Graphic Communication students shortlisted for Starpack award

Adam Hingley Starpack

Seven second year students studying BA (Hons) Graphic Communication at Birmingham City University have made it through to the second round of the Starpack packaging competition.

The Starpack competition has been running for over 50 years and is the leading scheme for recognising innovation in packaging design and technology.

Students were given the choice of five briefs including designing a new KFC bucket, advertising for British Gymnastics, designing signs for Street Feast, creating a magazine and the Starpack packaging competition. Those that chose the latter were required to create a luxury family range of metal tins for teas or coffees. The brief instructed the students to create a fictitious brand that was exciting and eye-catching, targeting the quality retail sector, while also considering the creative use of the tin, the marriageability as a set of three tins and its re-usability.

Harveen Marwaha, a BA (Hons) Graphic Communications student chose the Starpack brief as it involved packaging and branding, both areas of graphic design she enjoys most. Harveen created an original brand of three high end Indian Chai’s, consisting of three different flavours specific to areas in India; Deli, Punjab and Kashmir. Harveen’s packages were tins that were sold on a spice rack with a window the shape of India, showing a preview the contents. The brand was named Riksha tea, after the Hindi word ‘Rickshaw’ which reflects traveling around India, discovering the distinctive styles of chai. 

Adam Hingley Starpack working Adam Hingley's development work

The competition challenges students with unconventional thinking and encourages creativity. As well as designing a graphically attractive package, students have to think about all other aspects of real-life products including the practicality, environmental issues and the cost of production. These are all important elements that would need to be considered, especially in a fiercely competitive consumer market where it will be coming up against competition in a retail environment.

Those that were shortlisted for the next round were required to submit 3D models of the final design along with their development boards showing their research, design process and final outcomes.

The competition provides an exciting opportunity for the next generation of young designers, exposing them to the industry of packaging design. There is the potential for entrants to gain employment opportunities as a result of the awards, something that has happened in previous years.

The students have now submitted their work for the second round and the results will be announced at the end of the month, followed by an awards presentation and celebration the month after.

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