Mutti Takes Home Best In Show Award From The 2018 Dieline Awards

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By: Theresa Christine

Make room in your kitchen cupboards—or better yet, the counter itself—for The Dieline Awards 2018 Best of Show Winner, Mutti.

“We wanted this product to represent the high value of the Italian product,” explained Giovanni Stillittano, Designer at Auge Design. He, along with Creative Director & Designer Davide Mosconi, designed something simple, fresh, and without any of the typical Italian food stereotypes in sight.

Mutti is already an established brand in Italy, and for this limited edition packaging Davide said he wanted to create a new point of view for them. “They are great people with great passion—brave and open-minded,” he mentioned, “so it was easy to work with them.”

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All of the products in the Mutti line have a certain look, Davide and Giovanni wanted to elevate the design to a new aesthetic. They were less concerned about taking a mass-market approach and instead wanted to create something consumers wouldn’t only want to buy, but something they’d want to collect.

“We took a traditional approach with a big logo and simple typography,” explained Davide. “They needed something memorable since they were selected by FICO Eataly World in Bologna to be the one and only ambassador of the tomato industry. They wanted six limited edition items that looked iconic—and ultimately, Italian.”

Auge Design took extra care not to fall into the cliches of plastering an Italian flag or a mustachioed chef on the packaging. “Our country is much more than just Italian tradition—it’s also art and culture, and food is a strong, proud part of that culture,” Davide explained. “So we tried to create something simple that would express the luxury of a quality Italian food.”

Creating Mutti’s high-end appeal wasn’t easy, either. Davide mentioned the cans especially posed a problem during the production process, resulting in some trials and errors.

“The pulp in the can is a fresh product,” he said, “and in only 24 hours they take the tomato and transform it into a pulp. And then the pulp cooks in the can itself. Since the cooking process changes the colors on the can, we had to consider this.”

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Mutti’s simplicity also speaks volumes to its luxury side. “That was a real challenge,” Davide continued. “The ‘less is more’ approach.” While the client initially wanted to put more information on the packaging, Auge Design convinced them to keep things minimal with only the most vital information, including the logo and a describing word.

“Mutti is well-known, so it sort of speaks for itself,” Giovanni added. “The packaging didn’t need any added explanation on it.”

What brings the entire design together—and also proved to be the most time-consuming part of the whole process—was the typography. Davide and Giovanni went through so many options they actually lost count.

While Auge Design used Italian vintage packaging from the 1950s and 1960s for inspiration, Mutti still needed to look contemporary (a retro-centric trend we’ve seen a lot of lately). Giovanni explained, “We wanted it to remain modern in a certain way, but in creating an iconic system we needed a way to clearly represent the product. The typography really worked for this, so we tried to use specially selected typefaces for each individual product to match the flavor of what’s inside.”

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For the tomato concentrate, for example, you’ll notice a thin, condensed typeface, whereas the can of tomato pulp has larger, chunkier letters. By representing the product through the typography (and individually graphics as well), it allowed them to keep things simple yet alluring.

“It was all about the characteristics of the product,” Giovanni mentioned, “like the way it moves and tastes. The whole design was a large exploration of the senses.”

So how does it feel to win the most prestigious award in The Dieline Awards competition for 2018?

“It’s unbelievable,” Davide laughed.

Auge Design is a young agency which started at the end of 2016. At barely two years into the business, they’re still small but working on expanding with new clients. Without a doubt, an award like this is something to gain even more global recognition.

“The Dieline is our inspiration, so winning an award like this is amazing,” Davide added. “It’s truly a great honor for us.”

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Theresa Christine

Theresa entered the world of design through The Dieline. With a background in writing and journalism, she has a passion for discovery and cultivating human connections. Her work for The Dieline is a constant journey to deeply understand all facets of the design process and to investigate what makes designers tick. Theresa's writing has taken her snorkeling in between the tectonic plates in Iceland, horseback riding through a rural Brazilian town, and riding an octopus art car at Burning Man with Susan Sarandon as part of a funeral procession for Timothy Leary (long story). When not writing, she is planning her next trip or taking too many pictures of her cat.