First article in a two-part series

By David Orgel

The Vertex Award is the Oscars of Retailer-owned Brand (Private Brand) packaging design, and it’s front and center this week.

We’re announcing the winners of the 10th annual Vertex Awards this week and celebrating the program’s anniversary.

Here is the schedule for the 2023 award winner announcements: 

  • Monday (May 22): Bronze
  • Tuesday: Silver
  • Wednesday: Gold
  • Thursday: Publishers Choice and Agency of the Year 
  • Friday: Retailer of the Year and Best of Show


The award program began with an unmet need a decade ago. The Retailer-owned Brand (Private Brand) industry needed a platform for recognizing the acceleration of its stunning design, innovation, and excellence. Private Brands were evolving into true brands and their design advances needed to be showcased.

Enter the Vertex Awards program, launched to help define best-in-class design across retail sectors in the U.S. and globally.

“The Awards have captured the talent of designers and the strong commitments of their retail organizations,” said Christopher Durham, President of Velocity Institute, who co-founded the awards with Phil Russo, Publisher, Global Retail Brands magazine.

Over the last decade, the program has presented more than 1,000 trophies to over 125 retailers and 82 agencies from 63 countries worldwide. The momentum has continued even through a pandemic, a recession, and inflation and supply chain challenges.

“Private Brand packaging design is crucial for signaling quality and innovation to consumers,” said Russo. “The Vertex awards have underscored the highly creative ways retailers are approaching design.”

The tenth anniversary of the Vertex Awards is an opportunity to celebrate highlights from the past decade and consider what’s ahead.


10th-anniversary celebrations accompanied this year’s Vertex Awards presentations in the U.S. and Europe. The celebrations took place May 17 at the Velocity conference in Charlotte, N.C., and May 22 in Amsterdam, coinciding with PLMA’s annual “World of Private Label” International Trade Show in that city.

The Vertex Awards debuted new branding to accompany the 10th anniversary year, with its website and trophies refreshed to display the new look.


The Vertex Awards is the only global competition devoted exclusively to the art of Private Brand package design.

Companies enter in a wide range of categories based on products or type of private brand (such as new brand, redesigned brand, etc.) Winners in each category are awarded a gold, silver, or bronze Award, and the highest-scoring entry in the entire competition receives a “Best of Show” award. Other honors are for “Publisher’s Choice,” “Agency of the Year,” and “Retailer of the Year” (the latter two for companies with the most points in entry wins).

The Vertex Awards jury is comprised of highly respected and experienced branding and package design professionals, handpicked from the retail, Private Brands and design industries around the world. The awards are judged on creativity, marketability and innovation.


The reach and scale of the award program has grown over the years. The first one, in 2013, featured 93 entries from 21 retailers in 15 countries. This year’s program included has more than 600 entries from 79 retailers in 53 countries.

Some of the most frequently winning retailers over the years include Whole Foods, Woolworths, El Corte Ingles, Jumbo and 7-Eleven


Recent design leaps in Retailer-owned Brands are likely just the start of bigger things ahead, Durham and Russo predicted.

“Private Brand will be the leader and the national brands will be the followers,” said Durham. “It’s already starting to happen.”

Added Russo, “The impact of private brands will keep growing and it will bring new competitive advantages to retailers.”

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