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Award-winning bottles quench thirst for design

Beverage packages stand out at this year's Package Design Council competition, bringing home five awards including Best of Show. Appeal to both visual and tactile senses create lasting impressions.

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As the beverage market continues to expand, bottle decoration and design are gaining a more refined demeanor, as reflected in the Package Design Council's 1994 Gold Award Competition. Frosted glass, custom-designed bottles, and an artistic approach to label design paved the way for three silver, two gold, and Best of Show honors, awarded to designers at the PDC ceremony, held September 26 in New York City. Although this report focuses solely on beverage winners, 14 gold awards and 28 silver awards were selected by judges from a pool of 812 entries in 21 different categories. These included cosmetics and beauty aids, fragrances, electronics, hardware and automotive products, sporting goods and toys, and a variety of food categories, such as dairy products, gourmet foods, desserts and snacks, frozen, shelf stable and canned goods, as well as private label products. Breaking the mold Kirsch brandies are typically found in standard clear flint bottles. Swiss distiller Dettling sought a more interesting look for its premium product. "They wanted to break the mold and design a unique bottle," says Victoria McGuinness of design firm Lewis Moberly (London, England). Obviously, they did, winning Best of Show as well as a gold award in the alcoholic beverage category. Lewis Moberly custom-designed the slim, 70 cL (27 oz) bottle with a curved front and flat back, supplied by Vetropack (Blach, Switzerland). Reddish glass is reminiscent of black cherries, the fruit from which Kirsch originates, while the frosted effect is achieved through acid etching. Hand-lettered graphics are screened in a darker, complementary tone of red across the front of the bottle. A metallized paper neck label from Imprimerie Marsens & Cie. (Lausanne, Switzerland) is printed with product information and leads upward to cover all but the top of a matte-black em-bossed aluminum capsule with a gold tear-strip. Beneath this label is a corked cap. A paper tax strip tops it off. Dettling Kirsch comes in a gift box that repeats the color scheme, with graphics screened in one color. Sold in specialized Swiss and Italian liquor stores, suggested retail price is 38 Swiss Francs, or about $7. The champagne of beers? One ingredient that makes new Zeiss lager unusual is its base of champagne yeast. What makes the package stand out (or is it stand in?) is its "punt," the extremely concave profile base usually seen in champagne bottles. In both cases, London, England-based brewer Bass covered its bases well with a premium lager product introduced in the Summer of 1993 to theme bars and younger venues in the U.K, and geared "to the young and aspirational," says consultant Victoria McGuinness of design firm Lewis Moberly. The package was awarded the silver in the alcoholic beverage category. Its dark green bottle, provided by PLM Redfern (South Yorkshire, England) is similar to most champagne bottles. Graphics are screened in black and white, while the neck features a matte black collar with gold foil stamping from Darley Paper (Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England). The cap is supplied by Standard Crown Cap (Reigate, Surrey, England). Zeiss, sold in 275-mL bottles, is priced 5% higher than most premium lagers.

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