Here is the shortlist rounded up from the past year. 24 works with a range of different touches have been selected.

Some are refreshingly functional, others with a simple aesthetic, some sweet and endearing. Above all, all the selected packaging is in harmony with the contents within and improve our everyday lifestyles in their own manner.
Highlights from the judges' comments can be seen below.



ASKUL Multipaper   Client:  ASKUL Corporation  Design company:  Stockholm Design Lab  Creative Director:  Björn Kusoffsky  Art Direction & Design:  Fredrik Neppelberg, Julia Jax  Account Manager/Strategist:  Karin Blomberg

ASKUL Multipaper
Client: ASKUL Corporation
Design company: Stockholm Design Lab
Creative Director: Björn Kusoffsky
Art Direction & Design: Fredrik Neppelberg, Julia Jax
Account Manager/Strategist: Karin Blomberg

"Matching the packaging of the copy paper to its usage, turning it into fun patterns; creating massive “faces,” predicting that it will be stacked within the office. It excels in functionality as it allows users to understand their presence in an instant. Normally, nobody voluntarily exchanges the copy paper; yet, I felt that this changes a dull and tedious experience into something a little more enjoyable."
— Mutsumi Ajichi

Babaghuri Soap   Brand & Design:  Jurgen Lehl  Art Director:  Hideaki Matsuura

Babaghuri Soap
Brand & Design: Jurgen Lehl
Art Director: Hideaki Matsuura

It's simple, pure and elegant without overdone adornedness. The designer's art sense is high-ended and spiritual to communicate how a purity of package could be refined, different from most of other packages' similar appearance.
— Aaaron Nieh

Magic 1day Menicon Flat Pack   Client:  Menicon Co., Ltd  Design Company:  Dentsu Inc.   Creative Director:  Morihiro Harano  Art Director:  Yoshihiro Yagi  Designer:  Toshimitsu Tanaka, Ayano Higa

Magic 1day Menicon Flat Pack
Client: Menicon Co., Ltd
Design Company: Dentsu Inc. 
Creative Director: Morihiro Harano
Art Director: Yoshihiro Yagi
Designer: Toshimitsu Tanaka, Ayano Higa

This is an eye-catching yet functional product whose clever design solves multiple problems commonly faced by contact lens users. The visuals subtly hint at the process of opening up the pack. It also allows for multiple versions without getting repetitive.
— Rajesh Dahiya

Japanese sake "KOI"   Client:  Imayotsukasa Sake Brewery Co. Ltd.  Design Company:  BULLET Inc.   Art Director/Designer:  Aya Codama  Calligrapher:  Kasetsu  Project Director:  Masayuki Habuki  Project Manager:  Yosuke Tanaka  Printing company:  Yamaharu Glass Co. Ltd, Taiyo Printing Co. Ltd

Japanese sake "KOI"
Client: Imayotsukasa Sake Brewery Co. Ltd.
Design Company: BULLET Inc. 
Art Director/Designer: Aya Codama
Calligrapher: Kasetsu
Project Director: Masayuki Habuki
Project Manager: Yosuke Tanaka
Printing company: Yamaharu Glass Co. Ltd, Taiyo Printing Co. Ltd

Traditional Japanese aesthetics; the beauty of nature; the liveliness of celebrations ― the various contexts surrounding the Japanese sake are exquisitely sublimated by the metaphor of the Nishikigoi. 
In traditional Japanese words, beauty is expressed by 「匂う」(“niou," to smell). It certainly is ― a design that 「匂い立つ」("nioi tatsu,” a smell that envelops).
As production for Japanese sake is decreasing, it is a design that I increasingly wish to spread to the world to cheer up the industry.
— Eisuke Tachikawa

Changbai Mountain Mineral Water   Client:  Nongfu Spring  Design Company:  Horse  Designer:  Sarah Pidgeon, Ian Firth  Illustrator:  Natasha Searston  Production Manager:  Spencer Forster

Changbai Mountain Mineral Water
Client: Nongfu Spring
Design Company: Horse
Designer: Sarah Pidgeon, Ian Firth
Illustrator: Natasha Searston
Production Manager: Spencer Forster

Perfect bottle shape and graphic design! It can be communicated about new premium mineral water by presenting the story of unique source though illustration design on package that look elegant and amazing.
—Somchana Kangwarnjit

Kokeshi Match Series   Company:  Kokeshi Match Team  Designer:  Kumi Hirasaka, Akiko Yamada, Shinsuke Nishiumi

Kokeshi Match Series
Company: Kokeshi Match Team
Designer: Kumi Hirasaka, Akiko Yamada, Shinsuke Nishiumi

How can one resist such cuteness? The characters, the colors, the patterns, the words; all add up and make the series so rich, humorous, and warm, and charming.... It got my attention and made me smile. I've learned from experience that Japanese are very good at this genre, but this one – in conjunction with the reminiscent matchbox – does it so well and really stands out amongst its peers.
— Jessie Chen

