November 7, 2018  
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Student Packaging Designers Shine

Want to know what's ahead in innovative consumer packaging? Look no further. Tomorrow's industry design leaders can get a head start on their careers through the Student Design Challenge, which is sponsored by The Paperboard Packaging Alliance (PPA.)

The PPA recently announced this year's winners, which give us a "sneak peek" at the future of packaging design. Each year, a specific design challenge gives these promising students a chance to put their creativity to work on trend-relevant packaging that is shaping the modern consumer experience.
According to the press release, the winning teams presented their designs to executives from North America's top paperboard packaging manufacturers alongside the winners of the Paperboard Packaging Council's (PPC) Annual Carton Competition. The presentation took place at PPC's semi-annual meeting in Atlanta, GA.

Subscription Box Challenge
As reported by the PPA, the 2018 challenge was to design packaging for the contents of a subscription box package that enhances the customer experience and can be reused for storage. For the 2018 contest, the PPA reports that about 200 students from 13 different universities submitted almost 60 designs. According to the Subscription Box Trade Association, 2,500 subscription box companies have launched in the past three years—offering a tremendous opportunity for packaging manufacturers who can help provide a premium "unboxing" experience. The student designs submitted for the PPA's 2018 competition exhibited remarkable range and a high level of creativity, both in the types of products packaged and the functional design features of the subscription boxes created.

"We hope the Student Design Challenge provides a meaningful contribution to the portfolios of these young designers," said PPC President Ben Markens. "By connecting employers with the workforce of the future, we can create a stronger, more innovative, and forward-moving industry."

PPA sponsored its first Student Design Challenge in 2004. The Challenge is designed to foster awareness and appreciation of paperboard packaging with university educators and the next generation of packaging design decision-makers.

Winners were chosen by a team of paperboard packaging industry professionals who rated submissions based on their response to the competition scenario, innovative structural and graphic design, functionality, and the quality of the finished product. The winning student teams received a cash prize to share among their team members, and their respective schools received a cash award to support their academic programs.

The 2018 PPA Student Design Challenge winners are:

1st Place: Packin' Heat (Regional hot sauces etc.)
School: Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)
Team: Nicole Longford, Kelly Fellner, Andrew McMahon, Dylan Fisher
Advisors: Bill Wynkoop & Lorrie Frear
Prize: US$5,500 to the team, US$5,000 to the school

2nd Place: Harvest (Individually-portioned snacks)
School: California Polytechnic State University
Team: Amanda Truong, Mitchel Salles, Audrey Gerughty, Andrew Fulton
Advisors: Irene Carbonell, Javier de la Fuente, Mary LaPorte
Prize: US$3,300 to the team, US$3,000 to the school

3rd Place: Moment (Yoga/meditation accessories)
School: Chowan University
Team: Shelby Barlowe, Gabrielle Wilson
Advisor: Dr. Mitchell Henke
Prize: US$1,650 to the team, US$1,500 to the school

All submitted designs can be viewed at the PPA website:

The 2019 Design Challenge

Entries are now open for the 2019 Design Challenge, and the PPA is hoping to attract even more schools and students to participate. Undergraduate students enrolled in packaging, industrial and/or graphic design programs in North America (US, Canada and Mexico) are eligible to enter. Students may enter as an individual or a team.

This year's challenge invites undergraduate students to design packaging for a gaming system that enhances the unboxing experience and can be used while playing the video game. As described on the information page,

"A top gaming company is releasing its newest gaming console and wants the package to be 100 percent paper-based. The package needs to house the console and one video game controller.

"The package should have innovative functional distinctions that enhance the customer's unboxing experience and set it apart from competing products. It should be optimally designed to protect and secure the products during shipping and handling and be able to be used while playing the video game."

Full requirements for the 2019 PPA Student Design Challenge are available online. The final deadline for submissions will be May 31, 2019.

For a modest investment of $174, receive more than US$ 1000 in benefits in return.
Visit for more details.