Designers Jean Jacques and Brigitte Evrard from Brussels, partners in life and business for more than thirty-five years, are devoting themselves to the worldwide promotion of packaging design via their Pentawards program. Pentawards is a private project financed by the founders, with the help of two sponsors – ESKO Artwork and Luxepack.

The creation of the Pentawards is a response to the development of packaging as one of the most important communication tools in global business.

“Packaging design is a discipline we love, so we decided to resign in December 2006 as managers of the company we founded thirty-five years ago to give all our time and energy to the promotion of packaging design and packaging designers,” explains Jean Jacques Evrard.

The Evrards founded their packaging design agency in 1976. It carried the name Carré Noir from 1994 to 1998, and then joined the international group Desgrippes Gobé.

Together they have won more than fifty awards and have organised international FMCG exhibitions in Tokyo, China and Europe.

The international jury for the Pentawards was presided over by chairman Gerard Caron, from Admirable Design, Paris. Caron is co-founder and former president of the Pan European Brand Design Association.

“The Pentawards jury is composed of twelve specialists in packaging design from Australia, Brazil, China, England, France, Japan, Russia, Switzerland and the USA,” says Jean Jacques Evrard.

“This large international panel allows a broad range of opinions and can be more inclusive of the cultural and economic specificities of each participant. We want to reward the creativity of packaging designers all over the world.”

Pentawards entries are filed online. “There is no need to send the packaging,” he says. “Submitting online is easier, faster and more economical and is a good way to reduce transport of goods (thereby reducing CO2) and avoid restrictive custom laws. It also allows all types of packaging product to participate, even if it is perishable, fragile, expensive, heavy or bulky.”

The goal of the Pentawards is to reward designs operating in all markets, from mass-market to luxury, based on judging criteria that looks at the design, branding, creativity and innovation of the packaging.

“We received 517 entries from 42 countries, including countries in Eastern Europe and South America,” enthuses Brigitte Evrard. “We have noted the very high quality and creativity of the designs coming from all countries.

"Packaging design is a very demanding and difficult discipline, as it is subject to the laws of a market more and more focused on cost reduction and short-term profitability. Packaging designers must often do a lot with a little.”

There are forty categories in five groups: beverages, food, body, other markets and luxury. The different categories make it possible to judge creations against their peers. Thus, a packaging for shampoo will not be up against a perfume.

Certain important categories, such as products for animals, organic products, distributor brands and those dedicated to fair trade are judged separately.

Design Bridge Amsterdam won the Diamond Pentaward for its outstanding work for Swinckels beer. Platinum Pentawards were awarded for the best packaging in five major categories.

Award winners received their trophies during the Luxepack Exhibition held in Monaco late last year.  

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