Celebrating over a century of design and creativity, the ADC Annual Awards return for their 101st edition

Established in 1920, the ADC Annual Awards are touted as the world’s longest-running award initiative in the design and creative industry. Held every year as a part of The One Club of Creativity, the ADC Annual Awards are back for their 101st edition of the competition to scout and celebrate the very best in advertising, digital media, graphic and publication design, packaging and product design, motion, experiential and spatial design, photography, illustration, and fashion design all with a focus on artistry and craftsmanship.

Entry for the awards is open to creative professionals from all around the world, with a tiered entry-pricing structure that makes it easier for smaller agencies, studios, and freelancers to participate by paying a discounted entry fee, while larger agencies and brands pay the standard entry fee (read more about the tiered pricing structure here). The awards only accept design entries from industry professionals, and projects that have been created or printed/published/aired for the first time between January 1, 2021 – March 4, 2022. Outstanding entrants are selected by highly respected juries and honored with coveted Gold, Silver, and Bronze Cubes, presented at the Annual Awards Gala. Beyond these Cubes, however, ADC Annual Awards winners join a rich legacy of past honorees that include some of the most influential artists of the past century.

The 101st ADC Annual Awards are officially open for submissions across all their categories, with the regular deadline for entries on the 31st of January. Scroll below to take a look at some of our favorite 2021 Winners from the Product and Packaging categories.

Or Click Here to Enroll in the 2022 Edition of the ADC Annual Awards and stand a chance to be a part of history and win one of the most prestigious awards in the creative industry!


Winners of the 100th ADC Annual Awards

Smart Box by Peng Ren for Shenzhen explore home Industrial Design Co., Ltd (Product Design Gold Cube)

A clever way to introduce the concepts of mathematics through calculation, right at an early age, the Smart Box by Peng Ren is the kind of smart-toy a kid can play with from their early years right up to their early teens. The blocks in two formats – with numeric faces and symbolic faces. They attach magnetically to form a math equation with a solution block right at the end that displays the answer to the equation. By turning the act of pressing a bunch of keys together on a calculator and hitting the ‘equals’ button, the Smart Box set gamifies it in a way that makes mathematics playful!


SAGA Grand Gin by Paprika for Distillerie Grand Dérangement (Packaging Design Gold Cube)

A brilliantly quirky piece of packaging design, the SAGA Grand Gin bottle instantly makes you curious. With a vibrant yellow wax seal that covers almost half the bottle, the SAGA comes with a concealed label too. The label design showcases a face, with the eyes covered by the wax. You’re immediately intrigued to know more and see more – what’s the face behind the label? Is it a gin-maker, is it a clue, a game? Chances are you’ll pick up the bottle just for how visually engaging it is… and possibly come back more because of how great the gin is.


Nest Thermostat by Google LLC (Product Design Silver Cube)

Perhaps one of the foremost examples of a ‘smart home device’, the Nest thermostat returns in a new format that embraces the same classic design language of Nest the Alphabet company, along with Google’s hardware color-palette. The new Nest Thermostat sports a more clock-like proportion, with a relatively bezel-less display. It still comes with the numbers on the front (a design choice popularized by Honeywell and then Nest), although with the rest of the thermostat in muted, pastel shades that go incredibly well with home decor. Perhaps one of its most celebrated aspects is the Nest’s design, which came from Tony Fadell, who prioritized simplicity and sensibility over everything else. The new Nest thermostat still honors that tradition.


Your Taste, Your Way by Jones Knowles Ritchie for Burger King (Packaging Design Silver Cube)

What the Your Taste, Your Way campaign does for Burger King is turns its packaging into an eye-catching, tongue-tantalizing piece of art. The packaging helps prepare the consumer for what’s within, not only by telling them which burger sits behind the wrapper but also by describing its tastes and flavors… just to get those juices flowing!


