Students Rock to metal packaging

MPMA Competition

A striking gift pack for gin which brilliantly captures the colour, fun and nostalgia of seaside rock, landed Loughborough University Design student, Alfie Watson, the £500 top prize from The Metal Packaging Manufacturers Association in this year’s Starpack Students Competition organised by IoM3. 

Students were invited to design ‘a metal gift pack for a bottle of gin with related items’ reflecting the heritage, flavour and quality of the gin. Designed to be sold in retail outlets spanning duty free areas at airports; high end, high street stores; specialist drinks stores; and online shops of individual distilleries, students were asked to create a name, bottle label and, most importantly, the secondary metal pack with a demonstrable after use. 

“Alfie’s ‘Sweet Rock Gin’ design was the absolute standout entry of the category.  This pack had the immediate ‘wow’ factor all judges look for and was a refreshingly different yet practical design offering huge shelf impact,” said Robert Fell, CEO and Director, MPMA, who presented Alfie with his award at the virtual awards ceremony. 

“This pack could stand alongside any professionally designed specialty metal packaging container and had that vital reuse application that metal packaging’s promotional and speciality sector is renowned for,” he continued. 

In addition to his £500 cash prize, Alfie will also be invited, post lockdown, to The Crown Mansfield factory where promotional and giftware packs are designed and produced by Crown Aerosols and Promotional Packaging. 

The metals category of Starpack Students attracted 35 entries, nine of which were awarded Gold, Silver, Bronze or Highly Commended awards. The nine awards spanned students from three institutions – Loughborough University, Nottingham Trent and Plymouth High School for Girls. 

The 2022 brief is for a metal pack for a mobile phone and accessories, with a top prize of £600 on offer with runners-up cash prizes to be awarded at the judges’ discretion.  

To help students and tutors truly capture the essence of metal packaging and explain exactly what the judges look for, MPMA is now offering universities and colleges a bespoke, personal lecture/session on designing and manufacturing in metal. Any institution wishing to take up this offer should contact   

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