Metro Canada & Pigeon Brands Launch Student Design Contest

Canadian grocer Metro and design firm, PIGEONBrands have partnered to offer design students in Ontario and Quebec, the opportunity of a lifetime – beyond the classroom – with a chance to design private brad packaging for Metro.

Just launched on September 24, the competition puts selected OCAD University and Collège Salette students to the test by inviting them to create new designs for Metro’s Vertex Award-winning private brand, Irresistibles.

Students will be judged based on criteria such as concept rationale, design, creativity, market understanding, and viability, as well as overall presentation. The winning designers will land a paid internship at the Toronto and Montreal PIGEON Brands offices and recognition for outstanding work in design. The second-place prize as well as a “Student’s Choice Award,” decided on by the student-faculty, will be awarded by Metro.

The judging panel will include experts from Pigeon, Metro, the participating schools and Christopher Durham, President, My Private Brand, and Co-founder of the prestigious Vertex Awards.

“We’re excited to meet the design leaders of the future while giving them the chance to gain real-world experience on a project for a massive Canadian retailer,” says Thomas Pigeon, CEO, and Founder of PIGEON Brands. “We want to foster creative minds and help students get familiar with the industry they’re working towards being a part of.”

This joint initiative from PIGEON and Metro rapidly gained traction with the partners as it connected two leading schools, expertise from a recognized agency team, and a great client.

“The design students will be able to explore the very dynamic industry of private brands, a segment that is experiencing amazing growth, linked with the appreciation of young generations and our velocity to understand and integrate new consumers’ needs. At Metro, we are committed to turning our own products into distinctive brands. We love the idea of connecting with the next generation, giving them the opportunity to showcase their creativity,” notes Marie Horodecki-Aymes, Director, Design & Packaging at Metro.

The winners will be announced by year-end with an award ceremony at each school celebrating their efforts.

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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.