Cannes Picks the Year’s Best Package Design

There’s a new trend afoot, emphasizing hand-drawn craftiness and artisanal values.

The 56th annual Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival just wrapped up, with the announcement of its winners in the Design Category. Curiously, this is only the second year that the festival has included design in its awards, even though design has become an inescapable part of branding. (Better late than never, we guess.) You can check out the Design winners on Cannes’s badly designed Web site. The Dieline went one better, combing through those entries, and gathering all of the packaging winners. It’s a pretty great group.


Interestingly enough, two of the three Gold winners were good examples of a recent trend that’s come about, which makes a virtue out of rough, almost amateurish sketches. It’s an aesthetic that has some precedent in the “grunge design” pioneered by David Carson in the 1980s and 1990s (who recently spoke at TED ), and, more recently, in the brilliant work of Stefan Sagmeister. But why’s it popping up here, in a condiments line and a wine bottle? I’d guess that there’s a certain looseness that makes sense, in light of the whole move to artisan, supposedly hand-crafted food products–that is, stuff that seems like it was created by altruistic hippies, rather than faceless megacorporations. Which means you can expect to see some trickle-down copycats anytime now in a Whole Foods near you!

Anyway, on to some of the best work.

Jamie Oliver’s condiment line, designed by Pearlfisher, won Gold (you know the company’s work–they designed the bottle for Absolut Vodka):

Absolut Vodka by Pearlfisher

Another Gold: Gut Oggau Wine, designed by Jung von Matt:

Gut Oggau Wine by Jung von Matt


Raison Pure also won Gold, for their work on “Flowerbomb Safe,” a fragrance by Victor & Rolf. The design manages to suit Victor & Rolf’s overriding brand aesthetic perfectly–fancy but dangerous:

Flowerbomb Safe by Raison Pure

One of the Silvers went to Taxi Studio, for their work on Willie’s Cacao:

Willie's Cacao by Taxi Studio

Quite unlike any of the other Vodka bottles out there, Karlsson’s Gold Vodka, which also took Silver. (For some reason, grenade shaped bottles are a new trend in packaging–check out this lovely Scotch bottle.)

Karlsson's Gold Vodka


For their packaging for Dr. Moeller’s Quince Brandy, Serviceplan riffed on the medical aspect of the brandname, producing a packaging that seems more like a modern cure-all than liquor. But, come to think of it, what’s alcohol but a cure-all? The work won a Silver:

Dr. Moeller's Quince Brandy by Serviceplan

Check out more at The Dieline, the Web’s best packaging-design site.

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About the author

Cliff was director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.