PLBuyer’s Announces Design Excellence Awards

My Private Brand’s Christopher Durham (left), Michael Osborne Design’s Dennis Whalen (middle) and Todd Maute of CBX discuss the PLBuyer Design Excellence Awards contest.

The second year of trade magazine PLBuyer’s Design Excellence Awards brought in more than 100 submissions over 16 categories. In mid September I had the privilege to judge the contest along with Lindsey Hurr of Immotion Studios, Todd Maute of CBX, and Dennis Whalen of Michael Osborne Design.

Voting was based on the following attributes for each product’s packaging:
Shelf Impact: The product visually stands out on the shelf versus competitors or effectively borrows the equities of the national brand (if this was the intended design strategy).

Relevancy: The package design ‘speaks’ to the target shopper (e.g. mom) and consumer (e.g. kids, dad, etc.)

Benefit/Appeal: The package conveys the right purchase drivers for the category and/or quality tier. For example, appetite appeal (food), efficacy (OTC), strength (garbage bags), etc.

Quality Positioning – The design reflects the intended quality position. For example, value tier should not over-promise and premium should look premium, etc.

Aesthetic Acumen: The overall design is well thought out, demonstrating effective use of font, image, layout and color.

Retail finalists included:

  • Wegman’s
  • Rexall
  • Navarro Discount Pharmacy’s
  • Biggby Cafe
  • Fred’s
  • Walgreens
  • Shaws
  • Costco
  • Topco
  • Loblaws
  • Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Norgesgruppen
  • Walgreens
  • Lowe’s
  • Pharmaca
  • Acme
  • Jewel
  • Overwaitea Food Group
  • Tesco UK
  • The Fresh Market

Pick up this months issue of the magazine to see all the winners.



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Christopher Durham

Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan).

Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s.
Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago.

Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.