XP Zero by Hugo Eccles for Untitled Motorcycles (Product Design Bronze Cube)

Untitled Motorcycles (UMC) turned a lot of heads when it unveiled its XP Zero design. Based on Zero Motorcycles’ SR/F naked sportbike, the XP Zero floored audiences with its classic lines, modern performance, and minimalist styling. Since its debut at the prestigious Goodwood Festival of Speed, the XP has exhibited in Milan, Italy and Portland, Oregon; won nine design awards; and been featured in hundreds of magazine articles. Now that alone is pretty impressive… aside from that bare-basic beautiful design!


Nongfu Wangtian Chili Sauce by Shenzhen Bob Design for Nonfunctional Wangtian Agricultural Technology (Packaging Design Bronze Cube)

Perhaps one of the most simple and creative pieces of food packaging I’ve seen in a while, the Nongfu Wangtian Chili Sauce quite literally embodies its origin, with a chili-inspired design! The sauce comes within a tube that has the graphic of a chili on it, while the cap is shaped like the curved stem of the chili. Depending on the type of chili used, the tubes come with green, yellow, or red chilis on the label. A star rating system on the bottom near the crimp also tells you how spicy the sauce inside is!

Click Here to Enroll in the 2022 Edition of the ADC Annual Awards and stand a chance to be a part of history and win one of the most prestigious awards in the creative industry!

This eco-friendly packaging design for premium Chinese tea draws inspiration from the plantations!





Packaging designs that pay homage to what’s inside or the process or creating it truly tug at our heartstrings. Especially, eco-friendly packaging designs because they showcase the best of innovation and sustainability. Chatu is a shining example of all of that – the packaging is an ode to the tea plantations in Sichuan, Henan, and Fujian provinces from where the premium Chinese tea is collected. Each tea package has a unique shape that represents the terrain and resembles the patterns on the hands of tea pickers.

The Chinese tea plantations were the source of inspiration for the packaging design. The texture of the package mimics the shape of the land on which the tea is harvested which is so sacred to the tea pickers. Even the colors were carefully chosen to match each of the three types of tea – white, green, and red.

The packaging is made by molding pulp and then colored with natural dyes. The shape resembles traditional Chinese teapots while the texture is a reminder of the plantations. The loose-leaf tea leaves are packed in two-layer cotton bags because it is breathable and environmentally friendly.

Each package also comes with a note that gives you more information about the province and the type of tea – it educates you about the flavor and the agricultural features of the plantation that make it special. It also tells you how the tea should be brewed for the optimum experience. Chatu is minimal but yet so powerful in communicating about the product, the process of making it, the art of brewing it, its origins, and more in the most simple yet elegant form.

Designer: Xenia Alexandrova

This chair is assembled with a cargo strap – no hardware, screws, no glue, no packaging!

The TEMP chair has been designed as an eco-focused seating solution that makes use of an unlikely material to blend packaging and assembly into one piece. The chair is made by cutting OSB (oriented strand board) and is assembled by tying a single cargo strap with ratchets. The luggage strap, which can withstand more than 700kg, makes for a super sturdy chair without the use of screws, glue, or any hardware!

OSB is stronger and more waterproof than plywood. It is a versatile, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly alternative manufactured by compressing precisely engineered strands of woods with exterior resins at high temperatures to create an incredibly strong panel.

The cargo strap is also used to wrap the panels effectively reducing packaging for the chair. The five panels that make up the chair can be grouped together, and one panel has a handle, so it can be easily moved while packed.

It is designed to be wider than the existing chair, so you can take a break in various postures, and the lower part of the seat can be used as a storage space.

The reasonably priced OSB has enough strength to make up the chair, and the wood chip pattern makes it hard to see scratches, so it could be shipped without additional packaging.

Joo Hoyoung said, “I ordered plywood cut from a carpentry shop. I tied the cut plywood with a cargo string to bring home. When I came home, I untied the string, put the plywood in the right place, and tied the string again. I am sitting in the chair that has been completed just like that and writing this!” – could it BE any simpler?!

Designer: Joo Hoyoung

This chair is assembled with a cargo strap – no hardware, screws, no glue, no packaging!

