The Watt Group tops a field of twelve

The Watt Group, a Toronto-based company, is Strategy's package designer of the year.The company placed first among a total of twelve package design firms that took part in the competition.Grapheme Communication-Design, a division of Cossette Communication-Marketing, with offices in Quebec City,...

The Watt Group, a Toronto-based company, is Strategy’s package designer of the year.

The company placed first among a total of twelve package design firms that took part in the competition.

Grapheme Communication-Design, a division of Cossette Communication-Marketing, with offices in Quebec City, Montreal and Toronto, placed second.

Toronto-based design firm Spencer Francey Peters placed third.

The firms were scored by a panel of judges on the basis of a prepared submission that included three samples of their work done for three different clients.

Each company was asked to submit one design in each of three categories: food and beverage; cosmetic and drug; and household and industrial.

They were also asked to accompany each design with a written rationale that explained the design challenge at the outset and illustrated how the design resolved that challenge.

The judges (four clients, a consumer and a representative of an environmental organization) were asked to judge the designs submitted by each firm as a single body of work Ñ a collection of packaging design concepts that reflected the capabilities and talents of that firm.

They were asked to assess the packaging designs on the basis of demonstrated strengths in marketing thinking and creative execution. The idea was to recognize packaging that helped solve business problems.

And while it was not an absolute requirement that the firms submit designs in each category, the judges were told to look for versatility in terms of the design firm’s ability to work in different product categories.

The judging took place in two stages.

The judges reviewed photographs of the designs plus the written rationales in advance to form a preliminary impression of each firm’s work.

They then met June 7 in Toronto to view the actual packages and finalize their scores.

These scores were totalled to determine the top three firms. After a detailed discussion of each of the finalist’s work, the top three companies were re-scored and the numbers tallied to reveal The Watt Group in first place.

In total, fifteen leading package design companies were invited to submit their work. They were chosen on the basis of an informal poll of peers and clients, plus Strategy’s observations of their work over the past year.

Submissions by The Watt Group, Grapheme Communication-Design and Spencer Francey Peters appear at the top of this report.

The remaining nine submissions appear in alphabetical order by company name as follows: Corporate Visuals; Davis & Associates; Dollery Rudman Design Associates; Hunter Straker; The M2000 Group; Shikatani Lacroix Design; Taylor & Browning Design Associates; The Thomas Pigeon Design Group; and William Plewes Design.