We were invited to the Design Effectiveness Awards last week, here we recap some of the evening’s success stories – including one of our own!

As sponsors of the Design Business Association’s Design Effectiveness Awards, The Big Picture team were invited to the annual ceremony held last Thursday at Tobacco Dock in east London. The event is attended by the crème-de-la-crème of design and branding. So we went along suited-and-booted and eager to see the wealth of talent nominated.

A Design Effectiveness Award is an accolade that we value highly; it celebrates design that’s not only great to look at but that also succeeds in its commercial objective. This is design at its most powerful. As Deborah Dawton, CEO of the Design Business Association rightly said in her opening speech, it’s about acknowledging design as an enabler and a solution to strategic challenges. As design researchers, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we endorsed a design that looked great but failed to deliver on strategic aims.

The Design Effectiveness Awards have been going for 25 years now

Over the evening, sixty-nine Design Effectiveness Awards were given out across nineteen categories.

We are very proud to have been part of the Plymouth Gin redesign, which won a Gold award in branded drink packaging. Working with the brand in 2009, The Big Picture oversaw two stages of research to explore a number of potential structural and graphic design routes for the brand. With our recommended optimisations, we guided the Design Bridge and Pernod Ricard team to the award-winning pack, which taps into its rich history (without feeling old-fashioned) and feels worthy of a move to its super-premium marketing positioning and accompanying price point. The figures speak for themselves in terms of design effectiveness; since the design was rolled out, sales have exceeded expectations by 62% globally and 335% in the UK. Check out our case study on the project for more.

A revolutionary design change, from the oldest pack (left) then returning more to its roots in the new (right)

Also, big congratulations to BrandOpus and Twinings (who we frequently work with) for winning three awards within the branded drink packaging category. Three trophies out of a total of eleven, that’s damn good going!

BrandOpus and Twinings won three awards for Twinings Green Tea, Infusions and Whole Leaf Silky Pyramids

Our own Su Abeysuriya handed the Gold award in branded food packaging to two jointly deserving winners; Elmwood with Gressingham Foods for the Gressingham Duck redesign and Together Design with Eat 17 for the Eat 17 Bacon Jam pack.

Su presenting Together Design with their Gold award for Eat 17’s Bacon Jam

Elmwood’s design achieves fantastic impact through the black colourway, and has a great personality portrayed in the logo – a G that reveals the head of a duck in its negative space. Far from just a visually striking design, sales of Gressingham Duck increased by 47% after the revamp, achieving the sought-after authority Elmwood was briefed to establish.

The Gressingham Duck packaging won Gold for Elmwood

Eat 17’s journey has seen a complete image overhaul of the Bacon Jam product, thanks to Together Design’s identity; from a humble burger topping in their Walthamstow-based bistro to featuring in Stylist magazine and Vogue’s gift idea editorials ­­– Sarah Jessica Parker even permitted Jonathon Ross to spoon-feed her Bacon Jam on his show. Now selling in supermarkets and delis across the country, the partnership can boast a 250% uplift in sales in the 10 months following the launch.

From Walthamstow to Vogue; a surprising journey for Eat 17’s Bacon Jam

Of course we can’t finish a post on the awards without mentioning B&B Studio and Urban Fresh Food who took home the Grand Prix for the BEAR brand. Another story that started from humble beginnings only four years ago and has achieved fantastic growth in sales, leading to the healthy snacks now sitting on the shelves of 10,000 stores compared to 500 three years previous.

B&B Studio’s work for BEAR took home the Grand Prix award

Well done to all who took home an award on the evening. You can read full case studies for all the winners on the website. It’s a truly shining collection of work that demonstrates the commercial power of design.