New York student won BillerudKorsnäs’ packaging design competition PIDA

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Emily Frieden from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York triumphed in USA Packaging Design Impact Award (PIDA) and earned this year’s Gold Award. Her entry “Lavash” impressed the jury most with its “attention to detail in every aspect of the brand, design, and execution.”

Lavash is a volcano-shaped package for a shower set. The design features all stages of volcanic activity – dormant, active, and extinct. Even the typography mimics volcanic eruptions.

“When I was researching different elements of nature I was really inspired by the juxtaposition of the restorative parts of volcanoes,” says Emily Frieden. “It’ s just cool, fun, nature. I thought there’ s a lot I can do there, how I can bring that experience to packaging. It was a lot of fun.”

At PIDA, design students from universities and colleges from seven countries compete with their creative packaging designs. The competition is organized as five separate events: the USA, Sweden, France/Belgium, the UK, China*, and Germany/Austria. The winners of the Gold Award at each event will meet in a Grand Finale at Luxe Pack Monaco in October.

Every year, the contestants get a new brief. At PIDA 2022 the title of the brief is “It’s a Wild Life”, encouraging the students to find inspiration in nature for their packaging concepts. As for Ms Frieden’s “Lavash” entry, the jury’s notes read: “…innovative, sustainable, user-friendly and beautifully designed and executed. We were impressed with the way the volcano theme was woven through each element of this product and package.”

More awards

Besides the PIDA Gold Award, three other prizes were presented – for innovation, user friendliness, and sustainability. The winners were selected by a jury of prominent industry professionals, who were amazed by the overall high quality level of the entries.

“We discussed and debated the entries and length before determining the winning team in each category,” says chairman of the jury Kate Stites.

The award for Highest Level of Innovation went to “Ch’I”, designed by Eliza Basel, Sophia DeCurtis, and Sophie Taylor of Clemson University, South Carolina. The jury was “impressed with the engineering and function of the box. It delivered a beautiful unboxing experience and looked fantastic both opened and closed. The graphic design and execution were beautiful.”

Emily Erickson, Catherine Chen, Van Nguyen, and Terrence Lu from Rutgers University, New Jersey, won the Highest Level of User Friendliness award. Their entry “With Grace” was praised by the jury for features such as “anti-counterfeiting, waste-reduction, brand reach, and accessibility for visually impaired shoppers.” 

The Highest Level of Sustainability prize was awarded to “S/HAVE”, a package design for a razor kit. The jury’s motivation read: “This entry worked to effectively raise awareness about ocean waste, find a meaningful use for reclaimed ocean plastics, provide end-of-product-life solutions, and promote gender equality.” The design team from Clemson University comprised of Nathan Kilcoyne, Charles Telling, Amanda Ricci, and Emily Lester.

A creative arena for the packaging community
BillerudKorsnäs, the company behind PIDA, arranges the competition in cooperation with leading universities and design colleges in Austria, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Sweden, the UK, and the USA. The competition gives the students an opportunity to work on a real packaging design project under the same conditions as an authentic assignment. It’s also an opportunity for design students to show their talent to established professionals who attend PIDA for ideas and inspiration.

“No wonder that many industry professionals see PIDA as the highlight of the year”, says Anders Gathu, Marketing Manager Cartonboard, BillerudKorsnäs. “It’s truly amazing to see so much thoughtful and creative packaging design and so much valuable talent. These are the designers of the future who will shape tomorrow’s brand perceptions, and we are proud of being part of the development of good packaging design. We are very much looking forward to the Grand Finale at Luxe Pack Monaco in October.”   

For more information, please contact:

Anders Gathu, Marketing Manager Cartonboard, BillerudKorsnäs: tel +46722433661

Lena Dahlberg, Manager Application Development Paperboard, BillerudKorsnäs tel +4658137438,

Louise Wileen Bjarke, Head of Press BillerudKorsnäs, +4672 210 35 14,

About PIDA
For the 17th consecutive year the international packaging design competition PIDA (Packaging Impact Design Award) is arranged by BillerudKorsnäs. Around 350 design students from Sweden, the USA, the UK, Germany, Austria, China*, France, and Belgium will participate in the competition. Regional winners will be selected in the following categories: Highest Level of Sustainability, Highest Level of Innovation, Highest Level of User Friendliness, and PIDA Gold Award. The competition aims to highlight young packaging designers, show trends, inspire others, and to demonstrate the endless possibilities of creative packaging. 

*Unfortunately PIDA China will be cancelled due to the Covid situation in Shanghai this year.

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