Packaging is much more than just a glass bottle and a cap. So why not bring together three of the most respected industry leaders in glass containers, labeling, and finishing to drive creative innovation together? Estal, Avery Dennison, and LEONHARD KURZ asked themselves the same question.
So far so good. But what if the trio went beyond that and invited some of the world’s best packaging design agencies to create something even bigger - a creative platform to present new ideas and build an inspiring design community? The ‘Make a Mark’ concept was born.
Close to the action and ready to answer KURZ connect’s questions are:
Orofin: Hello Stéphane, Annie, and Julia. You three are involved in the project. How should our readers imagine it?
Annie Kuschel (AK): ‘Make a Mark’ is a project that generates and implements innovative, creative ideas thanks to the synergy of renowned designers and the manufacturing industry.
Julia Meier (JM): I would describe the project as a ‘design innovation project’. Estal, Avery Dennison, and KURZ have teamed up with 18 of the world’s best packaging design agencies to create an inspiring platform for the wine and spirits sector. We want to bring brands, designers, material suppliers, and printers together and exchange ideas. In a nutshell: We want to form a dynamic, creative community of thinkers and rebels - united by our shared fascination with glass, labeling, and finishing, and the desire to create something never seen before.
Stéphane Royère (SRY): I can only agree with that. Additionally, we are keen to network more and more and stand out in the world of designers. After all, they are the key to the brands.
Orofin: ‘Make a Mark’ is a strong statement. What exactly does it refer to?
AK: Together, we want to break new ground in design, production, and materials, giving creatives the freedom to experiment with materials and production methods without major hurdles and costs. This allows us to redefine and promote the collaboration between design and production, and learn from each other too.
SRY: We would also like to use ‘Make a Mark’ to show the world that the interplay of industrial factors crosses borders and can make the impossible possible. H+M, ISIMAT, and our Business Area Plastic Decoration have therefore tackled new decoration-related topics that were previously unthinkable.
Orofin: How can we imagine the organization of the project?
JM: It will run for a total of three years, with 20 new designers taking part each year. In addition to creating an inspiring design platform, the aim is to compile a book and a sample package at the end of each edition, in which all the designs are presented and the designers’ ideas are put on paper. ‘Make a Mark’ is aimed at the entire ecosystem of the graphic industry, i.e., small, medium-sized, and large wine and spirits producers, packaging designers, and processors.
Orofin: Are such formats not already in place?
SRY: No, actually not. This is totally new. People tend and try to compare now Make a Mark with Pentawards. We are not an ‘award event’. ‘Make a Mark’ puts the idea of competition in the background. Rather, it is a kind of ‘playground of innovation’.
JM: Exactly. The unique project is certainly more than just another design competition. The focus is on collaboration and the learning experience for all those involved.
Orofin: So, what’s special about ‘Make a Mark’?
AK: Definitely the collaboration and the freedom the designers get to enjoy. This is the only way they can experiment with a wide variety of materials without a concrete order and create completely new solutions that simply would not have existed otherwise.
JM: Silo thinking has no place in this project. Together, we push boundaries and use our synergies to prepare for the future of packaging.
Orofin: Who else - apart from yourselves - is involved in the project?
SRY: In addition to the three initiators and the 18 designers, our technology partners H+M, ISIMAT and Pantec were also involved in the first edition. Over the entire project period, KURZ contributes by providing materials for finishing and of course its technical expertise as well as ideas and inspiration.
We were also supported by printers, including Carini Labels, Grai étiquettes and LabelTec, as well as cap manufacturers, including Labrenta and Ramondin.
Orofin: How did KURZ get involved in ‘Make a Mark’? What were the potential challenges?
AK: KURZ likes to break new ground based on tradition. We have long been creating products for the design world to work with. Designers are constantly getting to know new products and areas of application and can also use them for future projects. With our involvement in ‘Make a Mark’, we give them new know-how and the freedom to use our products in a completely different way, as they are not bound by specifications from orders.
It wasn't easy to bring together everyone involved because they all work in different parts of the world and have different cultural backgrounds. To give you an example, they all have a different understanding of design, color interpretation, and other aspects, which requires a certain sensitivity and intuition. Appreciation of the mutual differences is key to achieving the desired result. And we have more than succeeded in that regard!
Orofin: When and within what framework was the project presented to the professional community? What did the expert audience get to experience?
JM: The results of the collaborative projects of designers, finishers, and label and bottle manufacturers were presented in a ‘Make a Mark Gallery’ with audio tour at the Luxepack trade fair in Monaco at the end of September 2021. Interested parties were able to learn about the project through a high-quality book, which showcases the design process and the participating agencies, partners, and designs. We have also posted about ‘Make a Mark’ on social media, so the digital component wasn't neglected either.
Orofin: How will the project continue, and what expectations do you have of it?
AK: The presentation of ‘Make a Mark’ was a complete success, and there have already been many inquiries about ‘Make a Mark II’. The project is definitely entering its second round, with new designers and new concepts. We expect further, new, and more intensive contacts from the next part. What remains the same is mutual inspiration and tackling innovative projects together.
SRY: ‘Make a Mark’ was an absolute crowd puller. Even Albert II, Prince of Monaco visited our stand and got to enjoy an exclusive presentation of the designs. It was certainly a unique experience!
I would like to stress once again that this project would never have been possible if KURZ had approached it alone. We were able to learn a lot, too! There was no competition or envy, but we all pulled together to get the best outcome for everyone.
Thank you very much for this conversation!
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