Ribbed for pleasure

The British Design & Art Direction Awards are amongst the most sought-after prize in the creative world. Every year design firms, advertising agencies and their craft suppliers submit work for consideration. It is judged in London by a coterie of some of the world's most successful creatives. Just getting into The Book is an accomplishment, let alone winning  a pencil (the iconic award).

I am rather reluctant to tell you that New Zealanders do exceptionally well ‘per head of population’. However clever Kiwis have done well in the past few years. And this one is no exception.

In Idealog's first issue we got all excited by the design of the new water brand launched by our friends at 42 Below (42 Belle Eau — possibly also the best headline we’ve printed). It seemed ribbed for pleasure and quite unlike any water bottle design I had ever seen before (a good thing).

It has been selected by the D&AD jury in London for inclusion in The Book and may go on to win an actual award. The team from The Wilderness design should be proud. (If I was them I would be proud of their name for goodness sakes).

The design is a fine example of out of the box thinking. It is world class. More importantly it is a beacon for other New Zealand manufacturers. In the 21st century the difference between one product and another is its story, the narrative. This product has a nil differentiator in absolute terms. How could anyone but a lab technician determine the actual, physical differences between one bottled water and another? Short answer — they can't. Anyone who tells you different will lie about other things as well. So the job of earning a premium (the brand difference) lies with the design — in this case — and performs the task with aplomb. It aplombs new heights.

So, congratulations are well deserved by The Wilderness. They will be revered in the annals of design. By being in the D&AD Annual they will also have the world beating a path to their door (no doubt looking for a design for a better mousetrap) — and that is good news for the New Zealand creative economy.