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The Pentawards Need to Revise their Criteria

The international jury of Pentawards are behind the times, and are doing more harm to design than good. The first worldwide competition devoted exclusively to Packaging Design, chaired by Gérard Caron, needs to refine and expand its criteria.

About five months ago, we published a blog titled, “BOO! GOOD DESIGN, BAD IDEA,” about Prompt Design’s packaging for JL Fruit. It was the first, and still only, non-positive or critical post we have made. We had to take a stand and say something then, and we have to do it again.

Because Pentawards just gave their "Best of Food" Platinum award to this same packaging design.

 If you missed our post on the unfortunate elements of this design, the link is here.

Though they sought to help a farmer get fair treatment for his produce, which is an admirable and sustainable goal, they neglected the biggest trend in the world right now. It is gaining profit and benefits for business, people, and the environment in equal measure:  Sustainability, and the transition to a Circular Economy.

Packaging a fruit  which already has 100% natural and 100% nsustainable packaging  in a thermoform paper bottom, with a plastic top, and a glossy printed cover with pictures of the fruit, is wasteful of energy, resources, and money, can continue to hurt the farmer, as well as the rest of us.

The Pentawards award design firms "according to the creative quality of their work." But there is far more to good packaging design than “creativity” alone, just as architecture is far more than the external appearance of a building.  

Design without thinking, is not necessarily detrimental, but can easily have more negative effects than positive.  

The Point: We strongly suggest that Gérard Caron and his Pentawards get with the times, expand their criteria, and consider the Design Thinking and sustainability of the designs to which they give awards and their place in aiding a transition to the Circular Economy, as well as the creativity.  It is the responsible and profitable thing to do.

Please Note: It costs anywhere from €145 to €295 to enter a design for a Pentaward.  At B&H we do NOT enter contests that require payment, as we feel it is compromising to our designs, and even harmful to the industry as a whole.

Also see Design Thinking, especially this video, with its focus on Customer-Centricity.

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