Edinboro grad wins top honors at global design awards ceremony


EU, Benninger

Designer Greg Benninger (’07) earns 2021 PAC Global branding award

Edinboro University graduate Greg Benninger recently earned global recognition for his graphic design work, capturing the 2021 PAC Global Award for brand marketing.

Benninger, the lead creative designer for Lemonati Family Farms, won the New Brand, Non Food category of the global awards, which recognizes the top branding, packaging, design and manufacturing of products around the world.

Awards were announced during the virtual Diversity of Thought Summit, hosted by the PAC Packaging Consortium – a non-profit packaging association with over 2,400 members.

In his Lemonati Family Farms designs, Benninger created packaging based on 19th Century apothecaries and pharmacies to emphasize the medicinal nature of the products. Blended into this classic design were modern counterculture and conspiracy theories to ensure a contemporary flair.

Lemonati Family Farms is a cannabis retail company in Lansing, Mich., dedicated to producing and delivering legal cannabis products for the health and well-being of consumers.

“Each element of the packaging is designed to spark curiosity by presenting the information on the edges – encouraging tactile movement of the product in the consumer’s hands,” said Benninger, who graduated from Edinboro in 2007. “They are designed to be presented in creative fashions and can be aligned to create various patterns on the shelves.”

Benninger, whose non-agency design was the only entry from an independent artist/designer, earned Best in Class among national brands such as Unilever – for their Dove soap campaign – and Scotts Canada Ltd. – for Scotts Turf Builder Custom Seed Blend.

Entries are judged by international brand design and packaging experts from around the globe.

In his PAC Global Leadership Awards acceptance speech, Benninger thanked his mentors and colleagues for guiding him to success as a package designer.

“The education I received at Edinboro was extremely important in regards to the success of these designs,” he said. “I didn't just learn the technical skills of design. I gained a valuable artistic foundation with a basis on art and design history that allows me to create meaningful works.”

Professor Shelle Barron, from Edinboro University’s Graphic & Interactive Design program, recalls Benninger’s uniqueness in design and also his influences from Russian language and culture to album covers and international packaging.

“Greg followed his inner voice in every project created for a design class. His solution to design problems were always original and provocative,” Barron said. “The design faculty is very proud of Greg, and we congratulate him on this global honor.”

PAC Global Awards celebrate craftsmanship in package design and innovation. These awards recognize the best packaging in the world in two categories – brand marketing and package innovation. The Non Food category represents the best in design for automotive, hardware, cannabis, household, lawn and garden, over-the-counter pharmaceutical, personal care, pet food and toys.