The TEMP chair has been designed as an eco-focused seating solution that makes use of an unlikely material to blend packaging and assembly into one piece. The chair is made by cutting OSB (oriented strand board) and is assembled by tying a single cargo strap with ratchets. The luggage strap, which can withstand more than 700kg, makes for a super sturdy chair without the use of screws, glue, or any hardware!

OSB is stronger and more waterproof than plywood. It is a versatile, cost-effective, and environmentally friendly alternative manufactured by compressing precisely engineered strands of woods with exterior resins at high temperatures to create an incredibly strong panel.

The cargo strap is also used to wrap the panels effectively reducing packaging for the chair. The five panels that make up the chair can be grouped together, and one panel has a handle, so it can be easily moved while packed.

It is designed to be wider than the existing chair, so you can take a break in various postures, and the lower part of the seat can be used as a storage space.

The reasonably priced OSB has enough strength to make up the chair, and the wood chip pattern makes it hard to see scratches, so it could be shipped without additional packaging.

Joo Hoyoung said, “I ordered plywood cut from a carpentry shop. I tied the cut plywood with a cargo string to bring home. When I came home, I untied the string, put the plywood in the right place, and tied the string again. I am sitting in the chair that has been completed just like that and writing this!” – could it BE any simpler?!

Designer: Joo Hoyoung

The Nefer perfume comes in a hauntingly beautiful skeletal bottle created through 3D printing

Getting its name from the Egyptian word for beauty, the Nefer perfume bottle embodies sheer elegance on the inside and out. The bottle’s design is derived from the curved lines of the female figure (possibly as an ode to the ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti), and comes with an organic skeletal design that could only be fabricated using 3D printing. In fact, Nefer’s design reminds me of Ross Lovegrove’s 3D printed line of fragrances, created in collaboration with Formula 1.

The bottle’s intricate design comes with a sculptural exterior and an interior that contains the liquid fragrance. Given that 3D printing isn’t a conventional form of mass manufacturing (and also removes various design constraints), it made sense for the Nefer to showcase a luxurious bottle design that used 3D printing in a bid to look eye-catching but also exclusively limited.

As large as the bottle may look visually, it holds a mere 90ml (3 fl.oz.) of liquid in its inner chamber. While under most circumstances I’d call that wasteful, the more fitting characteristic term here would be opulence.

The Nefer perfume bottle comes in a decorative box that uses a combination of black and rose-gold to create an eye-catching visual contrast. Open the lid and it reveals the highly alluring bottle on the inside, set within a specially formed inner chamber with the bottle’s negative form, allowing the bottle to snugly fit inside it. Ultimately the bottle doesn’t come with any branding of its own, although designer Amr Ibrahim Mousa believes that the bottle’s iconic design is enough to serve as its visual branding.

The Nefer perfume bottle is a Silver Winner of the A’ Design Award for the year 2021.

This plastic-free oral care set is an all-in-one sustainable alternative for daily use or travel kits!

Small parts of our routine tend to have a big environmental impact, for instance, floss is good for our teeth but it is terrible for the ocean and turns it into a plastic minefield. Toothbrush bristles as well as floss are made up of nylon which is not biodegradable but another thing that makes it dangerous is that it is designed to not tear causing serious harm to ocean life. When looking at these issues it is clear that we need to move away from single-use plastics and find a more eco-friendly, long-term solution like the Seventh Generation Beam – a customizable, subscription-based, plastic-free set that is designed to be the all-in-one sustainable oral care kit.

Did you know one billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away every year in the United States, creating 50 million pounds of waste annually? The production of the nylon bristles on each toothbrush causes nitrous oxide to be produced and released into the atmosphere as a bi-product; nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas that is 310 times more potent than carbon dioxide.

Seventh Generation’s goal is to limit harmful chemicals and they use plant-based ingredients, scents made from real ingredients, and no synthetic fragrances/dyes in their products. It encourages the importance of wellness is in our personal care, household products, and generally in our everyday lifestyle. The concept demands we expand our understanding of what nourishes us without harming the planet through beautiful and innovative design.

