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SGK’s Brand Development Agencies Win 2019 Vertex Awards

Posted By: SGK May 07, 2019

SGK’s brand development agencies, Anthem Worldwide, Equator Design, and Marque Brand Consultants (SGK’s regional brand agency in Australia), have been honored with Gold, Bronze, and a publishers choice award in the 2019 Vertex Awards competition.

Every year, The Vertex Awards brings together the best in private brand packaging design, and this year was no exception. With a record number of entries, from 33 countries representing the absolute best in package design, below designs from the winning SGK brand development teams:

BRONZE — Equator Design: Schnucks Snacking Nuts

Schnucks Own Brand Snacking Nuts were a leader in the category. A redesigned label would increase the perception of quality compared to the National Brand. The design must consider the multiple forms and variants of nuts (whole, pieces, salted, unsalted, dry roasted) and ensure the hierarchy is clear. The consumer should be able to easily navigate the vast range of products and quickly recognize what they are looking for through an impactful design.

BRONZE — Equator Design: Co-Op-Christmas

There’s nothing we love more than getting stuck into a big, new challenging project. So, when Co-op’s private brand Christmas product package redesign brief arrived, we simply couldn’t wait to jump in and do our all to deliver the outstanding look and feel we knew our major supermarket client would be wishing for this festive season.

Across more than 440 SKUs, we designed distinctive packaging that would help Co-op products to stand out from branded lines, ensure quality and taste cues were prominent and convey quality to inspire purchase; additionally, we would originate a design theme and accompanying kids’ character that would appeal to little ones and kids-at-heart.

The team got fully immersed in the brief, with a veritable sea of mince pies and seasonal favorites helping us and our client to collaborate with Christmassy creativity as our ultimate goal – while our extensive trend research helped us stay in tune with what customers say they really want, and understanding what sort of seasonal packaging most helps them make their festive choices.

BRONZE — Marque Brand Consultants: Woolworths Muesli

We created a tropical concept that effortlessly combined a softer palette of color with a design bursting in energy using ingredient cameos to showcase the goodness inside. This is held together by a simple rounded device to create a focal point for consumers.

GOLD — Anthem: Swee!

Swee! is a new brand of everyday cupboard items created for RedMart, Singapore’s premier online grocer. The brief was to create a brand that connects with Singapore’s cost-conscious shoppers, to answer their need for a range of simple, fit-for-purpose items, ranging from everything from Soy Sauce to Sausages and Scourers. The line is sold exclusively on, so on-screen presence is paramount.

Our challenge was to deliver no-frills value with a locally relevant proposition, that would attract more traditional shoppers who are more comfortable buying from their regular bricks and mortar supermarket. The strategy was to create a brand with a ‘chirpy’ personality, but with familiar simplicity. We drew inspiration from Singapore’s heartland, with a nod to the utilitarian aesthetics of high-rise housing estates and the unpretentious language of the neighborhood wet market. Anthem also coined the brand name ‘Swee!’ – a Singlish expression that roughly translates as ‘Works Perfectly!’

Since its debut on Redmart’s site, the line has continued to grow with a diverse range of products.

GOLD — Equator Design: Schnucks Culinaria

Culinaria is Schnucks Premium Own Brand product line. The Culinaria design strategy is a line look across all products and categories for easy customer recognition as Schnucks premium product tier. The key trait of Culinaria is the “affordable indulgence” where consumers can have a premium, quality product at a reasonable price. The design should be approachable to the everyday consumer. The overall strategy is to not benchmark any national brand. Culinaria products are made to be better than the NBE, so design should be crafted to portray this unique offering. Culinaria is clean, minimal, artistic. Defining qualities of Culinaria Products should be affordable quality when only the best will do either as a treat or for a special occasion, authentic taste and provenance, seductive artistic photography, excitement, and innovative flavors. Culinaria stands for “uniquely premium.” The products are all about the food experience, affordable indulgence, and products that are engineered to be the best (better than the National Brand).

GOLD — Equator Design: ALDI Barissimo Passport Series

Barissimo is ALDI’s premier coffee brand with a strong core-range family. The brand has grown to offer more specialty coffees and needed a new tier to showcase the uniqueness and personality of each of the Single Origin Coffees while loosely tying them together.

GOLD — Equator Design: ALDI Specially Selected

The task entailed a complete brand and packaging refresh for Aldi Australia’s premium offering, Specially Selected, providing a new look that would distinguish it and grab attention in a marketplace brimming with premium and indulgent brands. The solution was to capture the expressive nature of the food and to combine this with bold pops of color and sleek pared-back branding. For this project, design, photography and finished art were accomplished within 12 months and delivered across 140 SKUs. 

Taking into account an ultra-competitive premium tier marketplace and the emerging trends of e-commerce, transparency and social media “shareability” influencing the sector, the aim was to win loyalty in customers by using simplified text and bold designs that would demonstrate consistency from product to product and across the ‘Specially Selected’ brand. The product would likewise need to sit well within Aldi branding, diversifying and elevating customer perception of the Aldi brand as a whole. The work would necessitate demonstrating what a premium brand looks like now, as well as forecasting how the look of premium may change in the coming years and ensure shelf stand-out within a fast-paced commercial landscape. With an eye on the future, the goal was to innovate around today’s perception of premium goods, with an intent to instruct and influence that perception going forward.

Larger, bolder, crisper – these were our design criteria. In order to ‘future-proof’ the brand and address a consumer preference away from an overly fussy, information-filled style towards a fresher, pared-back framework, the new design was made to appear simpler and lighter, as well as communicating transparency and clarity of provenance. With the new design framework expected to have a lifespan of at least three years, a consistent, adaptable and effective Brand Architecture was created, ensuring the distinguishable new Specially Selected premium look could be carried forward and applied to innovative products and ranges still in development now.

Numbers are still being crunched on customer purchases sporting the new brand design, which was launched just ahead of the 2018 Christmas season. As of January 2019, products are still being rolled out, therefore little data is available as of yet. However, early feedback has proved tremendously positive. The cross-category range of products has been made available in 500 Aldi supermarket stores nationally across Australia. The target demographic? Consumers far and wide who are keen to find an affordable indulgence right before their eyes on the shelf – which of course includes nearly all shoppers.

GOLD — Marque Brand Consultants: Woolworth Macro Kombucha

Using a funky 60s-inspired typeface, fruity colors and fun descriptor names, we enhanced flavor cues while playing up the ‘hippie’ all-natural character. We put the Macro beacon and organic stamp prominently centered in the label for easy navigation and created a lovable range of naturally healthy drinks with a good-for-you vibe.

Publishers Choice Winner — Equator Design: Co-Op Halloween

Co-op’s Halloween re-design gave us the frightful challenge of making the brand’s seasonal products look fun and engaging, and of course, spooky. To suit Co-op’s compact display areas instore, the packaging and POS called for eye-catching design, without being tacky or cartoonish. Becoming fully immersed in Halloween, and calling in enthusiasts from the stateside studios (after all, Halloween is serious business in the US), We created a monster mash-up of creepy characters, led by its monster star, “Mummy”.

To add a touch of refinement to the ghoulish gallery, the design’s graphical styling utilized a bold punch of color for the central figure, standing out from a midnight-blue background. What a treat it was when Co-op later decided to develop new products utilizing the full mash of monsters, including Mummy, Pumpkin Head and Bare Bones.

To view all winners, visit:

SGK is a leading global brand development, activation and deployment company that drives brand performance. By creating brands, activating and protecting brands, we help our clients achieve higher brand performance. SGK's global footprint spans more than 20 countries. SGK is part of Matthews International Corporation (NASDAQ GSM: MATW).