Award is perfectly packaged for University designers

16th November 2015

Sheffield Hallam University's in-house design agency has added the coveted Design Team Of The Year award to its trophy cabinet at this year's UK Packaging Awards.

Design Futures won the accolade - the first time it has won the top industry award - at a star-studded event at London's Grosvenor Hotel, with senior designer Peter Macqueen picking up the gong from comedian Simon Evans and Packaging News editor Phil Chadwick. Judges were impressed by Design Futures' inclusive and multidisciplinary approach, saying it applied different perspectives to solve problems and exploit opportunities for its clients which include both large multinationals and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Based at the Cantor Building since 2007, the agency has developed compelling packaging for clients including Gordon Rhodes, the Little Valley Brewery company and Sheffield's Street Food Chef. It has worked for a wide range of major names including manufacturers and converters, BillerudKorsnas, Paragon and Rexam, product manufacturers including Greencore and Mondelez and retailers Tescos and Marks & Spencer, developing a reputation for using environmentally-friendly and innovative packaging solutions. Creative director John Kirkby said: "I am particularly pleased with this award as it recognises the contribution of everyone in the team and it is this inclusive ethos that informs all our work. "Our team is carefully constructed of creative packaging professionals who have all the required specific skills needed to complete structural packaging design projects. We have a materials specialist and a design for production specialist as well as creatives and researchers who focus on user and visual impact. "The projects we have completed this year cover a wide range of packaging skills. We have provided insight and concept work for the major retailers and brand owners, development work for material producers and have seen a large number of packaging projects make it through to the shop floor. "Our work with Marks & Spencer on their toy packaging was a particular thrill due to its enhanced user experience and the introduction of a more environmentally responsible material." One of the award judges said on the night: "They have a fantastic range of designs which were just a delight to see and review. "They had some very clever ideas, all very well thought out and making supplier and consumer life simpler." Judges said the consultancy continues to use innovative design skills with world leading ergonomic analysis including bespoke measurement devices and motion capture technology. Staff in Design Futures also work on the UK's only masters degree in Packaging Design, while Sheffield Hallam University has a rich history in bringing the next generation of designers to industry. Design Futures currently employ a masters student at their agency headquarters in Arundel Street. For press information: Laurie Harvey in the Sheffield Hallam University press office on 0114 225 2621 or email

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