Designing Louder Than Words

Design Museum of Chicago Presents Designing Louder Than Words, a Bottle Box Design Competition.

Prizes: $4,000
Deadline: February 8, 2019

A Bottle Box Design Competition

Scotch bottle boxes serve more than one function: they protect the bottle while in transit, they provide a place for information about the liquid inside, and they formalize and premiumize the whisky drinking experience – making a bottle of Scotch just a bit more special. Bottle boxes not only embody the spirit they guard but are also an opportunity to tell a story – about a brand, about a place, or about flavor – how that flavor is created or experienced. Special release whiskies are encased in boxes that are designed by acclaimed architects, made by skilled carpenters, and adorned by celebrated designers – and coveted by whisky collectors worldwide.

A prominent Scotch whisky distillery is asking designers, architects, and creators for their take on a bottle box for a highly anticipated 2019 limited-edition bourbon cask aged single malt whisky inspired by Illinois’ great city of Chicago, which will be released with availability exclusive to the Illinois market. While traditional packaging designs emphasize the brand identity, this competition asks designers to draw inspiration from their surroundings and from the liquid itself.

The call to action is quite simple: design a box that safely holds a bottle of Scotch whisky that is inspired by Illinois’ great city of Chicago.

Use any material that you feel embodies the city of Chicago: paper, wood, glass, metal, but keep in mind that the winning design will need to be premium and at the same time economically reproduced 275 times. The produced boxes will be available for sale in Illinois liquor stores with the limited-edition Scotch whisky.


Nicholas Berchtold, Building Bridges (Two)
Brininstool-Lynch | Brad Lynch & David Mulder, Distilled Chicago Icon
Robert H. Canizaro, Design Louder Than Words
Andrew Mack + Michal Ojrzanowski, Scotch In Horto
Taylor Mentzer, Scorch.Box
Napp Studio | Aaron Tsang & Wesley Ho, Chicago On The Rocks
Babs Owca, Worth The Wait
John Terdich, Bottle Box Design
Antonio Filippo Tandoi & Ivan Zito, W Box
Gregory Zychowicz, Chicago 1871 Fire



Chicago is one of the most forward thinking design cities in the United States — a city that is home to innovative urban planners, graphic designers, industrial designers, and craftsmen and women who specialize in ceramics, textiles, and the visual arts. From the city’s architects who shaped the city’s skyline, to designers who define the fashions walking down Michigan Avenue, to the graphic designers who create eye grabbing advertisements, Chicago is filled with creative people who add vitality to the city with their day to day work.

We ask designers to draw inspiration from the windy city — from its architecture, street art, its musical history, or the layers of the city’s infrastructure system — and create a design that captures the spirit of Chicago.

The Whisky

The whisky is a rare bottling of 15-year-old single malt whisky from the region of Speyside, Scotland. It is an un-peated Scotch whisky that has spent the entirety of its 15 years inside an ex-bourbon cask that has only been used once before to age bourbon. The whisky is non-chill filtered to retain as much of the flavor of the whisky as possible, and has distinct flavors of caramel, vanilla, baked orchard fruits, with flavors of ginger and baking spices.


1st Prize: $3,000 + Realization
Runner Up: $1,000
Finalists: Work featured in a gallery showcase hosted by the Design Museum of Chicago


Charles Adler, Founder, Lost Arts
Charles Adler is a social entrepreneur, Co-founder and former Head of Design at Kickstarter, and Founder of Lost Arts. Kickstarter, the ground-breaking crowdfunding platform, revolutionized how creative projects are funding globally. Lost Arts, a new experiment in the future of creative work, aims to drive innovation through open support of creativity.
As a leading entrepreneur and designer, his work ranges from systems design to interaction and community design, interface design to information architecture. In 2013 he was named as one of Forbes Magazine’s Top 12 Most Disruptive Figures in Business. Charles co-founded Kickstarter in 2009 shaping it into the world’s largest platform funding independent creative endeavours. Since its inception, Kickstarter has raised over $2B from over 6.4M people for over 75,000 successful projects ranging from computer games to music albums, technology, fashion, educational projects and full-length feature films. Charles previously co-founded the online art publication Subsystence, and founded Source ID, where he operated as Principal Creative Director from 2003 to 2009.

Lauren Boegen, Executive Director of Operations & Collections, Design Museum of Chicago
Lauren Boegen is the Executive Director of Operations and Collections at the Design Museum of Chicago. She holds an MA in Museum Studies from The George Washington University, a BA in History and American Studies from Illinois Wesleyan University, and a certificate in Digital Curation from the University of Maryland. Her love of design grew out of theater and exhibition design classes and her time spent working on award-winning publication, brand, and web projects with Chicago-based Studio Blue.

Lauren has experience in collections and exhibition design and development at several institutions, including the Smithsonian’s Anacostia Museum; Underwater Archaeology Lab at the Naval Historical Center; Frederick Douglass National Historic Site; Cuneo Museum and Gardens; McLean County Museum of History; and the Adler Planetarium. She is an experienced digital and physical collections manager with a research focus in 20th century American history and material culture. Her most recent project with the Design Museum, Keep Moving: Designing Chicago’s Bicycle Culture, was recently selected as one of the Chicago Tribune’s “Best in Chicago Museums 2018.”

Jamie Koval, Co-Founder, Cooler Screens
Jamie Koval is Co-Founder and Chief Design Officer of Cooler Screens. A technology company creating the world’s largest point of sale media platform by transforming retail cooler surfaces to deliver new marketing and merchandising for consumers, retailers and brands.

