About award-winning creativity with Ștefan Ferencz, Brand Design Director BrandfusionEchipa BF

At the end of March, during a ceremony held in London, the winners of the 14th edition of the Transform Awards Europe competition, dedicated to excellence in rebranding and brand development, were announced. Brandfusion was among the winners, securing the gold award in the "Best Visual Identity in the FMCG Sector" category with the Adams Supplements rebranding project.

On this occasion, we invited our colleague Ștefan Ferencz, Brand Design Director, to share some thoughts about the significance of participating in and winning an award at such a competitive event in the dynamic field of branding. He also discussed the Adams Supplements project and what sets apart brand design.

This is not the first participation nor the first award for Brandfusion at a renowned international competition in the industry. Why is it important for you to participate in branding or brand design competitions?

Participating in branding competitions is important because it reminds us that our work needs to meet the highest standards and rigor in order to have substance and value. Only in this way can we evolve as professionals year after year and, in turn, challenge the domestic industry.

Indeed, it's not the first award in Brandfusion's portfolio, but it is the first major gala we attended where we felt the emotions of all the participants and went on stage to receive the trophy. This experience alone would have been unique, but our achievement means much more.

However, it is the first participation and first award at the Transform Awards competition. What does this success mean for you and for Brandfusion?

For us, the Brandfusion team, this award proves that our strategic approach yields results that we can proudly showcase at a high level. This success strengthens our confidence, confirms our value, and acknowledges that we create internationally recognized quality branding. It is a well-deserved reward after the intense and challenging period of recent years, which gives us the energy to continue in the same direction.

From an external perspective, it may not seem so, but the decision to participate in such a competition and the process itself are not easy at all. How would you describe this undertaking and what does it actually entail?

Participating in competitions is always challenging. Projects need to be presented succinctly, explained, and visually impactful. The application requirements are extremely precise, and initially, I wasn't very confident. I was probably intimidated by the renowned names of the competition that usually win these awards. However, after a thorough analysis of the criteria and with the encouragement of the team, we decided to participate.

What were the arguments behind the decision to enter the Adams Supplements rebranding project into the competition, in such a vast and dynamic sector as FMCG? What made you believe in it?

There were several arguments for participating with this project. Adams Supplements is a good representation of a radical transformation through brand strategy, positioning, and packaging design. Knowing that the evolution (before/after) is an important scoring criterion in this competition, we decided to showcase the process of this project.

We strongly believed in the impact brought by this transformation, the visual coherence of the result, and the added value our work brought to this brand.

Among the contenders for the "Best Visual Identity in the FMCG Sector" award were prominent names in the international brand design field, such as PepsiCo Design & Innovation with the Cheetos Cheddar project or Elmwood with a project for the Mars Wrigley brand, to name just two examples. What do you think made the difference in favor of the Adams Supplements project created by Brandfusion?

Indeed, renowned agencies participated with equally impressive brands, and it made us proud even to be selected in the shortlist. We found out with pride that we were competing against renowned international agencies that submitted powerful projects.

In these projects, the transformations were considerable but not radical. They were rather logical evolutions, refined solutions to specific needs, or simply visual refreshments. I believe the difference in favor of our project was the spectacular evolution we envisioned for the Adams brand.

What "recipe" did you use to create the visual identity of Adams Supplements, now awarded gold at the Transform Awards Europe?

The recipe used was the same as in most Brandfusion projects. Together with the client, we created a map of visual positioning in the competition, identifying areas for development. In this process, we gained a deep understanding of the client's expectations, the hierarchy of elements on the labels, and the need for a systematic approach that underlies a fairly complex design solution.

After several graphic explorations and sketches of the packaging information structure, we had to refer back to the brand strategy insights, keeping in mind the end consumer's ultimate need. With Maslow's pyramid in mind, we managed to shape the master design of the packaging.

We focused on clear differentiation between ranges and products, easily implementable production solutions while maintaining the brand's visual unity. The result is a modern packaging design that is easily memorable and effectively communicates the product's benefits to consumers.

What is the impact of being recognized for your work at such a high level, both from a human perspective and as a designer?

This award is not just the recognition of my work; it is the result of the entire team's efforts. Personally and as a designer, this success serves as motivation to dare more, to explore creativity in all its forms, and to raise the standards in domestic branding.

I imagine that any future project I undertake will be approached and worked on as if it were to undergo the rigor and requirements of a large-scale competition. Additionally, I see it as a challenge for new clients who should offer us more trust and freedom in future projects.