Since I’ve always been interested in the rules underlying the food industry, I’m specializing my studies in International Law, mainly in the fields of packaging, packaging design and labeling. A wide complex, extremely technical and constantly evolving world, closely related to the modern food economy. On December 14th, 2017, I was called for the first time to be a part of the jury of Olio Officina (2018 Le Forme dell’Olio Contest: Awards). I felt a little intimidated, both for the importance of the role assigned to me and for finding myself in a panel of judges composed by great experts.
That feeling disappeared in the moment we started working: 68 papers, 68 packs to observe, analyze, comment, discuss and evaluate. Given the quality of the content, packaging really makes the difference. The characteristics to never underrate are the functional suitability of the materials making up the packaging, the ergonomic and smart design, ease of repeated use, creativity, balance and contrasts, immediacy and completeness of the message on the label and of the package in general. To be more objective on my evaluation, I decided not to be misguided by first impressions. Therefore, I gave value to the following criteria: affinity between the packaging and its content, graphic technique and originality of the whole piece.
For each piece in contest, I asked myself which was the intended message from the company to be passed through the package, then specifically by its label - in terms of text, shape, colors, composition.
I also noticed that tradition is still prevailing, on materials and colors (heavy glass bottles and paper labels embellished with golden or metallic colors), shapes and fonts. The relevant information is mainly written in
the center of the label – the logos are beautiful and communicate values of the company efficiently. Though, sometimes these are difficult to remember, especially for my generation, more used to a fast communication counting more on images than on words.
The multipack of Evoleum, Oliveclub, really impressed me both for the originality of the project and for its versatility - this also thinking with a prospective of an online market. The surprise coming from a unique
pentagonal secondary packaging, decomposable into five triangular carton boxes, each one containing two bottles of 50 ml olive oil, from different producers and with distinct characteristics and origins. In addition to the mandatory information, I also valued the presence of tasting notes on the label, educating the consumer on the taste of the product and providing guidance on how to use it at its best. The labels on the bottles are clean, simple, distinctive and complete. A beautiful idea turned into in a rather successful project.
I was particularly impressed by the graphics of the Rea and Amphitrite labels by Pujje. The two packages with the same design, the first black and the second white. Simple but of great impact, with soft lines communicating clearly the necessary information - characterized by the large central text "Pujje", in the first pack white and in the other black. Here the letters of the diphthong "jj" are lighted up with an opaque gold, with an extension of the first “j” after the dot upwards until the beginning of the bottle’s neck: from my point of view to symbolize a drop of oil (gold) from the neck. The legal indications are shown on a tag tied with an elegant black ribbon and the "jj" logo in wax to the neck of the important and robust bottle.
Being part of the Olio Officina project and to cooperate in its realization has been a unique and interesting experience, both honorable and formative. Out of it, I realized that more can be done, research and innovate to improve: studying a specific plug for olive oil, for instance. I’m really curious to see how the commitment of participating companies is going to create more efficient products and winning solutions.
2018 Le Forme dell’Olio Contest: Awards
Photo by Massimiliano Bordignon