Prior to Cooler Screens, Jamie was President and Founding Partner of the internationally recognized agency VSA Partners. Jamie was instrumental in the growth, visibility and design leadership of the agency for 27 years. During his tenure, VSA served such leading brands as Allstate, AB InBev, Chicago Cubs, Coca-Cola, Google, Harley-Davidson, IBM, Nike, P&G and RH.

Jamie is a frequent lecture and the recipient of more than 200 design awards. His work is in the permanent collection at the Library of Congress in Washington DC and he is the recipient of the Joyce C. Hall Distinguished Professor of Design award from the Kansas City Art Institute.

Jamie currently serves on the Board of the Design Museum of Chicago as well as the Advisory Board of the University of Kansas School of Architecture & Design. Jamie is a former Board member of AIGA National.

Jennifer Park, AIA, Jurassic Studio, AIA Chicago Board of Directors
Jennifer Park, AIA, is principal and owner of Jurassic Studio, a design firm based in Chicago, Illinois. Jennifer has contributed to the Obama Presidential Center as part of their museum design team. She has designed and managed projects that range from Timken Research Headquarters, Princeton’s School of Architecture, the offices of Cushman & Wakefield in Mexico City and the Artemide showroom in Chicago. She was a finalist for the City of Dreams Competition for a design on Governor’s Island in New York. Her projects Onward Coworking Reception Wall, Cornelia House and Denim Lounge were recognized by the Chicago AIA. In addition, Jennifer recently was acknowledged as one of Chicago’s 2015 Women of Influence in Michigan Avenue magazine and was a finalist for Curbed’s 2015 Young Guns Award recognizing rising talent in the fields of architecture and development. She also received the 2015 Burnham Prize and a 2017 Burnham Prize exhibitor for the Currencies of Architecture Competition hosted by the Chicago Architectural Club in affiliation with the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

Jennifer received a Bachelor of Arts in Architecture and Art History from Columbia University in New York City and her Master of Architecture from University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). She currently serves as Visiting Assistant Professor at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) teaching and directing the Second-Year undergraduate architecture program. Jennifer previously taught as an adjunct professor at School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) teaching graduate and undergraduate level courses in architecture, urban planning and interior design.

Emily Arden Wells, Five O’Clock Creative
is a partner with the Colorado based architecture firm, Move Matter / Architects. She holds a Master of Architecture from the Yale School of Architecture where she won the coveted H.I. Feldman Prize for a sustainable multi-family housing proposal in Houston, Texas. Wells’ thesis project was selected for the Archiprix 2011, an exhibition of the “World’s Greatest Graduation projects”. Wells was selected for Wallpaper* magazine’s 2010 Graduate Directory as part of the “next wave of creative talents who are shaking up the world around you”. She has worked for the New York City design group AvroKO, where she was the design lead on Gotham West Market. She also worked for Adjaye Associates New York, where she was part of the design team for the Smithsonian African American Museum in Washington D.C.

In 2009 she co-founded, a website dedicated to the Culture of Drink. In 2015, Gastronomista won the award for the Saveur Best Cocktail Blog category and has featured in many publications including Elle Magazine, Glamour Magazine, Saveur Magazine, The Heritage Radio Network, among others. Wells is the founding partner of Five O’clock Creative, an agency that specializes in new media for spirits companies.

Tanner Woodford, Founder, Design Museum of Chicago
Tanner Woodford is founder and executive director of the Design Museum of Chicago. He teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and makes Iterative Work. As a designer, educator, and entrepreneur, he has taught, lectured, and led workshops on design issues, social change, and design history in classrooms and at conferences. He is irrepressibly optimistic, believing design has the capacity to fundamentally improve the human condition. He lives and works in Chicago.

Tanner teaches “Design Thinking for Social Change,” a course that explores historical and contemporary case studies in which design has served as a catalyst for change, with an emphasis on the environments for and context that surround design decisions. It highlights the way in which designers use tools and communication channels to influence environments, define interactions, and manipulate perception. Independent research, collaboration, and ideation processes culminate in projects that will change professional, cultural, or social spaces.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Design from Arizona State University, and a design patent for product design at Intel. Throughout his career, he has worked in many capacities, including product design, community organization, interaction design, and development.

Jury is subject to change.

Submission Requirements

Entry Form

  • Designer(s) Name
  • Contact Information: Email, Phone Number, Birthdate
  • Project Title
  • Design Narrative, 500 words maximum

Download Entry Form

Winning designer will be required to help guide the production of the 275 final boxes, which will include sourcing vendors for production, modifying the designs for production per the brand’s recommendation, and approving final material selections.

Bottle Box Submission must hold one 750ml bottle (3D model and measured drawings provided below), must not exceed 4 – ½” x 4 – ½” x 10”

Bottle Box must be able to be reproduced 275 times.

Bottle Box must be produced for less than $20 each.

Material choice is up to the discretion of the designer, all materials must be addressed in the narrative and must relate to the city of Chicago.

Competition opens January 7, 2019

All materials to be submitted via dropbox, please upload your entry and email a link to by 23:59 CST (Central Standard Time) on February 8, 2019.

To enter, participants must be at least 21 years at date of entry.

Download the official contest rules.

Bottle Drawings

  • 2D Measured Bottle Drawing: DXF, PDF
  • 3D Bottle w/ Size Limitations: DXF


The below design elements are not required in the design but may be used in your box design.


Competition Open for Submissions: Monday, January 7, 2019
Competition Closes for Submissions: Friday, February 8, 2019
Finalist Announcement: Friday, March 15, 2019
Public Gallery: May 30 – June 2, 2019
Winner Announcement: Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Product Available for Sale: Summer, 2019

All dates are subject to change


There is no fee to enter the Designing Louder Than Words Competition