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Maine Ad Agency Wins National Design Competition

Maine Ad Agency Wins National Design Competition

Portland-based Pulp+Wire outshines international firms in Package Design Magazine contest.

JANUARY 14, 2013 — PORTLAND, ME — Pulp+Wire marketing agency was selected by popular vote as the winner ofPackage Design Magazine’s “Makeover Challenge.” The competition to redesign the packaging of Klara’s Gourmet Cookies included agencies from Pennsylvania, Chicago, and San Diego. After two months of voting by industry professionals and consumers alike, Pulp+Wire’s heirloom-patterned, die-cut concept won the majority favor. The eight-person Portland agency is now positioned as a premiere branding and package design firm for consumer products.

Pulp+Wire’s principal, Taja Dockendorf, attributes her team’s success in the Makeover Challenge to her recent strategic decision to refocus the agency on new and emerging brands. “In the past year, we’ve really tried to hone our process in identifying the authentic personality of a brand and expressing it through design and messaging,” said Dockendorf. “Klara’s Gourmet Cookies is a brand with a rich family history and cultural heritage that we brought to life in the packaging.”

In the Makeover Challenge, four agencies were hand-selected from hundreds of applicants by the editors of Package Design Magazine to create prototype packaging for Klara’s Gourmet Cookies. The homemade, European-style cookies are made from Czech Republic family recipes and sold both through wholesale and retail outlets. The Makeover Challenge competitors had only eight weeks to research, conceptualize and then complete designs, messaging and prototypes. To create their winning packaging, the Pulp+Wire design team incorporated patterns pulled from heirloom lace, color combinations derived from Czech folk art, and flourishes of baking utensils.

“This year’s Makeover Challenge contest was exceptionally competitive, requiring the winner to bring an intense amount of creativity to its concepts” says Linda Casey, editor-in-chief at Package Design magazine. “That’s exactly what Taja Dockendorf and her team at Pulp+Wire did by creating packages that delight with color, shape and copy. Our online voters were struck by the packages’ beauty and clever messaging; Pack Expo International attendees especially enjoyed interacting with the intricate structures, from the beautifully cut tabs on the 8-oz. box to the single-serve carton that folds out to a plate; and all voters enjoyed discovering the many ‘Easter eggs’ in the design, including the cookie and baking-utensil shapes that make up the ‘lace’ pattern.”

For Pulp+Wire, the win underscores what their own brand is all about – helping entrepreneurs move their businesses from the kitchen table or the garage to the marketplace. “Over the past year, I’ve culled a team of marketing and branding pros who really understand the ins and outs of establishing a brand, rather than simply building on existing brand equity,” said Dockendorf.

Package Design Magazine announced Pulp+Wire as the winner of their ninth annual Makeover Challenge in the December issue, which is currently being distributed to industry professionals internationally.

Pulp+Wire, located in Portland, is responsible for the creative packaging behind a number of highly successful local brands, including DennyMike’s, Pleasant River Soap Co., Mad Gabs and Adventurous Joe Coffee. The agency also has launched clients throughout New England and on the West Coast. More information about Pulp+Wire is on their website,

About Pulp+Wire 

Pulp+Wire (, located at 2 Milk Street in the Old Port district of Portland, Maine, specializing in launching companies via strategic branding, design, packaging, web all geared to drive both business and consumer awareness.  With a client base ranging from small start-ups to nationally known companies with international exposure, Pulp+Wire utilizes a client-centric business model that produces outstanding, custom tailored creative solutions that have resulted in client recognition on Good Morning America, the TODAY Show, Fox Business News, InTouch Magazine and other high-profile local and national media outlets.  Pulp+Wire also has received awards for outstanding design and has been recognized as a trend pioneer by national and international trade outlets including GDR UK, Ad Club of Maine, L’Odyssée Du Pack,  Graphic Design USA Magazine, Package Design Magazine and Web Marketing for Dummies.

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