Itamimai   Client:  ITAMI SANGYO Co., Ltd.   Design Company:  SAMURAI Co., Ltd.  Creative Director / Art Director:  Kashiwa Sato  Designer:  Gen Eto

Client: ITAMI SANGYO Co., Ltd. 
Design Company: SAMURAI Co., Ltd.
Creative Director / Art Director: Kashiwa Sato
Designer: Gen Eto

The project shows a great combination of functional and aesthetic considerations. The packages all exhibit a distinct identity, while still clearly demonstrating their relationship to each other and the parent brand. The ecological aspect adds great value.
— Rajesh Dahiya

RÊVEUR FRAÎCHEUR    Company & Design:  Japan Gateway

Company & Design: Japan Gateway

The functionality designed for this product/package is absolutely brilliant. The refill as part and frontal of the totality really distinguishes itself from the other brands in the market, therefore, makes it so memorable to the consumers. It’s also space saving and easy to operate, very user friendly.
— Jessie Chen

Have a Herbal Harvest   Design Company:  Cap Co., Ltd.  Designer:  Yui Ito, Azu Kimura

Have a Herbal Harvest
Design Company: Cap Co., Ltd.
Designer: Yui Ito, Azu Kimura

Ultimately, I think it's most beautiful when the packaging disappears without a trace; and with this project it's outstanding that it maximises the beauty of its inner contents with a design expression close to zero. It's design as it is.
— Eisuke Tachikawa

MOYO   Client:  FORWATEC JAPAN Inc.  Design Company:  DESIGN DESIGN Inc.  Designer:  Takeaki Shirai

Design Company: DESIGN DESIGN Inc.
Designer: Takeaki Shirai

People always desire to easily have a simple good looking toothbrush but what they can most easily get are always ugly ones from super market. Their package is also their content, and the boundary between outlook package and inner content seems blurry. Designer’s position today is not only someone handling the final package, but also in the initial plan of the product.
— Aaron Nieh

Shirokuma Rice   Client:  Shirokuma  Design Company:  frame  Art Director & Designer:  Ryuta Ishikawa  Copywriter:  Kyoko Nakagawa  Illustrator:  Msami Sakamoto

Shirokuma Rice
Client: Shirokuma
Design Company: frame
Art Director & Designer: Ryuta Ishikawa
Copywriter: Kyoko Nakagawa
Illustrator: Msami Sakamoto

A very simple design will put a smile on anybody’s face. 
I love this product because of its simplicity & it shows that the best designs do not have to be complicated, the right graphics, proportion and composition is sometimes enough
— Kelley Cheng

Flower Vase   Client:  D-BROS project, DRAFT Co., Ltd  Design company:  DRAFT Co., Ltd, KIGI Co., Ltd  Creative Director:  Satoru Miyata (DRAFT)  Art Director:  Ryosuke Uehara, Yoshie Watanabe (KIGI)  Designer:  Aya Iida (DRAFT)

Flower Vase
Client: D-BROS project, DRAFT Co., Ltd
Design company: DRAFT Co., Ltd, KIGI Co., Ltd
Creative Director: Satoru Miyata (DRAFT)
Art Director: Ryosuke Uehara, Yoshie Watanabe (KIGI)
Designer: Aya Iida (DRAFT)

The package design skillfully realizes the concept of the product. The product is designed in terms of the graphic designer in a unique 2D to 3D approach. The before-and-after of opening the package offers a delightful surprise. 
— Naoki Ito

Okomeokashi Sweets Aid   Company:  nogi  Creative Director:  Junko Chujo  Illustration:  Ichiro Yamaguchi

Okomeokashi Sweets Aid
Company: nogi
Creative Director: Junko Chujo
Illustration: Ichiro Yamaguchi

Sometimes one is attracted to a person or a thing without obvious reasons. Personally i find this packaging really delightful and it is so cute it puts a smile on my face. The character illustration, the material, the size, and the cookie shape that follows the hair of the characters, everything about this packaging will make one desire a packet of it, whether you are an adult or a kid.
— Kelley Cheng

The Roasters Coffee Beans   Client:  The Roasters  Design Company:  emuni  Art Director:  Masashi Murakami  Designer:  Masashi Murakami, Moe Shibata

The Roasters Coffee Beans
Client: The Roasters
Design Company: emuni
Art Director: Masashi Murakami
Designer: Masashi Murakami, Moe Shibata

The appearance of this design is very well connected to the product—coffee and its origin. The unique color schemes speak for high quality and the graphic elements bring so much energy to it. It also breaks the stereo type of its same kind, which I find very refreshing.
— Jessie Chen

Dinoplatz   Client name:  Too Cool For School  Design company:    Crosspoint Seoul - New York  Creative Director:  Young Ah Kim  Designer:  Dohyung Kim, Jayeon Chung  Illustrator:  Jee Hoon Stark aka Hatori Sando

Client name: Too Cool For School
Design company: Crosspoint Seoul - New York
Creative Director: Young Ah Kim
Designer: Dohyung Kim, Jayeon Chung
Illustrator: Jee Hoon Stark aka Hatori Sando

