Pentawards Festival 2023 Highlights

Pentawards Festival 2023 Highlights


Here are the key highlights from the Pentawards Festival 2023, exploring the theme ‘Design with Purpose’ featuring a fireside chat with Steven Barlett and top packaging and design experts from companies like Sagmeister Inc, TfL, Coca-Cola, WIRED, TikTok, Unilever, Pantone and more

Here are the key highlights from the Pentawards Festival 2023, exploring the theme ‘Design with Purpose’ featuring a fireside chat with Steven Barlett and top packaging and design experts from companies like Sagmeister Inc, TfL, Coca-Cola, WIRED, TikTok, Unilever, Pantone and more

This year, the Pentawards Festival was packed with a line-up of world-class industry experts sharing their expertise on the theme ‘Design with Purpose’. The festival showcased cross-industry inspirational sessions from design experts within and outside the packaging industry. These included design, entrepreneurship, automotive, and sustainability featuring speakers such as Steven Barlett and Stefan Sagmesiter with added networking opportunities with brands like Coca-Cola, Patagonia, PANTONE, TikTok, WIRED, and Unilever to name a few.

Speakers explored these topics through fireside chats, keynote speeches, discussions and workshops. This year's festival boasted a lineup of exciting additions, such as Meet the Brands, engaging Flight Gallery Talks, the innovative "Mark a Mark" initiative, and captivating performance artists who celebrated design. These changes contributed to a vibrant atmosphere creating valuable opportunities for learning, networking, and celebrating design.

Design with Purpose

At the Festival, speakers from Patagonia, Pantone, WIRED, and Unilever illuminated the theme of 'Design with Purpose' through compelling talks. The sessions were thoughtfully divided into sub-themes, aiming to guide attendees through the industry's current challenges, innovative solutions, and the profound impact of purpose-driven design.

- Fire Side Chat with Steven Bartlett

- Beautiful Numbers, Stefan Sagmeister, Graphic Designer at Sagmeister Inc

Fire Side Chat with Steven Bartlett hosted by Reuben Christian

Stefan Sagmeister presenting his talk on Beautiful Numbers

Engaging Gen Z

Oksana Valentelis, TikTok 

-The Purpose of Joyful Collaboration & Engaging Gen Z, Oksana Valentelis, Creative Director at TikTok

AI and the Digital World

- Generative AI and Competitive Advantage, Jeremy White, Senior Innovation Editor at WIRED

- A Colourful Metaverse: Exploring the Relationship of Color between Virtual Worlds and Reality, Carola Seybold Head of Global Key Accounts at Pantone

Accessible Design

- Making Our Packaging Fully Accessible for the First Time, Mario Dughi, Digital Marketing & Design Director & Sarah Masters, Digital & eCommerce Director at Unilever

Adapting To The Cost Of Living

Hanna Kops, TfL

- Designing for Everyone, Hanna Kops, Head of Experience at Transport For London

Sustainability & ESG

- Sustainability through Design: Reduce, reuse, and recycle the visual universe, Rafael Florián & Rebecca McCowan, Design Leads at Coca-Cola

- Responsible Design for Business Unusual, Kris Keiller, Brand Design Manager at Patagonia

Flight Gallery Talks

The Flight Gallery Talks was a dynamic addition to the Festival this year. Hosted by industry leaders like Pearlfisher, Design Bridge, SenseCatch, and others, these short and engaging sessions delved into crucial topics such as sustainability, Gen Z, AI, and inclusivity.

Suzy Shelley, Pearlfisher at the Flight Gallery Talks

- The Brand Journey to Sustainability: Making massive progress through marginal gains, Suzy Shelley, Sustainability and Materials Lead at Pearlfisher

- It's a gamers' world - how brands can cut through the noise and show up authentically with the gaming Gen Z consumer, Ben Thrasher, Strategy Director at Design Bridge & Partners, Lee Barnsley, Global Design Officer at Reckitt Health & Selin Clayton, Trend & Research Analyst at Design Bridge & Partners

- Neuromarketing meets the art of labelling, Giulia Songa, CEO and founder at SenseCatch & Stefano Pistoni, Senior Business Development Manager at UPM Raflatac

- AI: The Last Big Thing, Evelio Mattos, Host of Packaging Unboxd podcast & Creative Director at

- Creating inclusive working spaces for team members with health conditions or impairments, Liv Beresford-Evans, Brand and Culture Manager at Taxi Studio

Meet the Brands

Luke Li, PUMA’s Associate Creative Director at the Meet the Brands area

At 'Meet the Brands,' attendees seized an exclusive opportunity to have 1-1 meetings with design representatives from leading international brands such as Coca-Cola, PUMA, Haleon, PepsiCo, Nestle, Unilever, and Carrefour. These sessions provided a forum for in-depth discussions on potential partnerships, collaborative ventures, guidance on ideas or challenges, and a deeper exploration into the unique designs and offerings of participating brands.

Workshops & Performance

Mark a Mark

Mark a Mark stand at the Festival

In partnership with Make a Mark at the Pentawards Playground, guests unleashed their creativity in the hands-on pop-up. Attendees transformed ideas into tangible products that were displayed on their shelves.

Performance Artist, Craig Black

Craig Black performing his signature 'acrylic fusion' on the Pentawards trophy

Attendees enjoyed a mesmerizing live performance by Scottish artist Craig Black, known for his unique 'Acrylic Fusion' art. From FIFA to the NBA, his past collaborations hint at the excitement that was carried over to the Pentawards Festival where he performed on large spheres and a Pentawards Trophy.

People’s Choice

People's Choice voting at the Festival

Pentawards attendees got a chance to be their judges by choosing their favourite pack. And, this year’s People’s Choice Award was given to Honeysty by Supperstudio getting the most amount of votes.

Find out more here.

Networking & Celebrations

The Pentawards Festival 2023 ended with networking and a celebration of people in design coming together to learn, create and network.

Stay tuned for more information on the next upcoming event, the Pentawards Competition 2024.