Greek olive oil packaging is taking on new creative designs. So much so that the Greek Graphic Design & Illustration Awards (EVGE) founded a brand new award category to honor the country’s graphic designers creating them.

According to Kathimerini, Greece’s major daily newspaper, Greek olive oil exports were up 24 percent in Germany and 67.5 percent in China. To make it in these markets and beyond, Greek companies are taking a closer look at their packaging and turning to design firms to help them market their products with success.

“In this time of crisis, Greeks need more income and more cash in hand. To do that they are looking to export. They are realizing that they need new visual identities that will keep their products stocked in foreign supermarkets and high-end gastronomic outlets,” Dimitri Fakinos told Olive Oil Times. Fakinos is the head of +design and the director of the annual AVGE awards. “There is a belief among Greek olive oil producers that their product packaging needs to a new look to make it abroad. In many cases they are approaching their branding for the first time.”

Demetrios  Fakinos

Fakinos says Greek designers have a unique challenge when presenting ideas to their clients. Overall, their packaging concepts need to convey that Greek olive oil is a product defined by purity and luxury.

During the annual awards held in Athens recently, graphic designer Katerina Xenou won the first prize for the design of Eleones Messinias extra virgin olive oil. Merit awards were given to Mousegraphics designers for St. Olive and Timion and G Design Studio for Oloveoil.

In May, two Greek companies, Moria Elea and Five, took the top honors for package design at the New York International Olive Oil Competition.

“Packaging is more than a way to transport and store products. When we design packaging for Greek olive oil we are adding another level of value to an already precious product, one that is important to our culture and even more so due to the current crisis,” said Fakinos.

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