The aim is to create 100% plastic-free packaging. The challenge is to rebrand a traditional product line and redesign the packaging system to be fully sustainable while utilizing no plastic or bioplastic. Biomaterials like tin, wood pulp, plant cellulose, food waste, grass, algae, and mushrooms are being considered. It will all be sustainably sourced, preferably materials that are at the end of their lives and can be composed into biomass to regenerate depleted farming soils.

The design and aesthetics are playful, warm, organic and unlike the language, one might typically associate with “eco-friendly products” which usually only sparks the idea of “bamboo”. Seventh Generation shows that innovation and changing the things we choose can be achieved with visuals just as much as the value added by the product itself.

The kit consists of toothpaste tablets, refillable floss, and a toothbrush. While this is a concept, the aim is to make these products plastic-free as well. Toothpaste tablets already exist and help reduce product and chemical waste while eco-friendly floss and toothbrushes are also gaining popularity as people become more aware of the consequences their actions have on the environment.

Designer: Beatrice Ma

Innovative Packaging Designs from the A’ Design Award that make the perfect first impression of a product

Your product’s packaging is arguably the first thing the consumer sees, as a part of the product experience. It forms the first ever interaction between product and consumer, and a successful interaction means a consumer will pick the product up off the aisle and add it to their cart. Bad packaging design can adversely affect a product’s success or its performance, while a well-packaged product allows it to stand out, prompting someone to pick it up and decide to purchase it. Packaging Design is more than just a box with artwork… it’s the product around the product, and deserves as much attention while designing as the item within it.

Packaging Design forms just one of the various categories of the A’ Design Award and Competition, which spans the popular categories like Architecture, Lighting, and Consumer Electronics, as well as the obscure, lesser-known categories like Cybernetics, Prosumer Products, and Safety Apparel Design. The A’ Design Award’s ultimate goal is to be an umbrella that covers good design across all disciplines, which is why it has 100 different categories for submitting design projects, and 211 jury members (comprising academics, design professionals, and press members) from all around the world collectively judging the works. Winners of the A’ Design Award don’t just secure a trophy and a certificate, but receive an entire PR Campaign dedicated towards pushing their career, clout, and even their projects to newer heights. A’ Design Award’s winners and even its participants are included in its annual award book and business network, while additionally contributing to their country’s overall design ranking that paints a holistic picture of how design-centric and design-forward each country is.

The A’ Design Award is currently accepting entries for the 2022 edition of the award program, so go ahead and give your work and career the push it deserves!

Here are some of our favorite Packaging Design winners from the A’ Design Award & Competition 2021. If you have a potential packaging design project that you think is worthy of an award, Click here to register & participate in the A’ Design Awards 2022. Hurry! The regular deadline ends on September 30th, 2021.

Nefer Perfume by Amr Ibrahim


Getting its name from the Egyptian word for beauty, the Nefer perfume bottle embodies sheer elegance on the inside and out. The bottle’s design is derived from the curved lines of the female figure, possibly as an ode to the ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti. It sports an incredibly intricate ornate exterior that could only be made through 3D printing, and while the exterior’s job is to captivate, a slim internal chamber holds the fragrant perfume within… like a beautiful soul within a beautiful body.

Zippo Constellation Packaging by Sunhwa Lee and Wenyuan Chen


I’m not one to buy lighters at all, but the best way to get me to buy a whole bunch of them is to arrange them in a packaging as alluring as this! The Zippo Constellation Box Set by Sunhwa Lee and Wenyuan Chen is a complete collection of 12 Zippo limited edition lighters with artwork depicting the 12 zodiac signs (also known as sun signs). The overall circular package has almost a cosmic-calendar-meets-ancient-sundial vibe to it, and it even lights up from the inside, bringing the constellation artwork in the center to life. The packaging is aimed at being a box set, although the designers envisioned that people would want to display it as a collectible too – which is why the circular box comes with a pop-out stand at the back. The lighters dock into the packaging via magnets, and can be popped out whenever you want to use or admire them. Only 100 such box sets are ever going to be made.

