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Design 'hackathon' launched to counter future drinks packaging legislation

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A drinks industry designer has launched an initiative for fellow designers to come up with solutions to tackle increasing legislation around packaging labels for alcohol and full-sugar drinks brands.

The Design Hackathon is taking place in London today, with drinks packaging as part of its focus

The Design Hackathon is taking place in London today, with drinks packaging as part of its focus

Endangered Species founder Ron Cregan, who has worked on brands including Russian Standard vodka as well as Chivas Regal and Teacher's Scotch whiskies, today launched a 'hackathon', in which a group of designers will explore how brands might operate in new a legislative environment. Cregan highlighted Ireland's Public Alcohol Bill, which is currently being debated in by the country's Government, and includes the introduction of health warnings on drinks labels.

Meanwhile, Cregan said experts in Australia are lobbying for "graphic health warnings - similar to those on tobacco packets - on chocolate bars, coffee cups and other foods high in fat, salt and sugar".

"Instead of research-backed education initiatives, governments around the globe are taking aim at legislating the look and feel of beloved brands and properties - a lazy and ineffective solution with little proof behind it," the company said on its website.

Cregan also said today that tighter legislation may have unintended consequences for the drinks industry.

"I have loved the rebirth of Irish whiskey," he added. "It is being led by entrepreneur brands. These are the brands that will ultimately be damaged because they do not have big marketing budgets. They will lose competitive advantage to larger companies.

"This is not the intended consequence of this legislation."

Several designers are gathering today at Somerset House's 'Makerversity' in London to discuss and workshop design solutions. The movement is open to design firms across the world and ideas will be shared via the Endangered Species website.

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