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23rd February 2018

Posted In: Awards | Company News

GWP Packaging Sweep the Board at Starpack.

Gold, Silver, Greenstar Sustainability and Best in Show prizes at 2018 Awards

GWP Packaging are proud to announce that 2 packs entered into the 2017 / 18 Starpack Competition have won a number of awards.

Packaging designed for the James Dyson Foundation won a Gold and Greenstar Sustainability Award in the B2B Transit, Industrial and Distribution category, alongside the “Best in Show” award.

Packaging designed for Haberdashery also won a Silver award in the Consumer, home delivery category.

The final results were announced at the glittering awards ceremony that took place in London on 22nd February 2018.

The Starpack Industry Awards are now in their 59th year and are the UK’s undisputed premier annual awards scheme.

The 2018 Awards recognise excellence in packaging innovation, design and development, whilst also putting a refreshed focus on personal contributions.

Starpack sustainability award winners
Members of the GWP team collect the Starpack "Packaging Sustainability" award at the 2018 event.

What are the Starpack Awards?

Founded in 1958 by the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, for 59 years the Starpack Awards have celebrated excellence in packaging

As a result, Starpack is widely regarded as the UK’s leading awards for all facets of the packaging industry, including manufacture, design and new technology.

It is also run alongside the popular and highly successful schools and student event, which focuses on the next generation of packaging designers and innovation.

Winning a Starpack Award, as well as providing recognition for a company’s designers, will also offers potential global recognition through entry into the Worldstar Awards.

Starpack awards

In essence, the objectives set out by the Starpack Award scheme is to promote best practice amongst packaging designers and companies, focus on innovation in design, materials and construction, whilst also maintaining strong environmental credentials.

Perhaps most importantly, it also aims to highlight and promote the needs of the consumer and end user, with the functionality and usability throughout its lifecycle (including disposal) being a key factor.

However, the 2018 Awards have been restructured in order to not only recognise the key pillars of excellence in packaging innovation, design and development, but to also offer a refreshed focus on personal contributions too.

As such, a thorough judging process will consider all elements of an entry’s evolution – from project brief to materials used, processes developed to pack creation, the engineering required and the team involved.

By winning these Starpack Awards – the UK packaging industry’s most prestigious and long-standing awards scheme – GWP Packaging have reinforced our hard earned reputation for design excellence, innovation and customer satisfaction through attention to detail and manufacturing excellence.

Starpack Awards 2018

As touched upon above, there were some significant changes to the format and judging criteria for the 2017 / 18 Starpack Awards.

As a result, it was made clear from the outset that the judges wanted to hear about the people involved, not just the companies.

Successful innovation is so often the result of collaboration between skilled individuals, and is the outcome of combined skills and the way these work together to complete a project that delivers real innovation.

Starpack awards dinner
The Starpack awards ceremony was held at a black tie event in central London

This sits well with GWP Packaging’s focus on developing staff, which is also reflected in maintaining a large design team relative to both the size of the company, and to industry competitors.

The competition now aims to recognise these individuals in its Starpack competition and as a result, changes were made to the entry format to enable companies to highlight these skills in their organisation alongside promoting their innovation focus at a corporate level.

However, carried over from previous incarnations of the awards has been the focus on innovation.

This can be expressed in the approach to a design challenge, the way in which materials have been used, the processes developed to create the packaging, or the engineering required to assemble, fill or handle the pack.

As such, the judges did not just consider the attractiveness of the pack(s), but also the challenges that had to be overcome in their creation.

Starpack Categories

So what are the categories and criteria for entry?

Well, the full list of categories that packs can be entered into are as follows:

B2C (Business to Consumer)

Food and Drink including Pet Food
Personal Care including Cosmetics
Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices
Non-Food
Home Delivery

B2B (Business to Business)

Shelf Ready/Merchandising Packs/Point of Sale
Transit/Industrial/Distribution

Manufacturing

Engineering Innovation
Production Line Innovation (Development/Internal/Interaction)

Additional

Inclusive Design Award
Greenstar Sustainability Award
Shooting Star Award
Packaging Development Team / Person of the Year Award

Categories GWP entered

GWP entered 2 categories – B2C: Home Delivery and B2B: Transit / Industrial / Distribution.

The B2C: Home Delivery category covers any packaging that is intended for the safe delivery of any product to personal consumers by home delivery services.

As such, this is aimed primarily at internet retailers but also includes delivery packs used by conventional retailers.

The B2B: Transit / Industrial / Distribution category, as the name suggests, covers any and all B2B packaging.

Saying that, it can be for consumer goods or industrial products. This may be packaging designed to move components and sub-assemblies from one manufacturer to another, or to different locations in a business, as well as to end users of the packaged products.

More about GWP Packaging’s successful entries

Two of three packs entered by GWP Packaging were successful in being shortlisted – and ultimately winning – an award.