The designers forged ahead guns-blazing with a whimsical starting point (which the product allows for) and did an interesting job of customising the packaging according to each individual product. While doing so, they established a distinctive visual character, and several moments of delight and discovery on further engagement. All in all, comes across like a great client-designer collaboration. 
— Rajesh Dahiya

Drilling Lab   Design company:  Drilling Lab  Designer:  Lu-wei Chen

Drilling Lab
Design company: Drilling Lab
Designer: Lu-wei Chen

Simple realization with simple ideas. Affordable materials match the concept of the product itself.
— Naoki Ito

HAND CRAFT SPOON KIT   Client:  Asuka Koubou, Okawa Conserve  Design Company:  TETUSIN DESIGN OFFICE, Craft, Asuka koubou  Art Director & Package Designer:  Senzaki Takayuki  Manual Designer:  Goto Daiki

Client: Asuka Koubou, Okawa Conserve
Design Company: TETUSIN DESIGN OFFICE, Craft, Asuka koubou
Art Director & Package Designer: Senzaki Takayuki
Manual Designer: Goto Daiki

I think the idea is great to attract people wanna own it with some interaction from product and its package. Also, the product is the package itself, consumers could somehow really feel into and treat well what they've bought.
— Aaron Nieh

Monkaruta   Company:  Hokuseisha Co., Ltd  Creative Director:  Tadao Nakamura  Art Director & Designer:  Mikako Suwa

Company: Hokuseisha Co., Ltd
Creative Director: Tadao Nakamura
Art Director & Designer: Mikako Suwa

Beautiful color palette & graphics that reflects the Edo period, but the design takes it to a contemporary level that will appeal to audience of today.
Perfect as an educational kit & an object of beauty that anybody will love to have.
— Kelley Cheng

Yashinomi Detergent Premium Power   Client:  Saraya Co., Ltd.  Design Company:  Hers Design Inc.  Product Designer:  Chiaki Murata

Yashinomi Detergent Premium Power
Client: Saraya Co., Ltd.
Design Company: Hers Design Inc.
Product Designer: Chiaki Murata

Typically, refills are just refills. Something like a supporting role to the main product and its contents. This product overturns this notion, and by treating the refill as the main character ― ultimately succeeds. A design as different as this is difficult considering other products and the shops it will be sold in, and including internal decisions that would usually be made with other makers; it’s probably not easy to put this design out in the world. It think that as Saraya is a leader in the eco-detergent market, they make this perspective possible. A good example where the package stands as the extension of the company’s attitude. I’d really like more packaging like this.
— Mutsumi Ajichi

Airvase   Client:  KAMI NO KOUSAKUJO  Design Company:  TORAFU ARCHITECTS  Designers:  Koichi Suzuno, Shinya Kamuro  Package graphics:  TAKAIYAMA inc.

Designers: Koichi Suzuno, Shinya Kamuro
Package graphics: TAKAIYAMA inc.

I am still amazed at how clever this is. Very architectural, very innovative and very brilliant use of material. It is easy to design a nice graphic and put on a typical paper, but to innovate from scratch using a material that creates an end result of such beautiful and varied form is genius.
— Kelley Cheng

Marais Perle Piano Cake   Client:  Patisserie Perle  Design Company:  Latona Marketing Inc.  Designer:  Kazuaki Kawahara

Marais Perle Piano Cake
Client: Patisserie Perle
Design Company: Latona Marketing Inc.
Designer: Kazuaki Kawahara

This concept design can be represented gift box of "Happiness" for giving to your special person. It's wonderful packaging that resemble to piano, look beautiful harmony and classy.
— Somchana Kangwarnjit

Nameless Paints   Client:  KOKUYO Co., Ltd.  Art Director:  Yusuke Imai  Copywriter:  Ayami Moteki

Nameless Paints
Client: KOKUYO Co., Ltd.
Art Director: Yusuke Imai
Copywriter: Ayami Moteki

The packaging system shows experimentation with colour ratios and communicates the role of primary colours in forming a hue. Their graphic language of colour dots against a white tube helps communicate a strong product idea with simplicity. The idea encourages education and communication using a simple idea. 
— Rajesh Dahiya

FIREWORKS   Client:  method inc.   Design company:  EDING:POST  Creative Director:  Yu Yamada (method), Junji Murakami

Client: method inc. 
Design company: EDING:POST
Creative Director: Yu Yamada (method), Junji Murakami

"The fireworks themselves already present their charming looking as important materials for their package. Package cannot just satisfy consumers' senses but their contents now already become one of the most important key to catch people's eyes and minds"
— Aaron Nieh

WASARA   Client:  WASARA  Design Company:  SIMPLICITY  Creative Director:  Shinichiro Ogata  Producer:  Michiyo Tanabe

Client: WASARA
Design Company: SIMPLICITY
Creative Director: Shinichiro Ogata
Producer: Michiyo Tanabe

Wasara combines the minimal Japanese aesthetic with materials that can reduce environmental burden. The plates and cutlery are distinctive in form and feel. 
— Rajesh Dahiya