• AGDA 2019 Pinnacle award winner for packaging: Big Easy Radio by Mash Design. (Source: AGDA website).
    AGDA 2019 Pinnacle award winner for packaging: Big Easy Radio by Mash Design. (Source: AGDA website).
  • 19 Stone Whiskey design by Mash Design. (Source: AGDA website).
    19 Stone Whiskey design by Mash Design. (Source: AGDA website).
  • Co-Partnership's design for Mac by Brookie's wins Distinction at the 2019 AGDA Awards.
    Co-Partnership's design for Mac by Brookie's wins Distinction at the 2019 AGDA Awards.
  • Co-Partnership's Stoneleigh Wild Valley design wins a Distinction in the packaging category.
    Co-Partnership's Stoneleigh Wild Valley design wins a Distinction in the packaging category.
  • Drumstick x Messina design by The Key Branding. (Source: AGDA website).
    Drumstick x Messina design by The Key Branding. (Source: AGDA website).
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The best of Australia’s design industry has been recognised at the 2019 AGDA Awards, with 15 awards presented in the packaging category, ten of which were for the pack designs of alcoholic beverages.

Held at the Queensland Art Gallery in Brisbane on 9 November, the 2019 AGDA Awards was a sold-out event, and invited design professionals and students from across the country to showcase design in a range of categories, inlcuding identity, print, publications, digital, spatial and packaging. 

Adelaide’s Mash Design took out the Pinnacle award among its packaging design peers for its work on wine brand Big Easy Radio, as well as a Distinction award for 19 Stone Whiskey.

Also Adelaide-based, Parallax was awarded two Distinction awards for its design work on Gemtree wines, while Sydney’s Co-Partnership was awarded two Distinction awards for Mac by Brookie’s and Stoneleigh Wild Valley pack and label designs.

Co-Partnership co-founder Max Harkness told PKN that while the alcohol category is very competitive, Australia is at the forefront of design for the sector.

"We are very much new world and we are setting a lot of category trends in alcohol. When you go somewhere like the UK, they can be very innovative, but the market is more used to buying French wine or traditional scotch whiskey," said Harkness.

"We have a innovative mindset in Australia – simply because we are a new world producer."

Harkness said Co-Parternship's co-founder and creative director Zoe Green was on the judging panel at the AGDA Awards and helped influence the introduction of the commercial design category at the awards back in 2016. 

"We design these things to make a change and in packaging its to have a positive commercial impact on a brand and to sell more.

"Previously, you would be judging a plastic bottle juice to an expensive wine. AGDA are starting to recognise the challenges within designing the more commercial brands."

Co-Partnership's design for Mac by Brookie's is "a smile on the face and in the mind," says Max Harkness.

Co-Partnership won Distinction awards in both the boutique and commerical categories within packaging, being recgonised on both ends of the spectrum for both small and large producers.

"We are really proud of Mac because it shows that you can disrupt when you're a new business or start up, to make sure your shouting for that attention on shelf," he said.

"I think that product won because the shaka hand symbol is something you'd never expect to see on alcohol packaging but it's done in a sophisticated way and captures the essence of Byron Bay, where the product is from. It is a smile on the face and in the mind."

"The Stoneleigh Wild Valley design is successful because before the redesign it was a traditional white label struggling to get cut through at the price point or communicate what makes the wine unique. The wine is fermented using naturally occurring yeast found in New Zealand’s environment and the new design visually captures the product proposition in a way that engages consumers."

"For the bigger clients, there are more restrictions – you have to consider the bottling line, paper stocks and to be cost effective while still feeling premium. A real strength of ours is our production capabability in elevating design with print finishings."

Aside from alcoholic beverages, designs for Dimple Contacts by Universal Favourite, pet supply brand Pooch Pack by The Colour Club, limited edition toilet paper The Play Edition for Who Gives a Crap by Garbett, ice cream collaboration Drumstick x Messina by The Key Branding, and BeeNZ 29+ Manuka Honey by Society were also among the Distinction recipients at the awards.

For all the 2019 AGDA award winners, click here.

Food & Drink Business

MD & CEO of The a2 Milk Company, Jayne Hrdlicka, has stepped down. Hrdlicka said the reality of the company's growth trajectory would mean the role was “too difficult to manage” with her other commitments.

Bubs Australia Ltd has announced it raised $30 million before costs from a share placement to new and existing investors. The shares were sold at $0.95 per share here and overseas.

Pernod Ricard Winemakers has become the first major wine company in Australia to source all of its electricity from 100 per cent renewable energy.