Luxe Pack Monaco opened on Tuesday (October 21) with 330 exhibitors—the same as 2007—and attendance resembling 2007 figures, too, according to Nathalie Grosdidier, the show’s deputy managing director. With attendance and exhibitors meeting expectations, the place to grow this year was in the number of conferences presented. With 30 topics—ranging from the practical (“Managing color in packaging design”) to the imaginative (“Luxury in all its splendor or the new eccentricities of the luxury industry”), the program had something for everyone.
A display titled EcoMaterio had as its goal to “express what is right as an idea regarding sustainability,” says Grosdidier. Arranged as a library of information on new materials, the insallation invited visitors to reflect on their notions about sustainability and the possibilities of available materials.
Trends Observer was designed to reflect packaging design practices displayed by the show’s exhibitors, with analysis by designers and design educators. The three trends observed and discussed were renaissance or rebirth, expressing the desire to return to a brand’s origins to take it into the future; double agent, a trend that finds brands communicating the traditional brand image while at the same time injecting decoration, unusual shapes and greater intensity into packaging; and grasp, an expression of the return of the tactile sense to luxury packaging.
Next year, says Grosdidier, organizers want to change everything, reinventing the conference offerings and bringing new inspiration and creativity to attendees. Next up on the Luxe Pack calendar is the Shanghai show, coming up March 17–18, 2009. According to Grosdidier, the Shanghai exhibition more closely resembles the organization’s New York event, featuring a smaller number of exhibitors—70 are signed on—of which half are from Asia and half are from Western Europe and the U.S. She said many design companies are interested in exhibiting there because they detect a lack of expertise in the region.
While in Monaco to present his annual panel discussion at the Luxe Pack conference, packaging designer Marc Rosen announced that 2009 will mark the 20th anniversary of the Art of Packaging dinner, held in support of his scholarship for graduate students at New York’s Pratt Institute. He said the anniversary event is a milestone that has him reflecting on the changing role of packaging design over the past 20 years. “The industry has a much better understanding of the element of packaging design in the mix,” he says, “what a key marketing component it is.”