At the opening of the European Label Forum 2022 in Baveno (IT), FINAT presented the winners of the #LABELicious competition 2022. This 3rd edition of #LABELicious (or #L in short) proved to be a continuous opportunity to strengthen the relationship between future talents for the label industry and the current active professionals in the field. During the conference, the theme of future workforce development was addressed at multiple occasions, concluding that the innovative label and packaging sector is a work environment that suits most, if not all, considerations of generations that enter the workforce in the near future.
The brief of the 2022 edition, challenged young talents (between the age of 18 and 25) to design a label for the fictitious company HUMANDATE. The company name is a contraction of the words Human and Mandate. The company uses the mandate given by people and planet to develop beautiful and relevant brands. Their new brand is Genergise, again a contraction of two words: Generation and Energise. Genergise aims to develop health and wellness products to make consumers aged over 60 feel like being under 30. A true challenge for young designers, to develop a brand experience and label for the generation of their parents and grandparents.
In addition to the trophy for the overall winner, separate awards were announced for best performance in design, smart labelling and sustainability. The Jury, all professionals actively working at national associations in Europe, trade media, and (inter)national companies across the entire value chain of the label industry, selected the following three winners from the nearly 100 completed registrations: Design: Gwen Calvo Suárez (Spain); Smart Labels: Jorge Casterad (Spain); Sustainability: Alessandro Tomaghelli (Italy).
Jorge Casterad, was also announced as the overall winner. Jury comments for his design and solution mentioned: “A true innovation attempt.”, “Clever minimalistic design and innovative idea of building in thermal ink to check skin condition.” All three winners had the opportunity to attend the European Label Forum, before returning home with their trophies and prizes. They all expressed how they appreciated both the conference programme and the welcoming human atmosphere during the conference. As one of them stated: “ I can’t wait to join the industry after finishing my study!”
As the industry innovates, the need for young generation professionals with both traditional graphic skills and new digital skills is growing. In the past editions of FINAT’s RADAR market report, respondents from the entire industry in all countries in Europe, place future workforce challenges in their top-5 priorities.
As FINAT President Philippe Voet phrased it “Trade associations like FINAT build a bridge between the past and future by tackling current challenges together. With the structural downturn of commercial printing, the market for young professionals graduating from dedicated printing and packaging schools and universities has become tight. And with the advancement of the digital technology sector the competition in the search for talent has increased. On the other hand, the label sector, with its heritage of purposeful family entrepreneurship, its track record of innovation and rapid digitisation has a lot to offer to the next generation. The purpose of our #LABELicious campaign is to build the bridge with the education field around Europe to tap into that talent pool.”
The broad backing of the #LABELicious initiative by industry partners and sponsors, shows its importance. FINAT plans to intensify the project to build even stronger relationships between students, education networks and companies in the industry. The 2023 edition will be announced just before the end of summer, to allow schools across Europe to include it in their curriculum.