The Pentawards Festival 2023 will explore design with a purpose

(Image credit: Pentawards)

The Pentawards Festival will be back in November to explore new influences in packaging design. The event will bring together creatives and big brands at London's Science Museum for a day of learning and networking on November 9.

Keynote speakers include the Austrian graphic designer Stefan Sagmeister, Thirdweb co-founder and podcast host Steven Bartlett and people from TikTok, Disney, Pantone, Patagonia. Topics will range from AI to engaging generation Z and responding to the cost of living crisis.


Networking at last year's Pentawards Festival (Image credit: Pentawards )

The theme for this year's Pentawards Festival is Design with Purpose. Attendees will be able to take part in workshops, talks and meet one-to-one with brands such as Carrefour, Puma and Microsoft. Speakers include TfL head of experience Hannah Kops, Pantone head of global key accounts Carola Seybold, Wired Magazine's senior innovation editor Jeremy White, Patagonia brand design manager Kris Keiller and Anita Kuit, branding & packaging EMEA / global product creation at Disney.

Attendees will be invited to put their creative talents to the test in an interactive pop-up in partnership with design innovation project Make a Mark. UPM Raflatac, James Cropper and O-I will showcase material and packaging innovations. There will also be a performance from visual artist Craig Black showcasing his Acrylic Fusion technique, which involves hand-pouring layers of acrylic paint to create artworks.

Throughout the day there will be multiple keynote sessions that will focus on Design with Purpose, exploring the following key themes: AI & the digital world, ESG & Sustainability, Engaging Gen-Z, the Cost of Living and Accessible Design. Each session will aim to leave attendees with three key takeaways to take back to office, share with their teams and implement in their next project.


The Pentawards features showcases of new products and material innovations (Image credit: Pentawards )

On the topic of this year's theme, Sagmeister said: “Put simply, design without purpose has no purpose! In order for something to be called ‘design’ it needs to have a function. In order for something to be called ‘good design’ it needs to be delightful. If it can be both of these things, it is satisfying for the designer and for the audience. Moreover, we all want to live meaningful lives. Creating projects with a purpose enables a life that makes sense. We must continue to promote long-term purpose and thinking.”

Kuit added: "As creatives we have an opportunity to create packaging that goes beyond its core purpose of protecting and selling a product. Packaging can be a canvas to deliver a brand's responsible values, whether this is offering a more sustainable material, an easy opening solution for added inclusivity, enhancing someone's mental state, or sharing a message of social responsibility. Purposeful design is design that connects with the consumer on an emotional level, that can change how they think, feel or act.”

Adam Ryan, the head of Pentawards, said: “For this year’s Festival we wanted to highlight packaging design that has a purpose. As a business we’ve been driving a push for more purposeful elements like sustainability and accessible design, so wanted to put the spotlight on these features whilst also exploring what some of the challenges are in integrating new audiences and technologies into developing packaging design with purpose. The variety of activities and talks throughout the day will give attendees a strong overview of these challenges, whilst embracing the good that our industry is doing”.

You can see more information and buy tickets at the Pentawards website. For more on packaging, see our roundup of inspiring packaging designs.

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.