Regeneration Flower Tea Packaging by JieLong Wu and Lu Yi


This rather alluring box of teabags actually has more to it than you’d expect. Sure, it’s incredibly pretty to look at, and comes with 6 pyramid-shaped teabags… although the packaging’s also designed in a way to make discarding your teabag easier. Each individual teabag comes enclosed in a tetrahedral handmade paper box, and once you’ve opened the box, taken the bag out, and brewed your tea, you can put the used teabag back inside its paper box and discard it anywhere. Aside from being biodegradable, the handmade paper actually has flower seeds embedded between the paper fibers, and when introduced into soil, uses the tea leaves as fertilizer to grow. In the end, your discarded teabag ends up decomposing and becoming fertilizer for a flowering plant!

Fousu Sock Packing by GaoWei Xin


Modern anti-bacterial socks require modern-looking packaging! The Fousu socks come packaged in a rather sci-fi looking capsule made from recycled paper pulp. The pulp’s formed into the capsule shape using a set of molds (just like how an egg carton is made), although its overall design has a much better finish, which allows you to then print information onto the exterior. Designed to be discarded, each capsule comes with 3 pairs of rolled socks inside. I say discarded, but I’d probably just hold onto the box and use it to efficiently store my socks in the wardrobe!

Mingluye Baijiu Packaging by Wen Liu, Bo Zheng and Weijie Kang


While the alcoholic baijiu is often prepared using fermented sorghum, rice, or even wheat, Mingluye uses fermented mung beans, giving the traditional spirit a distinct flavor and aroma. The Mingluye bottle celebrates its origin by actually resembling the mung bean. The bottle’s overall shape and color bear a close resemblance to the bean, while the label on the front takes after the white germ of the sprouted mung bean! It’s an incredibly beautiful-looking bottle, isn’t it?

Alpine Ancient Trees Tea Packaging by Xiaobin Li, Xingguo Li and Shilin Huang


The Alpine Ancient Trees tea packaging pays respect to the hilly terrain on which tea plantations grow. The incredibly premium box set opens up to reveal two spherical packages of tea leaves nested inside mountains made out of corrugated paper. Once you take the spherical packages of tea out, the box can then be repurposed into a holder for tiny bonsai planters, giving it a new purpose and preventing it from going to waste.

This biodegradable material made from seaweed is used to make ‘disappearing’ plastic-free packaging!




Plastic is not biodegradable and is one of the biggest contributors to waste and pollution. Every year, 8 million tonnes of plastic are dumped in the oceans and has resulted in a desperate need to change our behavior when it comes to single-use plastic. Meet Notpla – a sustainable material made by a start-up that’s on a mission to make packaging disappear naturally. The innovative seaweed-based material is a biodegradable alternative to single-use plastic that is clogging up our pipes and our planet.

Notpla has created an evolutionary, biodegradable seaweed-based material that can be used to replace plastic cups and condiment sachets with this sustainable packaging solution. It can also be made into thin films or a coating for cardboard to create a wide range of products. “Consumers today are not just aware, but emotionally connected with the issue of plastic pollution. We joined its design engineers and backers to deliver the strategy, name, identity, and brand that would leave people in no doubt about its potential value in the world,” says the team.

Notpla’s products are geared towards cutting down on single-use plastic, giving consumer brands a significant advantage as audiences become more conscious about food packaging. It has been designed to be a simple, bold definition of who they are – not plastic, but a completely new material that is more than just a brand’s clever name.

notpla

The edible, biodegradable material is made from plants and brown seaweed – one of nature’s most renewable resources. It can be used directly to replace plastic cups at sporting events, festivals, and private parties, as well as sachets for condiments, and can be made into thin films or a coating for cardboard to create a wide range of products. It is durable and disappears without harming the environment.

Notpla was trialed in 2019 at the London Marathon with Lucozade and London Cocktail Week and since formed a partnership with Just Eat and Unilever to provide more sustainable food packaging, whilst creating a new and exciting experience for customers. Growing up to 1m per day, it doesn’t compete with food crops, doesn’t need fresh water or fertiliser and actively contributes to de-acidifying our oceans.

