The Pro Carton Young Designers Award, now in its second decade, continues to grow unabated. Not only do entry levels continue to increase but each year new countries are added to the list of those presenting their own national awards – which are run in parallel with the international competition. This year, Belgium and France were added to that list.

A total of seven European nations are now presenting their own national awards: the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria and Belgium.

Entry is simple: just register for the international competition on the Pro Carton website and you will automatically be entered for a National Award if your country is participating.

One of the most important awards for young talents

The fact that the pcyda is one of the most prestigious awards for students is demonstrated by the annual increase in the number of participants. In 2019, a record 461 entries from 70 universities and design schools in 24 European countries competed to showcase the next generation of young designers.

The award is also becoming increasingly important for the industry. Horst Bittermann, President of Pro Carton, attaches great importance to the award: “As the perfect packaging material for the closed-loop economy, cartonboard and cartons will replace much of the plastic packaging in the future. To achieve this, we increasingly need young designers who can combine creative, technically sophisticated solutions with convenience and a wow effect.”

“We seek personal contact with teachers and students. We are not only interested in presenting great design, but we also ask what we can do for the students and thus also for ourselves at the end of the day. And because the supply chain is different in every country, the propagation of the National Awards is particularly important to us.”

Pride and joy in the countries

In Germany a national award was presented for the second year. The submissions were so compelling that the jury actually chose two winning teams.  “Le Paonneau” was designed by Sonja Herr, Liane Jehle and Philipp Tretter whilst the second winner, “Ploffie”, was created by Martin Wunner, So Hyeon Kim and Nguyet Nguyen. All are students of the Packaging Development Management, M.Sc. programme at the Stuttgart University for Media.

In Austria too, there were two award winners, Alessia Businaro with “Powder Stories” and Mariella Drechsler with “Dustbuster”. Jury Chairman Satkar Gidda was thrilled by the professionalism of the solutions: “Some of the submissions looked like ready-made packaging that could be put on the market immediately. I would recommend patenting and exploiting these ideas.”

In Belgium and Italy, the national awards will be presented during the coming weeks. In Italy, Giovanni Forcheri and Carola Cauvin were the winners with “Flatty case”, in Belgium Melissa De Loenzien won with her “Presentation box for glasses”.

Stijn Anseel, lecturer in graphic design at Artevelde University College, Belgium, was enthusiastic about their participation in the competition: “We thought it would be a good idea to implement the pcyda in our teaching programme. We were surprised by the level of creativity. It is a great sort of benchmarking process, the students see that their skills are up to par with international standards and they also come into contact with people from the industry and this is really important for us as we try to make the assignments as realistic as possible.”

In France, the inaugural national award went to Sarah Tamisier for her “Pack of Pâques”.  She commented “I am proud that with my work I can also honour the training of the ‘Formation Supérieure du Packaging de Cognac’ and my teachers”.

Spain honoured its winner at the ASPACK Forum. The award went to Baseem Munawwar, a student at IED Barcelona, for his “Snack Attack” project.

In the United Kingdom, Dariusz Kowalczyk won this year with his toy car packaging “Big Yellow Driving School”.  It’s particularly unusual as the packaging actually becomes part of the toy!  Dariusz studied at Ravensbourne University in London and this is the third time that a student from Ravensbourne has won the UK award.

Comprehensive support from Pro Carton

Entry for the pcyda 2020 is already open. Students have until 14 May 2020 to submit their ideas via the Pro Carton website.  All they need to do is send photos and a write-up explaining their idea, no physical samples need to be submitted at this stage.

Pro Carton already offers a comprehensive service during the preparation phase, providing information brochures, offering advice and, upon request, will also supply the cartonboard necessary for the practical implementation of the concepts.

As part of the 2020 Award, an additional category has been introduced.   The “Newcomer’s Award” is dedicated to the best submission from a university that has never won before.  It is particularly aimed at encouraging those universities and design schools that are considering submitting for the first time. The best way to succeed is to include the work for the award as part of the standard curriculum, which helps to provide enough time for full development of the concepts.  Of course, success in the competition benefits the entire educational institution.

Ten finalists, and their teachers, will be invited to the Award Gala at the ECMA Congress to be held in the beautiful city of Krakow on 17 September 2020.  The five overall winners will also win a trip to Italy to see a Board Mill first hand and to see how cartons are designed and manufactured at an Italian carton converter.

Comprehensive press coverage for the winners is also guaranteed and that goes for the national winners too!

Good luck to all entrants!!

>>pcyda AUSTRIA
>>pcyda GERMANY
>>pcyda SPAIN
>>pcyda FRANCE
>>pcyda UK

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Suzanne McEwen