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Design Bridge Shanghai celebrates its first award winning project – Starbucks Mooncakes

Yesterday we were at the ONEOF100 Summit in NYC; a gathering of 100 brand leaders to explore innovation, sustainability and design. Woven into the day of insightful talks and Q&A sessions were the 2019 PAC Global Leadership Awards announcements. This awards scheme is all about industry and peer recognition for excellence across all formats of packaging, branding and graphic design, with a particular focus on technical and sustainability issues, and Tom Gilbert, Executive Creative Director of our Shanghai Studio, was on this year’s jury.

Of course having not been able to judge his own team’s own work, Tom and the rest of us were delighted to discover that our Starbucks Mooncakes design scored very favourably amongst the other judges, so much so that it was awarded Best of Show for Brand Marketing! Luckily Kasia and Sam, Senior Vice President and Creative Director of our New York Studio, were on hand to collect the award, which will be shortly be winging its way across the Pacific to take pride of place in the Studio as the first creative award for Design Bridge Shanghai!


Here’s a look at the winning work, plus the story behind it…

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The Mid-Autumn Festival is an annual Chinese harvest celebration. Centred around the full moon, people traditionally come together to share mooncakes with their family and loved ones as part of the celebrations. Our challenge was to bring something new and exciting to the mooncakes market for Starbucks in China for the 2018 festival. It needed to disrupt tradition and appeal to a wider and younger audience in China, whilst remaining culturally relevant and true to the Starbucks brand.

It was the Chinese saying of “人月两团圆”, which translates to “The moon and the people are one”, that inspired our creative idea; bringing the moon, people and Starbucks together in one design to celebrate this festive time of year.

Our circular ‘wood-cut’ designs were inspired by intricate hand-carved wooden mooncake moulds, and they tessellate to make new circular patterns when the boxes are displayed side-by-side. To complement this we chose a striking, contemporary colour palette, ensuring that the Starbucks mooncakes would truly stand out from the crowd.



All of the elements of our bold new graphic identity and packaging system combine to symbolise the idea of people gathering together with their loved ones during the Mid-Autumn Festival, with the Starbucks brand at the heart of the celebration.




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