In-Focus: 28 Day Branding Challenge: Prize Awards – Vault49

Last week we officially wrapped up our 28 Day Branding Challenge with the first of two award ceremony events hosted on zoom! We're delighted to share the winners of our first round of Agency Awards today, as selected by our partner agency Vault49 who joined us on the challenge as mentors and to set one of three creative briefs for Inkygoodness Collective.

A huge expression of thanks to the Vault49 team: Creative Director Jonathan Bateman, Associate Creative Director Tom Macpherson, Design Director Beth Wheatley and Marketing Director Anna Stanford for their unwavering support, time and energy as mentors and award judges for our 28 Day Branding Challenge, who kindly joined us live on zoom last week to announce their chosen artists for commendations, runners-up and one official 1st Prize Winner for a six month mentorship!

The Brief

Imagine that Casatera were creating a new Limited Edition flavour, complete with packaging design and launch campaign… what could that look like?

Casatera Brand Design by Vault49

The RTD (ready to drink) category has exploded over the last few years, but Casatera brings something different to the beverage space.

Welcome to the House of Tequila. Deriving from Casa, meaning ‘house’ or ‘home’ and Tierra for ‘ground’ or ‘land’, Casatera offers a warm and inviting social space where everyone is invited to share the experience.

Creative Brief: Casatera / Vault49

Our illustrators were asked to create an illustration-led Limited Edition design that stays true to the brand, whilst also disrupting at shelf.

Tasked with designing packaging for a limited edition Casatera drink, our artists were given the option of two possible flavour routes: A seasonal drink to celebrate the flavours of Mexico for summertime: Guava Lemonade or to turn up the heat with Jaleponarita; a collaboration with hot sauce brand Tabasco. This design needed to bring both brands to life on pack, celebrating two worlds colliding via a unique Limited Edition summer collab!

Encouraging our artists to embrace hand crafted techniques, experimental approaches to making pattern and textures, and bold approaches to illustration, Vault49 kicked off our 28 Day Branding Challenge with an industry talk and creative briefing, followed by a live feedback round at sketch stage, and further feedback at colour draft stage, guiding and mentoring our artists every step of the way to complete their projects over 28 intensive days!

Commended: Erin Hung

Jonny and Tom were kind enough to share a few words for each of their selected artists alongside reflections and overall feedback on the standard of work submitted for their brief.

Here’s what Jonny Bateman, Creative Director at Vault49 had to say:

“We have absolutely loved going on this journey with everyone that took part. Thank you for having us! We particularly enjoyed seeing so many people step away from their screens and get hands-on with different craft techniques to inspire their thinking and illustration approaches. Play and experimentation are such important parts of the creative process, and something we champion at Vault49, and we loved seeing so many participants embrace this.”

(L-R) Creative Director

“After each feedback session, it was awesome to see people grow in confidence, which really showed through in the work. So many of the projects have been finished to a really high standard, and there are lots of ideas that we could really see the client being excited about if this was a live brief.”

We want to share a huge “thank you” to everyone that took part. Thank you for all of your hard work, for your energy, and for giving us the really difficult task of choosing a winner  – and it really was a difficult decision to make, we debated it three times! We really appreciate the effort that has gone into all of the projects, and we hope you have all enjoyed the process as much as we have!

Jonny Bateman, Creative Director at Vault49

We want to wish everyone the best of luck as you move forward in your illustration careers, and we hope that we get to work with some of you in the future!

???? Art Directors Awards: Vault49

For outstanding creative work produced during the challenge, Vault49 chose ONE artist to award a six month mentorship. Each art director also chose a runner up artist for 1:1 Portfolio Crits. Plus others for commendations.

The winners are…

1st Prize Winner: Kimberly Morris

????1st Prize

Illustrator and designer Kimberly Morris scooped the top prize of a six month mentorshipwith Vault49. Congratulations!!

Here’s what Jonny Bateman, Creative Director had to say about your wonderful work for the Castera Brief:

  • Right from our first review of initial concepts, we were excited to see how this one would develop – the initial mood board was one of our favourites.
  • And we were right to be excited. The final result is an excellent example of starting with a really strong idea, taking a considered and thoughtful approach to creative development, a well-crafted final execution, and ultimately delivering a fully realised limited edition can design and 360 activations that are on brief and on brand.
  • Kimberley has done an excellent job of telling a story and taking us on the journey through the final presentation deck. It feels like something we’d happily present to a client.
1st Prize Winner: Kimberly Morris
  • Now let’s get into the detail. The final illustrated pattern strikes the perfect balance of playful and grown-up, and right for the Casatera brand and audience. This can be tricky to achieve when illustrating for alcoholic drinks brands, and we were all impressed with how Kimberley has executed it.
  • The pattern has been laid out in a versatile way, allowing it to flex easily across the can design and all of the other applications. This is exactly the right approach – thinking about the wider brand world from the offset, rather than starting with the can and then having to figure everything else out afterwards.
1st Prize Winner: Kimberly Morris
  • When it comes to the wider brand world and extra touchpoints, we really loved the fruit cart! It’s such a fun activation idea that we could really see working in the real world, and it stood out from some of the more expected applications.
  • All of the merch ideas blend existing brand assets with the new limited edition illustrated assets perfectly, and we could see the client being really excited about producing these.
1st Prize Winner: Kimberly Morris
  • Looking specifically at the packaging design itself, the colour palette, new illustrated pattern elements, and Casatera’s key brand assets have been thoughtfully combined on the can wrap. We all felt that this can would have really strong standout on shelf, which is ultimately what you need to achieve to drive sales.
1st Prize Winner: Kimberly Morris
  • Overall, the storytelling is great, the execution is beautiful, and we could really see this being produced.

And that is precisely why Kimberley is the winner of our brief. Congratulations Kimberley, you nailed it!


Jonny, Tom & Beth also selected four runners-up for 1:1 Portfolio Crits for their outstanding work on the Casatera Brief! Congratulations to Alice Ferns , Martha Ford , Aleksandra Jevremovic and Fiorella Quaranta!

Here’s what the team had to say about their projects…

Runner-up: Alice Ferns

Runner up: Alice Ferns

Recipient of a 1:1 Portfolio Crit with Vault49

  • From the very first page, we unanimously loved this final presentation.
  • The concept, inspiration, process, and sketches are great, and we can really see the thought and work that has gone into the project.
  • Alice has taken a very cool illustrative approach to representing architecture, which is a core part of the Casatera brand story. This made it stand out when we were reviewing and debating the submissions.
  • There’s lots of storytelling and flavour cues built into the final design, which we loved discovering, and the illustration has been set up in a way that is super flexible to work seamlessly across the can design and off-pack applications.
  • On the mural application we’d suggest making the Casatera archway bigger to balance it out more, but the OOH and merch applications all work really well.
  • All round, excellent work and a very worthy runner up!
Runner-up: Martha Ford

Runner up: Martha Ford

Recipient of a 1:1 Portfolio Crit with Vault49

  • Just wow! You really get Martha’s process and story right from the initial moodboard and concepts, through the texture making, and how the sketches have been refined to arrive at the final result.
  • There’s almost a vintage holiday postcard vibe, which connects really well to the Americana part of the brief and summer occasion of drinking this limited edition.
  • The character development, which was a watch out in our feedback sessions across the group, feels considered and well placed.
  • In fact, every element feels considered, and we particularly like the touches of fruit and foliage around the top of the can.
  • Martha has used the Casatera archway asset really well, especially when it comes to the wider brand world and activations. It’s given purpose off-pack, and balances strong brand consistency with the specialness of a limited edition.
  • Overall, we felt that this design was a great balance of cool and beautiful. Well done Martha!
Runner-up: Aleksandra Jevremovic

Runner up: Aleksandra Jevremovic

Recipient of a 1:1 Portfolio Crit with Vault49

  • When we looked at the final presentation, we were so impressed by how it had moved on since the sketches feedback round. Aleksandra has really pushed the concept and design, and the result is awesome.
  • The textures are lovely and have a really tactile feel to them, and we love how there is just the right level of abstract whilst still representing the fruit flavours of the drink.
Runner-up: Aleksandra Jevremovic
  • The final colour palette choice is definitely the one we would have chosen from all of the options, and it provides a great balance of the core Casatera brand with flavour cues.
  • There’s a lovely boldness to this design approach, and a summery vibe to the final design.
  • It feels really fresh and vibrant, and you can almost imagine what the drink tastes like. Delicious work!
Runner-up: Fiorella Quaranta

Runner up: Fiorella Quaranta

Recipient of a 1:1 Portfolio Crit with Vault49

  • Firstly, we want to shout out Fiorella’s handwritten approach to the presentation. It’s a lovely touch that got us excited right away (and it’s always good to get clients excited from the very first slide when presenting your work).
  • We really like Fiorella’s abstract approach to illustration. The final execution is a great example of playful whimsy without being naive, which is perfect for the brand, the brief, and the audience.
  • The colour palette really gets across the warmth of summer and the spiciness of Tabasco, although we’d recommend dialing up the watermelon flavour a bit more to balance it.
Runner-up: Fiorella Quaranta
  • We especially liked how the illustrated Tabasco bottle has been woven into the overall design to communicate the collab. Nice touch!
  • The individual illustrated elements and shapes are bold without being too simplistic, and they translate well throughout the wider brand world and applications.
  • The OOH and merch examples are some of our favourites across all of the submissions, so kudos for this. The clothing ideas in particular are super wearable and sellable, which is what all brands strive for with merch – we REALLY want those shirts!