The products have featured at Virgin Money’s London Marathon and London Cocktail Week and the brand also has a partnership with Just Eat and Unilever. Conventional wisdom dictates that a brand should be defined by what it is, not what it isn’t. But when what it isn’t is one of the world’s biggest problems – plastics – that’s OK. (Particularly when what it is, is seaweed).

The minimal sachets make a big contribution toward cutting down on single-use plastic, giving consumer brands a significant advantage as audiences make more conscious choices about where and what they eat today. Notpla disintegrates naturally in 4-6 weeks – no micro-plastics, no waste for centuries. Unlike PLA, it is home compostable and doesn’t contaminate PET recycling. It is not too good to be true, it is actually true and you can shop the product here.

Designer: Superunion

The post This biodegradable material made from seaweed is used to make ‘disappearing’ plastic-free packaging! first appeared on Yanko Design.

This mindfully designed tape dispenser brings one-handed application to this useful stationery!

Won’t it be great to use a tape dispenser just one-handed without all the mess that ensues? This cool stationery does exactly that with its smart design.

A tape dispenser is a cool invention that looks simple but solves a very essential purpose that millions have utilized at some point in their life. But if you do want to be a little picky, tape dispensers also have their own set of shortcomings. First of all, you need to use both hands and the functionality similar to a glue gun or nail gun is longed for here. Secondly, no matter how hard you try, the fingerprint marks and contamination while removing the tape will always be a problem.

To add to this, the process of using tape from such dispensers is a bit long and won’t it be great if that is addressed? This is the O N tape dispenser by Fountain Studio, designed specifically to address all these issues while being aesthetically functional and good-looking. Most of all, it brings one-handed use to the good old tape dispenser, a feature that all of us will highly appreciate.

The design of O N is centered on the two holes at the bottom. The first hole keeps the tape bonded and pressed to the rubber pad for uninterrupted, continuous usability. The second hole has a button along the cutter sign to cut the tape off when required. This way, the user doesn’t have to bring the second hand into play which can be an irk at times with conventional tape dispensers.

Other than that the O N tape dispenser has a similar-looking tape refill dispenser that rolls along as the tape is used. To make it easy for the user, there is a hole in the body to check the amount of tape left.

Clearly, this is a very intelligently designed concept prototype that I’m wishing hits the market sooner rather than later. It is actually that good – bringing a very useful evolution to the tape dispenser that each one of you is going relish!

Designer: Fountain Studio

These 3D printed needle covers were designed to put children at ease during vaccinations!

Needles can be scary and I am saying that as an adult, so I can only imagine the fear children must feel. Post the pandemic, there is no choice but to face the fear of needles if you want to stay safe. To make it easier for children to conquer their fears, designer James Dickson created playful needle covers that can help make the entire process of getting vaccinations less daunting.

The children’s needle covers aim to reduce the fear of vaccination by hiding the needle within a form that a child is familiar with. Playful forms such as a plane or butterfly are universal, simple, and engaging for children. The medical professional can simply slide the cover over the needle and proceed with the vaccination. This is not just something that is meant for use during the pandemic but can be a continued use to administer medication through needles whenever required. This could brighten the day for many children who are patients in hospitals and have to stay for a while or even generally for those in the pediatric ward. Needle covers like these make the experience and atmosphere a little less dreary in all clinics and hospitals.

“For the prototyping of the Children’s Needle Covers, I opted for 3D printing with spray paint applied to give the desired color. This is not a final product but a prototype to show the intended form, function, and aesthetics of the Needle Covers,” says Dickson. He started with hand sketches, then moved onto creating small cardboard prototypes, followed by digital 3D modelling. After the CAD was finalized the design was 3D printed and spray painted. Medical professionals can even offer the cover to the child to take back home as a memento and after safely disposing the syringe. I vote for Dickson to create Avengers-themed needle covers next!

Designer: James Dickson

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