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A Sheffield Hallam University designed carry pack for cupcakes has taken a top prize at the UK Packaging Awards 2012.

Judges at the packaging industry showcase said the cupcake holder created by Design Futures for fellow Sheffield company Fancie broke the mould for innovation, declaring it Cartonboard Pack Of The Year 2012.

Design Futures, the University's in-house design consultancy and agency, created the cradle-style package after Fancie realised people were often purchasing cupcakes to eat on-the-go from its newly-opened Meadowhall store.

The team were challenged to create a pack for the product that would be easy for staff to assemble which would promote the brand and be intuitive for the consumer – as well as protecting the product.

Printed in just one colour and made from a single sheet of board, the pack wowed judges with one saying it was “stunning” and had “huge potential to expand into other categories”.

While cost-effectiveness of the pack was also a winning factor for the judges, the fact it had the magic combination of being “innovative, convenient and different” pushed it to the top.

Design Futures creative director John Kirkby said: "Our consultancy prides itself on working with local businesses to improve products and the Fancie cupcake holder combines intuitive design with a clear business need.

"This design is simple and can be easily assembled using just one sheet of cardboard. But it's deceptively skilful as well, combining Fancie's excellent branding and our design dexterity to make something that is truly innovative in the packaging world.

"To be a winner at the UK Packaging Awards is fantastic. The competition was very strong and included world leading packaging companies and brands. To win with a pack made for a local Sheffield company made it even sweeter."

Amanda Perry, director of Fancie, said: "I found working with Design Futures a pleasure and a valuable learning experience. Their knowledge of the industry, plus understanding of small business budgets meant that we were able to find solutions which are both practical and beautiful.

Peter Macqueen from Design Futures (in kilt)
Front shot
Back shot
John Kirkby of Design Futures
The Fancie winning design

Click to view the images

"Our packaging has become iconic in Sheffield and has helped grow our brand, neither of which could have been achieved without Design Futures' help.”

 Design Futures were also runners-up in the Best Repackaging of A Brand category for their work on The Tea Experience, while the five-person team were also shortlisted for Design Team of The Year.

Josh Brooks, editor of Packaging News, said: "Winning a UK Packaging Award is a great achievement and is proof of real innovation in terms of packaging design and use. Design Futures won in a particularly competitive category and I would like to congratulate the team on their victory."

The Packaging Awards, sponsored by leading industry title Packaging News, were held on Thursday night and saw more than 700 of the industry’s elite gather together at the prestigious London Hilton on Park Lane.

For press information and photographs contact:Laurie Harvey on 0114 225 2621 or email