Australia's ground-breaking plain cigarette packs have been nominated for a prestigious international design award – as an example of 'anti-design'.
Announcing the nominees for its annual Designs of the Year awards, described as the "Oscars of the design world", London's Design Museum said Australia's federal government-mandated plain cigarette packs were among the finalists in the graphics section of the 2013 edition of the awards.
The award citation, officially for the federal department of health and ageing, recognised the packs' aim to be as unattractive as possible.
“The olive green packaging that, now required by law in Australia, is the graphic identity for all cigarette packets regardless of brand,” the citation said.
“Based on consumer studies, the anti-design features a hard-hitting anti-smoking image, with plain text and unappealing colours.”
In its category, the packs will be competing against graphic design produced by and for such prestigious international galleries as the UK's Barbican Art Gallery and Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum.
While the awards focus predominantly on areas such as architecture, fashion, furniture, transport, products, digital applications and general graphics design, other packaging projects to make the nominees' list included the LiquiGlide frictionless ketchup bottle, developed by nanotechnology researchers at Massachussetts Institute of Technology (PKN, September 2012, p.34).
The LiquiGlide bottle uses a super-slippery, non-toxic, edible but tasteless substance, applied to the inside of a bottle, which prevents the condiments from sticking to the neck and the bottom where they can't be reached.
Winners of the awards will be announced by the London Design Museum on April 17.