Pro Carton’s three major awards competitions – the Pro Carton Young Designers Award (#pcyda), the new Pro Carton Student Video Award and the European Carton Excellence Award for packaging professionals – have once again proved to be a tremendous success in 2020. Together, they recognise a wide range of talents whilst highlighting the versatility and sustainability of cartonboard. 

In the current difficult situation, the two Pro Carton Student Awards turned out to be the ideal projects for young talents. Right at the beginning of the first lockdown in March, both competitions were modified to suit the new situation. Deadlines were extended, rules were modified in order to allow the students to submit their best work. And they did. The judging process was also amended so that the initial stages of all three competitions were judged online. However, when it came to identifying the winners of the design competitions there’s no substitute for having the actual packs in hand and arrangements were made for the judges to receive physical samples of all the shortlisted candidates. This presented another new challenge to our handling house, Lejeune, who not only had to receive the entries as normal but had then to despatch them to the homes of the various judges.

So, thanks to everyone involved – entrants, organisers, helpers, judges, couriers, zoom – we couldn’t have done it without you!

Digital at lightning speed

The quality and quantity of entries exceeded all expectations, the Pro Carton Young Designers Award, with 556 entries from 85 universities and design academies, once again achieved a huge increase over the already sensational previous year, and the Student Video Award included so many outstanding films that the jury felt compelled to bestow two awards instead of one plus a further two distinctions.

The European Carton Excellence Award maintained the number of entries at a similar level to the previous years. This is particularly remarkable, as this year the converters and manufacturers had their hands full to cope with the increased demand for food and pharmaceutical packaging and the logistical challenges of the corona crisis. The new system of recognising cartons made on recycled board and virgin board is now firmly established and the addition of platinum and gold awards last year allows us to celebrate even more worthy winners.

A special challenge in 2020 was, of course, the award ceremony – The Carton E-vent & Awards – which had to be staged digitally with all the complications that an interactive live stream presents.  Thanks to all those who gave positive feedback.  It was an incredible amount of work, but worth it in the end.  If you missed it you can see the presentations and the fun and games here.

In addition to the European awards, it was pleasing that there were also numerous national awards in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom and new this year – the Netherlands, Romania and Turkey.

Coming up in 2021

Both the student awards have already been launched for 2021 (pcyda, sva) whilst the European Carton Excellence Award will, as usual, open for entries at the beginning of next year. Can 2021 match this year?  Match it, we’re confident it will be even better!

For questions and further information please contact
Suzanne E. McEwen, Pro Carton