Introducing the Vertex Awards: the First International Private Brand Design Competition

Vertex awardsI am excited to announce that My Private Brand has partnered with our friend and colleague Phillip Russo and his magazine, Global Retail Brands, to launch the first of its kind international Private Brand design competition, the Vertex Awards.

Vertex: the highest point of something; apex or summit.

We chose the name because it exemplifies our vision for the competition and our hope for Private Brand. Our goal is to push the industry forward and set a new standard for the recognition of superior design and great retailer owned brands.

It is time to stop rewarding mediocrity and encourage greatness.

In conjunction with this, we are proud to have worked with the international design firm Pemberton & Whitefoord (P&W) to create the identity for the contest. Their work has created an aspirational tone and sets the standard for the competition.

The Vertex Awards are the only global competition devoted exclusively to the art of Private Brand package design. The competition is open to retail owned brands from every country in the world and all channels of trade. Retailers, agencies, consultants, graphic design firms, manufacturers and brokers are all welcome to submit their Private Brand entries.

For the inaugural competition, winners across more than 16 categories, as well as Best New Brand Design and Best Redesigned Brand, will be awarded a Gold, Silver, or Bronze award. The highest scoring project will receive a one-of-a-kind Best of Show award. A Publisher’s Choice award will also be handpicked by the two of us.

An esteemed panel of design experts from around the world will judge entries in 16 categories. Awards for Best New Brand Design, Best Redesigned Brand and Best In Show will also be given. Durham and Russo will hand select a recipient for the Publisher’s Choice award.

For a design to qualify, it must have been introduced in-store between November 2012 and November 2013. Points will be awarded for design, information architecture, originality, structure, and x-factor.

Awards are given based on a numeric score, so if five entries earn enough points to qualify at the gold level in a given category, all five will receive the Gold Award. Because it’s based on a standardized numeric score, it’s possible there will be multiple winners at a given level. If the minimum score for a Gold Award is achieved, a Gold will be given. The scoring system was developed to reward the best Private Brand package design in the world, not mediocrity.

Winning work will be honored in March on this website, the Vertex Awards website, in Global Retail Brands’ March print issue, on the Global Retail Brands‘ website. In addition, all winning entries will appear in a full color book on Amazon in the summer of 2014.

  • Best of Show & Publishers Choice will each receive the Vertex Award crystal, large tower trophy
  • Gold Winners, New Brand and Redesigned Brand will each receive a Vertex Award crystal, medium tower trophy
  • Silver & Bronze winners will receive Vertex Award certificates

You may enter any one of 16 individual categories and two overall brand categories: New Brand and Redesigned Brand. The cost is $95 per entry.

If you would like to support the awards and promote your business sponsorships are also available.


Contest categories are as follows:

G1. New Brand – this category is focused on new brand design and should demonstrate how the brand comes to life across a variety of products, structures and sizes. A photograph of a grouping of 3-7 packages must be included
G2. Redesigned Brand – this category is focused on brand redesign. A before and after photograph must be included.

P3. Clothing: clothing, shoes, underwear, hosiery, hats, etc.
P4. Health Care: OTC, pharmaceuticals, vitamins, optical, toilet paper, tissues, feminine hygiene, diapers, etc.
P5. Body Care: soaps, bath & shower products, deodorants, dental products, hair care, shaving, sun protection, hand and foot care, etc.
P6. Beauty: perfumes, cosmetics, make-up, etc.

G7. Fresh
G8. Packaged Goods
G9. Frozen
G10. Beverages: Alcoholic
G11. Beverages: Non-Alcoholic
G12. Pet Products: food and accessories

H13. Maintenance: detergents, cleaning products and utensils, batteries, light bulbs, etc.
H14. Home improvement: objects, accessories and decoration of the house, paintings, tools, DIY, gardening, etc.
H15. Electronics: Computers, cell phones, home audio and theater, accessories, etc.
H16. Office: pens, binders, paper, stationery, etc.
H17. Automobile products: additives, oils, car care, spare parts, etc.
H18. Entertainment: sport, music, photography, phones, games, toys, etc.



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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.