The first-place winner of the 2017 Glass Packaging Design Competition at Michigan State University (MSU) School of Packaging is the student team of Victoria Bernstein, Mitchell Bollinger, Michelle Clarkson, Matthew Jenkin and Alexis Warner. The winners beat out 40 student teams with their embossed glass bottle design for Golden Eagle Tequila.
“This signature event introduces future packaging professionals to the world of glass containers and design possibilities,” says Lynn Bragg, President, GPI. “The Glass Packaging Institute is delighted to sponsor this competition in partnership with our Academic Program packaging school.”
The winning glass package design features engraving and embossing for a high-end look. In addition to the embossed logo, the 1.75L flint glass bottle shape features square shoulders and a foil label on the neck. The design is both upscale and brand building.
“We wanted to keep the bottle simple, with one primary element that would make it stand out,” says student winner Alexis Warner. The team settled on an embossed image of the national bird of Mexico, the Golden Eagle, to reflect tequila’s roots. “Glass gives the bottle a premium, top- shelf look over plastic. It’s perfect for embossing.”
It was also important to the team that the design be fully feasible for mass production. “The students worked well together and covered the bases so thoroughly, from bottle design to closure to label, that a glass manufacturer could go directly into production with this bottle and easily fit into the marketplace,” said Paul Koning, Instructor, MSU, School of Packaging.
Five-member student teams, all randomly assigned, from the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 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.
The winning team was invited to glass container manufacturer Ardagh Group, Glass – North America to tour their quality lab and new product development areas at their North American headquarters in Fishers, Ind., as well as their glass manufacturing facility in Winchester, Ind.
“One of the highlights during our tour was seeing two recent MSU graduates working at Ardagh’s headquarters,” said Koning. “This is really reinforcing for students to see.”
“It was a pleasure and an honor to host the Michigan State University student winners,” said John Riordan, President and CEO, Ardagh Group, Glass – North America. “We are strong supporters of the GPI academic program and the glass packaging design competition, as we believe these programs encourage an appreciation for glass and have a lasting impact on these future packaging professionals.”
Ardagh Group also created a model representing an actual bottle of the winning glass bottle design. The model is hollow and embossed rather than a solid block of Lucite. “It was also made to specifications, so it looked much like the product would on the shelf,” said Koning. CogsDriven and TLF Graphics created the label for the winning design model.
Over the two-day visit, the winning team was able to see the entire process of creating a glass bottle. “A highlight was being able to sit down with the design and innovation teams, and to learn how they have to work hand-in-hand with those on the manufacturing end,” said Warner.
The students also toured Ardagh’s Winchester glass manufacturing facility, which allowed the students to see how the manufacturing process is altered to handle variations in bottle size and complexity. “To see the gob cut off and become a bottle in a few seconds was amazing,” said Warner.
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.