The first of these was designed and manufactured for The James Dyson Foundation, consisting of a reusable, multi trip solution for transit of educational kit & literature to schools and colleges

In essence, the brief was to create a reusable, multi trip packaging solution that allowed the James Dyson Foundation to supply a Dyson Desk-Cooler product and supporting literature to schools and colleges nationwide via courier.

Dyson Starpack entry
The Dyson Starpack entry that won Gold, Sustainability and best in show awards

Major innovations that were recognised by the judges were providing a fully recyclable transit solution that protected valuable / fragile items over multiple journeys, was fully reusable, aided logical packing and un-packing with lightweight internal fittings and didn’t use foam, EPS etc. It also had to reflect the James Dyson Foundation (and parent company’s) “engineering ethos”.

The second successful pack was for high end lighting brand Haberdashery, creating a pendant shipper to allow for safe transit of ecommerce orders for a fragile & expensive glass pendant product.

This brief raised 3 main objectives – protection, minimising environmental impact and customer experience (ss the pack was to be used for shipping ecommerce orders of highly fragile and expensive – approx. £1,000 RRP – glass pendant).

Haberdashery Starpack entry
The Haberdashery Starpack entry that won a silver in the 2018 competition

Major innovations of this pack were the use (and structural design) of corrugated fittings that not only eliminate the need for foam or EPS, but also create fresh air around an exceptionally fragile / expensive glass pendant, without increasing the overall volumetric size of the pack and maintaining customer experience.

The final pack entered, which narrowly missed out, was designed for Swannack, a manufacturer of high quality cricket bats.

Whilst the major innovation was the integrated corrugated fitting allowing the elimination of bubble wrap (improving appearance, cost and environmental impact), the “story” of this pack was shifting the expectations of the customer (Swannack) and emphasising the critical role packaging plays in brand positioning and driving customer satisfaction & loyalty.

Swannack Starpack entry
The Swannack Starpack entry that - although missing out on a trophy - was highly commended by the judging panel

Historical successes at GWP

GWP Packaging have a history of entering the Starpack Awards, and have been winners on many occasions.

Perhaps the most successful previous pack entered, was one produced for Bendicks.

This pack acted as both a transit container – safely transporting the food products within – but once in store it also became the “point of sale” dispenser.

By fulfilling both roles, the packaging cut down on waste, handling of the goods prior to sale, and was much more efficient for retailers and end users through simplifying the overall process.

Bendicks cardboard transit packaging
The Bendicks cardboard transit packaging had to protect products during shipping, but also act as a POS unit

This impressed the Starpack Award judges, resulting in the design being voted top of it’s category ahead of strong competition.

Other winners include an ESD safe collapsible tote used for material handling, a Tesco Finest pack for online selling of fresh flowers, a corrugated presentation hamper for a small business and a pack used for transporting high value UV filtration systems.

The next step? WorldStar Awards

Having been shortlisted for an award at national level, GWP Packaging are eligible to enter the international equivalent of the Starpack Awards – Worldstar.

Organised by the World Packaging Organisation (WPO) and running for more than 40 years, WorldStar is the leading international award in packaging. Entry into the WorldStar Awards opens in June 2018.

The competition aims to illustrate and promote the continued advancement of packaging design and technology, in the process creating a “living standard” of international packaging excellence.

WorldStars are presented only to packaging that has already won an award in a recognised national or regional competition, either in the present year or the previous year

Worldstar packaging awards
Having been shortlisted for an award at national level, GWP Packaging are eligible to enter the international equivalent of the Starpack Awards – Worldstar.

Awards are decided by a panel of judges who must decide that a pack is superior in its category and market, whilst also better in its class in execution or innovation in comparison to others.

The judging panel consists of country representatives from WPO and one representative from the International Packaging Press Organisation.

The 2017 awards received an astonishing 291 entries from 35 countries around the world.  Out of these, 194 were selected as WorldStar winners by a jury that met in Vienna, Austria.

The Awards Ceremony and Dinner took place on 5 May, 2017 during Interpack, Germany where the winners were presented with their WorldStar Award.

There are also special awards for Marketing, Sustainability, Packaging that Saves Food and the ultimate President’s Award.

Please go to www.worldstar.org for full details.

Starpack Student Awards

Besides the industry awards however, Starpack aslo focuses on future packaging designers through its’ student awards.

These awards were introduced in 1964 and strive to introduce briefs relevant to a wide range of courses. This could focus on courses with a graphic design emphasis, structural/product design, and even students studying materials / technology courses.

The Student Starpack Awards are intended for potential professional designers – leading in the past directly to a number of employment opportunities for successful entrants.

This aligns with GWP Groups’ focus on encouraging the next generation of packaging designers, something which is reflected in previous projects undertaken with Swindon College.

Ultimately, the expectation is that entrants should really challenge the conventional way of thinking and not be afraid to break the rules with creativity and ideas.

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Matt Dobson, Marketing Manager at GWP Group

About the Author: Matt Dobson

Marketing Manager | GWP Group

Matt has worked in the packaging industry for approximately 7 years, having joined GWP Group as Marketing Executive in 2012. [Read full bio…]

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