Paperboard Package of the Year
The Decemberists – I’ll Be Your Girl
Board: Slipcase and the pop-up book cover made with 80pt chipboard with 80# litho wrap, matte laminated; Pop-up book pages made with 18pt C1S SBS laminated with scuff free laminate on one side and matte AQ coating on reverse.
This boxset for The Decemberists’ latest album, I’ll Be Your Girl, truly sings. JohnsByrne first pitched the concept to Capitol Records, and the label immediately thought that the whimsical and interactive design would be perfect for the indie band’s fanbase. Inside the rigid slipcase is an intricately designed pop-up book that holds vinyl records. A unique structural element, the book has a mechanism that lifts the vinyl and bends the pages into a striking geometric pinwheel shape. Graphically speaking, this piece is nothing less than a work of art. JohnsByrne teamed up with design agency Smog, the band’s manager, and The Decemberists themselves to create artwork that brings the boxset to life. To give fans an interactive experience, the design incorporates hidden treasures and surprises like die cuts and popups—all of which were laser cut and hand glued. The pack also includes an autographed booklet and a hidden Illimat card, which is part of an original card game The Decemberists invented for their fans. Impressive, ceremonial, and interactive, this boxset is a treasure to behold.
Folding Carton of the Year
Graphic Packaging International
Kellogg’s EXTRA Creations
Board: METSÄBOARD CLASSIC GC2 FBB
In a category dominated by traditional rectangular cereal boxes, Graphic Packaging International’s EXTRA Creations design makes a huge impact. First there’s the gable top structure that looks like nothing else in the cereal aisle. Then you have the graphic design. An elegant black backdrop highlights a code color—yellow, red, or purple—and appetizing photos of ingredients and cereal clusters. Additionally, gold foil stamping on the brand name, EXTRA, creates a reflective surface that catches the eye while offering an additional premium element to the design. Spot high-gloss coating with embossing for the ingredient images draws further attention to the package. The only thing that isn’t “extra” about this design is its footprint on shelf, which is smaller and more stable than traditional cereal boxes. That means this excellent design takes up less space and packs more punch. That sounds like a folding carton of the year!
Rigid Box of the Year
Taylor Box Company
Taylor Box Company Holiday Mailer
Board: Trays made with 40pt white vat-lined board from Newman Paperboard; neck element made with 20pt SBS from Crusader Paper Company.
Taylor Box sent this fun and lighthearted rigid box to vendors and clients as a 2017 holiday greeting. In conjunction with the mailer, Taylor Box made donations to the Boys and Girls Club of Rhode Island on behalf of each of the recipients. With this in mind, the design evokes the winter season while embodying the playful, inclusive spirit of the Boys and Girls Club. Inside the corrugated mailer is a nesting set of three lift-off-cover-style rigid boxes that allude to Matryoshka doll toys, a nod to children and play. Each set-up box has a neck that allows the graphics of the base to align with those on the lid—all of which are decorated with children engaged in various wintertime activities. To celebrate diversity and inclusion, the wrap illustrations represent a myriad of ethnicities, genders, and body types. Finally, the inner most box offers a final gift: 16 colorful Crayola crayons. Endearing and whimsical, this excellent rigid package is both container and content.
Green Dot Full Spectrum Extract Pen
Board: 18pt Tango C2S from WestRock
As the cannabis market grows, the paperboard industry has been given a unique opportunity to innovate with childproof and brand-forward designs. The Green Dot Full Spectrum carton is a prime example. Based on JohnsByrne’s “Certified, Patented Child-Resistant” folding carton design, this package securely holds a vape cartridge. The two-piece structure features interlocking tabs that prevent the components from separating. To open the pack, one must press down on two pressure-release tabs, and then slide the additional tab in the finger slot to reveal the insert. It’s amazing that paperboard can offer this amount of security! To stand out among competitors, the carton has overall soft touch coating and spot gloss UV over the logo area. With its contrasting finishes and clean, compact structure, this carton offers a high-end vibe that appeals to consumers. At retail, the Green Dot extract cartridge exceeded sales projections. That’s a true win for any packaging manufacturer.
Digital Application of the Year (NEW)
The Rodeo Campaign
Board: 24pt C1S SBS/Hazen Indigo Metallic Foiljet
PPC’s first Digital Application of the Year award goes to WestRock for a very special set of digitally-printed whiskey cartons. Crown Royal whiskey wanted to create buzz around their product during the southwest United States’ rodeo season, especially among the growing demographic of younger rodeo enthusiasts. With multiple rodeo-inspired images that wrap around the carton, this design captures the consumer’s eye from every angle. There are digital cartons just as premium as the product itself. Two aspects make these cartons especially worthy of the Digital Application award. First, before this design, high quality digital printing on transfer-metallized board thicker than 12-point was unheard of. WestRock’s engineers and quality assurance managers made it happen on 24-point board! Second, it was the largest job WestRock had ever printed digitally for a client in the United States. As such, it was important that the colors printed as crisply and consistently as possible. With careful planning, extensive testing, hawk-like oversight, and a bit of luck, the team was able to produce these premium, eye-catching cartons digitally.
Board: ½ mil metalized rainbow lava pattern poly laminated to .018” International Paper SBS.
Cosmetics brand Urban Decay asked Edelmann USA to create a silky carton with “movement” for their Shapeshifter three-in-one complexion palette—and Edelmann delivered with finesse. The metalized rainbow lava pattern board creates wave-like movement while soft touch coating adds a luxurious, silky finish. The front of the package features a simple design while the back highlights the makeup colors with spot UV coating. The Shapeshifter box reveals just how much work it can take to design a simple yet well-executed carton. The design required months of testing during the early stages of product development. The team experimented with various laminates and coatings to find the soft touch application that offered the right visual impact and scuff resistance for shipping. That work payed off. Not only was Urban Decay happy with the design, the carton continues to run on press today.
Bagotville Book Box
Board: 120 pt. and 100 pt. kraft chipboard from Eska Graphicboard
This distinguished rigid box was designed to house a written history of the 75-year-old Bagotville Air Force Base. While most book boxes are made of thinner board, Friesens took this one to the limit with 120-point board. That’s as thick as their equipment would allow! After all, the box must safely transport a three-pound, 500-page hardcover book. In addition to sheer strength, the design also offers a high-end user experience. Special design elements include: rich metal inlays; a custom die cut that holds a commemorative coin; a satin ribbon to remove the book; and a wrap that gives the look and feel of leather. Even the wrap itself is debossed at the edges so that raw board doesn’t show when the coin is in place. This design shows that paperboard packaging can be elegant, dignified, and ruggedly practical all at the same time.