With 951 entries from over 50 countries, this year’s Pentawards competition, the only international one exclusively dedicated to packaging design, has been tough, experts say. We asked Graham Shearsby, Group Creative Director at Design Bridge, award-winning agency which has scooped 4 Pentawards this year, about the award’s retrospective, criteria and the trends, driving the UK package design industry today.

The competition is open.

— The 5th edition of the Pentawards, the world’s major competition devoted exclusively to packaging design is open for entries from 4 April to 20 May 2011.

— Packaging designers, brand owners, packaging suppliers from the world over are invited to enter their best creations in more than 44 categories divided into 5 major sectors: Food – Beverages – Body — Other Markets – Luxury.

The highly prestigious Pentaward prize-giving ceremony (an annual event staged to give official recognition to the world’s best packaging designs) singled out the BETC design agency and its founder Chris Pradère this year for a silver Pentaward—presented for the priceless gift box specifically created for the Louis XIII Rare Cask cognac by Rémy Martin—as well as a bronze Pentaward given for the overall design approach adopted for the Amore Pacific laboratories’ luxury Korean brand, Sulwhasoo.

On September 30, dozens of Pentawards 2010 trophies were given out to well-known and emerging design agencies, which have been developing vivid packaging and visuals for products during the past year. The winning entries of 2010 as well as designs from 2009 and top works of 2008,  divided into five main categories—beverages, food, body, luxury, and other markets—were featured in “The Package Design Book” published by TASCHEN and presented that day.

International Design Consultancy P&W has enjoyed further success at the Pentawards this year. The consultancy’s range of Kids cereals for Tesco’s fast-growing US chain Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market has won a bronze Pentaward, presented at the official Pentawards ceremony at the Shanghai EXPO 2010. The three-strong range, Cookie Bites, Cocoa Sharks and Apple & Cinnamon Smiles, is designed to achieve cut-through in a category replete with bright colors, artificial flavors and cartoon characters, including well-known licenses such as The Flintstones, and TV «stars» such as Count Chocula.