The wines, beers and spirits must be produced and commercially available in South Africa, with a minimum stock of 50 six-bottle cases. Judging criteria include originality of concept, execution, shelf appeal and effectiveness as a piece of brand communication. Every entry must be accompanied by a 150-word creative rationale.
Wines will be judged in four categories: under R80 a bottle, over R80 a bottle, over R500 a bottle and labels forming a series (no price constraints). Beers and spirits, on the other hand, will be judged as single labels or as labels forming a series.
Each of the three judging panels consists of five experts drawn from the fields of graphic design, media and on-consumption specialists in the wine, beer and spirits trade. ‘The brief to each panel is to reward work that triggers an experience rather than just beauty and to celebrate brands that are an authentic and original expression of the South African experience wherever possible,’ explains judge and competition convener Christian Eedes, editor of Winemag.co.za.
Packaging print value chain role players are big supporters of the Label Design Awards. Self-adhesive label supplier Rotolabel has been the headline sponsor since the inception of the awards in 2015, and this year’s secondary sponsors are Avery Dennison, Kemtek Imaging Systems and Synchron.
‘Rotolabel has been supplying self-adhesive labels to the wine industry for more than 30 years. These awards, which mirror our philosophy of always striving for outstanding printing and finishing, are a nice way of giving back to the industry by recognising excellence in label design,’ remarks national sales executive Grant Watson. ‘In addition to the awards providing designers with exposure for the quality of their work, it provides a platform for Rotolabel to raise awareness of the company’s capabilities among a new crop of designers coming through the system.’
Grant emphasises that beyond price points and brand loyalty, packaging is the number one influencer that draws consumer attention at the shelf. ‘It’s usually the label and the story that it tells, which determine the final purchasing decision, especially among younger consumers,’ he notes. ‘We, therefore, encourage more conservative wineries to look at brewery and spirits brands, which often think outside of the norm, for creative inspiration. And to ensure that they meet the full circle of judging criteria, based on a well-thought-out scorecard matrix, in terms of creating a fabulous front and back label design and ensuring that they match these with the brand’s messaging.’
‘As an innovator in the labelling industry, Avery Dennison is always seeking creative and inspirational design ideas,’ comments communications manager Julianna Kim. ‘This sponsorship also represents a great learning experience because there are many unique labelling solutions available, and we love seeing these materials come to life.’
‘This is the second year Kemtek Imaging Systems is supporting this initiative because for us it’s important to promote up-and-coming talent in the design field, and in turn, top-quality print standards,’ remarks marketing manager Karen Stretch. ‘The quality of entries last year was outstanding – both from a technical and creative aspect. And it has been rewarding to see these designs reach the retail shelves and for this awards platform to showcase local talent to a global audience.’
She adds that Kemtek is always looking to partner with customers on initiatives that promote the design and printing industry. ‘We are honoured to have been asked to participate again by Rotolabel, a long-standing customer that has invested considerably over the years in quality printing systems to earn its status as a leading label printer in the wine industry,’ Karen states.
Synchron’s foils product and marketing manager, Phumzile Dlamini, explains that this is the second year that the company is sponsoring the Label Design Awards. ‘This platform allows us to raise awareness around the endless colour and tactile effect possibilities that can be achieved with the addition of foils. It also enables us to magnify the designer’s understanding about the relationship between their brilliant design concepts and the technical printing and foiling process.’
Phumzile adds that the calibre of entries at the last competition was high. ‘Synchron is looking forward to seeing more stunning labels that represent our local culture and that put South Africa on the map,’ she concludes.