ACEA (Action Collaborative pour les Exportations Artisanales) is a project made possible by the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia, implemented by FHI 360 (a U.S.-based NGO), and in partnership with the National Office for Handicrafts (ONAT). It aims to strengthen the Medicinal and Aromatic Plant (MAP) value chain in the Northwest of Tunisia by developing exports of its artisanal products. These products range from dried plants to essential oils, as well as cosmetics enriched with said oils.

International markets being highly competitive; packaging that not only fits their strict security and hygiene demands – but also looks unique and attractive – is essential. The origin of these herbs and cosmetics should ideally be highlighted at first sight, to create a visual identity that will introduce the stories behind the final goods and become a marketing tool. Thus, ACEA would like to valorize these high-quality products with a visible touch of Tunisian history and craftsmanship on the bottles and boxes. Ideally, local materials such as cork, hammered copper and halfa would be present in these creations.

To achieve these goals, ACEA has launched a national packaging design competition in collaboration with PackTec (the conditioning and packaging center in Tunisia), called PAM PACK AWARDS 2019. This contest is open to all designers in Tunisia, whether they be established agencies or young freelancers, the only pre-requirement being an undergraduate degree in design. Candidates who win a prize must be willing to give their design and intellectual property rights to ACEA, who will give them to its artisan partners.

Candidates have a choice to participate in one of two product lines: basic or high-end. Basic is defined here as an everyday product that is fairly affordable. High-end entails a more elaborate design, more expensive materials and a packaging that is perhaps re-usable. Eco-friendliness and cost-consciousness of the designs are a plus for both lines. Those who choose to participate in both lines (basic and high-end) will have twice as many chances of winning.

In each line, designers will have to create containers for: essential oils (10ml), massage oils (100ml), creams (100ml) and a bar of soap. Also in each line, participants have to create a way to sell these products together as a set, in a giftbox for example. For extra points, designers may also create: a diffuser and/or storage box for essential oils, and/or a container for dried herbs (100g).

Participants should apply online and bring prototypes of their designs to PackTec (where they will receive a receipt). In the event that prototypes cannot be made in time, participants are required to supply detailed 3D models of their designs with all necessary specifications (materials, dimensions et cetera) with their application, as well as a sample of the materials used, if possible.

Applications are open until June 10th at 5pm. For more information and to access the full competition rules and regulations, please visit ACEA’s website.