Well done everyone!

Commended: Steph Boxer

???? Commendations

Finally, Jonny, Tom and Beth also wanted to take the opportunity to commend a further four artists whose work really impressed and stood out! Well done to Steph Boxer, Mariia Vlasenko, Erin Hung and Jill Tran????????????

Here’s a few words from Tom McPherson, Associate Creative Director on their selected artists…

Commended: Steph Boxer

Commended: Steph Boxer

  • We really liked Steph’s modular system approach in the earlier stages of the project, and it’s great to see how this has been developed for the final execution.
  • Steph has self-edited really well, finding the right balance of illustration for the can design, and then extending it further into the wider brand world applications.
  • Speaking of balance, the balance of colour is also very successful here. Our one suggestion would be to dial down that darker blue on the OOH to allow flavour to come through a bit more.
  • The idea of building off the existing Casatera archway and tile patterns for this concept really makes sense for the brand. It feels part of the Casatera family, but also a bit special, just as a limited edition should.
  • Overall this is a well-considered approach and execution that we could see the brand taking on in the real world, and the ‘Savour the Summer’ concept would easily translate into a broader campaign idea.
Commended: Mariia Vlasenko

Commended: Mariia Vlasenko

  • When reviewing this final presentation, we could clearly see how our feedback was taken on board to elevate the idea and final execution, which is what clients want to see!
  • We just love this colour palette. It feels fresh and flavourful, and Mariia has found a really clever way to use the Castatera blue in a new way that works really well for a limited edition design.
  • Using a pepper as the holding device for the “Jalopeñorita” variant name is a particularly lovely touch that we all loved.
  • If this was being made for real we’d need to increase the Tabasco brand recognition a bit more, but it’s a great basis to work from.
  • The final design works really well across the wider brand world. You really get a sense of place from the OOH applications, and the merch examples are simple yet very effective. Really well done!
Commended: Erin Hung

Commended: Erin Hung

  • Thank you for charming us with your presentation intro, Erin! We loved how unique Erin’s approach was. The design floods the bottom of the can and then works its way up. This layout is really interesting, and that made it stand out when we were reviewing all of the submissions.
  • With the design reminding us of flames licking up the can, combined with the illustration style, textures, and colour palette, we really got a sense of warmth from this design, which we loved
  • With that said, we’d love to see how this design idea could be extended off-pack and into a wider brand world through OOH/POS and merch executions, which were missing from the final presentation.
  • But it definitely deserves a shout out for being the beginning of something very exciting.
Commended: Jill Tran

Commended: Jill Tran

  • Firstly, thank you Jill for showing us a rotating can. It’s great to see how your packaging design would work in 360.
  • This one stood out for us because it felt quite different to a lot of the entries, in a really good way.
Commended: Jill Tran
  • We loved the Instagram AR Filter and Stickers concept. It’s a smart idea that uses Jill’s illustrated elements in a way that is relevant for the brand and target audience. Nobody else ventured down a digital route when it came to applications and activations, so top marks for thinking in this way.
  • The hand-drawn type for ‘Guava Lemonade’ is also a nice touch. It was one of the only examples of doing something new and bespoke for variant flavour, so extra points here too.
  • There’s a lot going on in final design and layout, but with a little bit of self-editing this one would be a worthy contender for top spot. Well done!

We are absolutely delighted with the outcome of our 28 Day Branding Challenge and super proud of all our Inkygoodness Collective artists and illustrators for their incredible work produced for the Castera Brief.

1st Prize Winner: Kimberly Morris

Stay tuned for our next round-up of Agency Award winners as selected by FLOW Creative for their Mind Charity Campaign Brief dropping soon, alongside the winners of our Bonus Brief set by Art Directors Julia Donchuk and Rick Hedof!

On Friday we will share the results of our Illustration Awards as chosen by our Masterclass artists & mentors MURUGIAH . Katie Lukes and Franz Lang before one final post early next week for our Inkygoodness 28 Day Challenge Community Awards, as selected by Inkygoodness Collective co-host Luke McConkey and me!

Finally a shout out to all participating artists and illustrators and our wonderful Inkygoodness Collective members for getting involved. We are super proud of all of you for taking on the 28 Day Branding Challenge and can’t wait to see what you do next.

What a wild ride it has been!


Posted on Jun 2nd, 24 by | Twitter: @inkygoodness

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