Innovative designs receive Can Makers Accolade

Three striking new designs have been recognised in the bi-annual Can Makers Accolades programme.

Gen!us India Pale Ale, Au Vodka and Happy Drinks all received a Can Makers Accolade, in recognition of the bold, contemporary and innovative designs which will help the brands to cement their premium position in the market.

Three other can designs were also highly commended by the Can Makers judging panel. These included: Havana Club Cuban Spiced & Cola, Greene King Level Head and Flint Eye, and Punchy Drinks’ sophisticated range of low calorie and vegan friendly soft drinks.

Created to recognise excellence in design across all market segments, individual designs are judged against set criteria which include graphic design, shelf standout, product range coordination, technical innovation and the quality of finish as well as the use of value-added inks. 

The designs selected to receive an Accolade, are agreed upon by an independent panel which includes design and print experts from the Can Makers’ committee, including representatives from Ardagh, Ball and Crown.

Simon Gresty, Can Makers chairman, said: “As the can is adopted by an increasingly wide variety of brands either launching exclusively in cans or offering consumers a new format, the market has never been so competitive. The Can Makers Accolades were launched to celebrate excellence in design and recognise its vital role in helping brands to differentiate and drive growth.”

Jason Clarke, Genius Brewing co-founder and creative director, said: “Launching Gen!us IPA was a big moment for the business. As our second product and our first craft ale, we had to create a can that could stand alongside our striking craft lager can.

“The Gen!us brand is aimed at quality and health-conscious ‘grown ups’ so the Gen!us IPA can had to be eye-catching yet subtle, elegant yet distinctive. We chose to invert the blue-on-gold of our craft lager can while mirroring its core brand elements including the logo and 3% laurel. In a craft beer segment awash with garish colours and visual gimmicks, we’re delighted to see our vision delivered in the unique, stylish Gen!us IPA can.”

Charlie Craig, Genius Brewing co-founder and operations director, commented: “From its launch in 2018, Genius Brewing was the first UK craft brand to put calories and alcohol units on the front of the can. We’re also very proud to carry the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation logo and that of the Vegan Society.

“Combining these with our key brand elements while avoiding visual clutter was at the heart of the design challenge. To have our Gen!us IPA can recognised with an Accolade is testament to our talented design team.”

Gresty added: “It is particularly satisfying to see how the extremely high standard of design that now features on so many cans in all market segments is also helping brands to elevate their products and showcase the premium quality of their drinks. It was also interesting to note how many of the brands considered for an Accolade, clearly demonstrated their understanding of the substrate and the can’s unique properties, using this knowledge to great effect, often with minimalist but technically detailed and striking designs.

“Perhaps most importantly, the continued growth of the canned beverage market and the investment that brands are making in design for this format, is testament to the can’s environmental credentials and the fact that the can is a modern, sustainable packaging format, ideally suited to circular economy.”

The Accolades will continue to be awarded on a bi-annual basis in 2023, with the judging panel set to meet again in the Spring.

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