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Heineken Design Challenge Winners

The winning design looks to the future while representing Heineken's 140-year history

by Largetail in Design on 29 March 2012

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Selected from a pool of six finalists among more than 30,000 entries from 100 countries, design student Rodolfo Kusulas of Monterrey, Mexico and freelance designer Lee Dunford of Sydney took top honors in the Heineken Limited Edition Design Contest, and their winning design will be featured on the brand's 140th anniversary bottle. The judging panel was comprised of CH's own Evan Orensten, Mark Dytham of PechaKucha and Heineken's Head of Design Mark van Iterson.

To commemorate their 140th year, Heineken issued an open call for collaborative bottle designs on Facebook. There, Kusulas and Dunford connected to kick off their collaboration on a clean, energetic bottle design inspired by Heineken's rich history and incorporating the star logo. By representing the iconic red star as a Pangea-like conglomeration of land masses, Kusulas describes the idea of a shrinking world where "the continents are becoming compressed together. Long distance travel is achievable in shorter and shorter times, and our lives are lived out online. The future sees our planet condensed—just like the red star here."

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Though launched as a way to honor 140 years of history, Heineken took a decidedly modern approach to the milestone, bringing together perfect strangers like Kusulas and Dunford—not to mention the thousands of other entrants, and fans from across the globe tasked to vote on their favorites—through social media. "Open innovation and crowd-sourcing are hot topics, but there are only a few examples in which it delivered really successful concepts," says van Iterson. "This is a beautiful case to show that it can be very valuable to open up the opportunity for creative input from consumers all around the world."

"The standard of all three of the finalist designs was incredibly high—each of them could have been winners," says Dytham. But Orensten, in particular, was drawn to Kusulas and Dunford's scheme—"It's striking if you glance at it," he notes, "but if you take the time to really look at it to see what's going on it's a really considered and impressive design." The judges also felt Kusulas and Dunford best captured the spirit and heritage of the venerable beer with a design that also looks to the future. In that vein, their work will be featured as part of Heineken's 140 anniversary bottle pack to be sold worldwide from December 2012.

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