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A small reduction in entries this year turned out to be irrelevant as the quality of cartons submitted was equal to and possible even better than in 2009.

One way of recognising the quality of entries is to see the Judges split on their view of a winner and shortlist. This happened in a number of categories and there ensued a debate as to the individual merits of each carton shortlisted.

As has been stated before, the best cartons are not necessarily the most complex. Simplicity of construction, consumer appeal, consumer interaction, on-shelf impact and ease of manufacture are just some of the factors that we consider. Equally, whilst premium packs are often impressive, we have to look beyond that and determine the individual qualities of each carton regardless of the value of the product it contains.

Those cartons that were fully thought through with graphics were most impressive as it showed that an integrated graphic and structural design can be extremely powerful as a piece of brand communication. Cartons that on the face of it were extremely eye catching, became even more impressive in the hand and more so when we de-constructed them to get a better understanding of the idea behind each one.

The global economy has once again been rightly mentioned and this has led to some brand owners to shift from other materials to carton board for various efficiencies or to reduce the amount of carton board used. However it should not be forgotten and should be coupled with the trend of consumers demanding more sustainable packaging – it also makes brand owners look good in the eyes of their consumers. These consumers are very much aware of the impact of packaging on the environment and the carton industry is best placed to deal with this demand.

Satkar Gidda
London September 2010