Pentawards 2020 winners announced


The organizers of the Pentawards revealed this year’s winners during a virtual gala ceremony hosted live on Thursday, 24 September. The top winning agencies include Backbone Branding and Design Bridge, each with five awards, ShenZhen Lingyun Creative Packaging Design, Depot Branding Agency, Xiaomi, Estudio Maba, and Anthem, all of which won 4 awards. 

Pentawards 2020 winners announced

In its 14th year, the 2020 competition received over 2,000 entries from 60 countries across five continents, with the United Kingdom, Spain, Russia, and China receiving the highest number of awards. Out of all the entries, over 400 were shortlisted by the competition’s international jury and revealed to the public. The full line-up of the 2020 winners can be seen here in the new Pentawards Portal.

Adam Ryan, head of Pentawards, commented, “The work submitted in this year’s Pentawards competition is without a shadow of the doubt, the strongest, most innovative and powerful I have ever seen. I am excited to be part of such an inspiring industry continuously pushing the boundaries. This shows that regardless of the challenges the world is facing, the power of design is needed now more than ever.”

Founded in 2007, Pentawards is committed to recognizing excellence in design, providing a source of inspiration and connecting the global packaging community through its competition and events. This year’s winners will also be featured alongside the 2019 winners in The Package Design Book 6 by Taschen, released early 2021. The 2021 competition will open with Super-Early Bird rates on 1 February 2021.

Diamond – Best of Show, Air Co by Air Co, US

1 Pentawards diamond 1
2020 Pentawards: Diamond – Best of Show, Air Co by Air Co, US

When it came to selecting the 14th winner of the Diamond – Best Of Show Award, the judges were unanimous. Air Co’s packaging and design are as forward-thinking, modern, and transformative as the approach to creating the brand and company itself.
With a mission to be the most sustainable alcohol brand in the world, the packaging for the world’s first carbon-negative vodka brand, Air Co, is both reusable and 100% sustainable. Keeping the vodka as the star, the label is placed towards the top of the bottle giving ample space to display the liquid. By placing the label lower, the vodka is the first to meet the eye. The label itself is simple, custom-made, natural, and non-toxic and can be removed easily so the bottle can be used for other purposes like a water bottle, flower vase, or candle holder.

Pentawards diamond 2On the Diamond winner, the judges said: ‘We talk about the future of luxury and sustainable luxury, and this is it,’ – Clem Halpin, President of the Pentawards Jury. ‘Air Co feels like it’s leading a new era of design. The packaging itself is stunning and really represents its fantastic backstory. The whole package is ground-breaking.’ – Steve Honour, Design and Visual Identity Leader, Innovation, Europe & Africa at Diageo – UK



Beverages Platinum, Pridem’s Gin by Enpedra Estudio, Spain

2 PlatinumThe design concept for Pridem’s premium gin centers around the idea of a sailor to represent and celebrate freedom and is something which is set to become iconic. The beautiful design made of two complex elements: a striking stopper shaped like a sailor’s hat that gives the product personality and emphasizes its uniqueness. And there is a label made up of four separate parts that wrap completely around the frustoconical bottle.


Beverages Professional Concept Platinum, Happy Ghost by Pavla Chuykina, Russia

3 PlatinumAs the first-ever Professional Concept Platinum award, daring brands can easily replicate this playful design for products going into the market. The idea is of a ghost that first made an appearance in 1916 that has been spotted in recent years on the shelves of liquor stores. To create this character, the design uses a deep indentation at the bottom of the bottle and adds a pair of ghostly eyes to it, while the glass creates a dark fog and mystical atmosphere.

Food Platinum, NongFu Wangtian by ShenZhen BOB design, China

4 PlatinumWhat struck the judges with this piece is the simplicity and effectiveness of the design. The creative idea of this product packaging is that by combining the shape of chili to the container, it brings the experience of picking chillis directly to the customer. Its distinctive and fun design will make it the first to be noticed on the shelves, enticing consumers to buy it to try it out and share it with friends and family.

Body Platinum, Chioture by Shanghai Nianxiang Brand Design & Consulting, China

7 PlatinumThis base makeup kit for Chioture, a vibrant and youthful makeup brand, focuses on the product’s unpacking process. Factoring in the brand’s simple and fun characteristics, an innovative design was used to effectively demonstrate the product’s features: a beautiful and adorable soft light camera. The user unscrews the ‘lens’ and then pulls out the ‘handle brush’ on the right, which can then be placed on the’ Brand Icon Viewfinder’ in the upper left corner of the camera if on the go.

Other Markets Platinum, Hema by Magnet Design, Netherlands

5 PlatinumThis charming range of packaging for Dutch retailer Hema contains summer water inflatables. The design concept shows a range of summer products that look like they have been dropped into mini swimming pools, and there’s even a steel step that leads into the pool on the front, bringing the image to life. All toys have been designed exclusively by Hema and represent the retailer’s most famous icons like Hema’s smoked sausage, Takkie the Dog, tompouce pastry, and summer ice creams. Hema’s overall ambition is to stop putting plastic products into plastic packaging, so carton boxes were chosen to package and protect the products.

Luxury Platinum, Hennessy by Felipe Pantone – Appartement 103, France

6 PlatinumReleased globally at a limited quantity of 70 pieces, this Collector’s Edition from Hennessy was created in partnership with the world-renowned and pioneering street artist Felipe Pantone. The result of this collaboration is a super clean, shiny white PET box that, once opened, reveals the whole world of Felipe Pantone through a prism of graphical elements and textures. At the center of the experience, the consumer is invited to build their own art sculpture around a customized Hennessy V.S bottle, which is printed with the latest cutting-edge digital technologies in CMYK. The exclusive carafe stands on a pedestal in the center of a grid of moiré-finished rods that consumers themselves can place, move, and interchange to alter the bottle’s optics.

This year’s Special Awards, which recognize ultimate excellence in packaging design, were also handed out —

  • Best Newcomer of the Year – Caparo Design Crew, Greece
  • Design Agency of the Year – Backbone Branding, Armenia
  • Designer of the Year – XiongBo Deng, ShenZhen Lingyun Creative Packaging Design Co, China

8 Gen Nex

  • NXT-GEN, Best Student Work – Robert Dadashev, British School of Art & Design, Russia

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Packaging South Asia’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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