The first place winner of the 2016 Glass Packaging Design Competition at Michigan State University (MSU) School of Packaging is the student team of Brad Harris, Jeffrey Herron, Kyle Laslo, Matt Aoun, and Valen Yangouyian. The winners beat out 60 other student teams with their glass bottle “necktie” design for Prima Tequila. 

“The Glass Packaging Institute is always delighted to sponsor this competition, now in its tenth year,” said Lynn Bragg, President, GPI. “This event fosters a glass industry partnership with future packaging professionals, and introduces them to the world of glass containers.”

The winning glass package design showcases the team’s “premium” theme for Prima Tequila, topping the geometric, 750ml flint bottle with a square ring cork glass finish to complete the necktie design and protect the contents. 

“Glass is the most premium packaging, looks amazing, and can be formed into anything,” says team member Kyle Laslo. “We were able to use a frosted decoration in alternating stripes for a real sense of a necktie. It also gives the bottle a great texture and feel in hand.” 

Four and five-member student teams, all randomly assigned, from the Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 Packaging with Glass and Metal class participated in the competition, working on the project throughout the semester as they learned about designing and manufacturing glass bottles and jars. 

“This winning design is not just creative, but could actually be produced,” says Paul Koning, Instructor, MSU, School of Packaging. “So the model is really impressive. When we toured the O-I Zanesville spirits glass manufacturing plant, the employees were really fired up about seeing it.” 
The winning team was invited to glass container manufacturer O-I to tour their Innovation Center, a combined R&D and pilot plant facility, at its global headquarters in Perrysburg, Ohio, as well as their Zanesville glass container manufacturing plant. 

“Seeing small-scale glass container production at the Innovation Center and then full-scale production in Zanesville was awesome,” says Laslo. “It was a highlight.” O-I also supplied a model of the winning design, including the bar-top style glass closure. Konica Minolta along with Constantia Flexibles/Spear Inc. and TLF Graphics provided the artwork and pressure sensitive labels. 

“The competition and the visit are a great way to make sure that the next generation of package designers are familiar with the benefits and attributes of glass,” says Ryan McCarthy, Communications Manager, North America, O-I. “It also gives us a chance to hear new perspectives and fresh thinking about glass packaging design.”
The top ten submissions (five from each semester) were judged by an industry panel including Jonathan Crowe-Ardagh, Raul Parades-O-I, Dave Wengerhoff-Food Partners Consulting, Bill Eaton-Pepsico, and Rich Crawford-GPI Past Chairman Board of Trustees.