinson, and returning judges in Keith Chessell and Amber Bonney.

The overall 2015 results can only be described as one of our most diverse. We found many of the entries displayed either a strong focus on quality design and brand attributes or high technical execution with efficiency and an eye for detail in mind. As such it made direct comparison for the gold winners highly complex. A pleasing take-out for the day was evidence of a number of Australian patents that have global scale and reach.

As expected the two major categories of Food and Beverage took centre stage. Food delivered a truly broad spectrum of finalists with each one delivering individual cases to be a winner – be it the creative simplicity in its solution, quality of food presentation, clear consumer benefits, quality design thinking and execution or bringing the enjoyment of food sharing to the fore. Our panel were faced with an expansive short list of entrants to cull to the final round, ensuring healthy and lengthy discussion before agreeing on our final winners.

Beverage in particular saw the battle between two camps - design and disruptive packages versus sound technical and innovative solutions. Balancing the importance of both attributes made for an imposing decision in confirming not only the order of the finalists, but even the short list.

This year we saw a number of categories mature in their quality and breadth of entries. Seasonal and Promotional Packaging delivered some truly novel uses of the packaging medium and materials to capture the brand story. Industrial, although traditionally one of our smaller categories, provided a quality set of entrants illustrating clear benefits across the entire supply chain and an efficient use of materials.

The smaller categories of Household and Office and Health and Beauty delivered some considered thinking in consumer benefits, accessibility and material selection. Brand and hierarchy, with a strong focus in improved navigation for the consumer on shelf, is always a key feature here. Traditionally both sectors can be quite fractured to navigate during purchase and many of the submissions showed a considerable improvement in this area.

Consumer Experience & Emerging Technology cemented its position in its second year by reflecting the importance of understanding the customer journey. Entrants more then doubled from its inaugural year, with the majority of submissions illustrating clear consumer insights and delivering benefits beyond just the tangible. Faced with a broad short list, the packs that addressed some common usability annoyances delighted the user with their consumption experience or offered smarter re-usability made the finalists line-up.

With such variety in our major categories it made for a colourful ensemble for the Outstanding Achievement Awards. As the Judges individually craft each of the entrants, we discovered another layer of complexity with the extra specific criteria being added for each of the four awards – Accessibility, Design, Innovation and Sustainability. The results here, coupled with the winners of the individual categories, lead to shaping the Best of Show winner. Best of Show - unsurprising this year - was a battle between those of high technical innovation versus quality design execution.

On behalf of the 2015 panel, I would like to thank Jen Salem and the PCA for their continued effort of our premier industry awards.

My personal thanks go to my fellow Judges for their time and focus during the three days of intense scrutineering and to the Sponsors for their ongoing support and commitment.

I am pleased once again that many of our winners entered the WorldStar Awards which will continue to acknowledge the increasing impact the Australian Packaging sector have made on the Packaging World.

Michael Grima
Senior Judge