The Malta Guinness “Rekognize Design Contest” story


Ghana’s leading non-alcoholic malt beverage, Malta Guinness has recently unveiled an iconic label to mark 30 years since its first sale in Ghana. Drinks with this special celebratory label are available across the country from November 2020.

The spectacular label is the end result of a competition among nine Graphic Designers selected from advertising agencies across the capital who in an unprecedented move by the brand, were challenged to come up with original designs, out of which one won among the lot.

Three Judges made up of independent design experts vetted and chose the ultimate winning design belonging to 29-year-old Charles Okyere-Afoakwah Jnr of Social Ghana Creative Agency, whose design now appears on all Malta Guinness packaging.

In addition to an improved portfolio of having his design displayed on all Malta Guinness packs, Charles Okyere-Afoakwah walked away with a GH¢ 20,000 cash prize, GH¢ 10,000 worth of graphic design working tools and Malta Guinness souvenirs. The remaining eight contestants walked away with cash and kind prizes.

The competition dubbed “the Rekognize Design Contest”, was the final phase of marking the brand’s 30th anniversary campaign christened ‘Celebrate Your Own’ which sought to encourage Ghanaians to support each other in fulfilling their dreams. It is a sequel to the earlier #Rekognize campaign, which saw Malta Guinness facilitate conversations via digital and radio to encourage Ghanaians to celebrate their own. This was hinged on an insight that “Ghanaians believe Ghanaians aren’t supportive of each other”. As such, “the Rekognize Design Contest” is an effort from the brand to demonstrate its commitment to creating a new normal of supporting our own, by recognizing and celebrating Ghanaian talents.

The Malta Guinness 30th anniversary Limited Edition packs are expected to represent for Ghanaians an emblem for celebrating and appreciating the people around them who have supported them or need support.

We chatted with the winning designer, Charles Okyere-Afoakwah Jnr, to get to know him a little better, to get into his process and find out his sentiments about his journey to the top.

B&FT; How did you come up with such ideas for this creative design that has won you this price?

Charles Okyere-Afoakwah Jnr; I usually have a similar process whenever I get a design brief. Which is looking at the problem and coming up with solutions. So, for this particular project I looked at the general theme which was Malta Guinness celebrating 30 years in Ghana. Then I broke down the Malta Guinness journey for the past 30 years and how as a consumer, I have related to the brand as a whole.

B&FT; Did you come up with this design alone, or you were assisted by your agency in designing this iconic label?

Charles Okyere-Afoakwah Jnr; I came up with majority of the ideas but I picked the brains of my younger brother and some of my colleagues at work. I also received help, tightening loose ends of my story and general idea.

B&FT; As a graphic designer, what inspires you in coming up with designs especially this particular one?

Charles Okyere-Afoakwah Jnr; As a graphic designer my inspiration is basically how can I use art or design to tell stories and solve problems. For this particular project, I was inspired by the fact that a brand as big as Malta Guinness decided to use home grown designers for such a project.

B&FT; Do you see this as a stepping stone to hit the international market as a designer or you are already there?

Charles Okyere-Afoakwah Jnr; I see this as a huge stepping stone, not just for me, but for others too. I have participated in some international contests and done well but this is bigger. For me, representing graphic designers and inspiring people to show the heights we can reach is a blessing.

B&FT; What do you look forward to doing as brands see labels or designs as a tool in marketing?

Charles Okyere-AfoakwahJnr; I see myself participating in other competitions and also spreading the “gospel ” of good design. Thus, showing the importance of design and art for brands and a great marketing tool.

B&FT; What is your advice to other colleague designers and even students pursuing graphic designing as a course?

Charles Okyere-Afoakwah Jnr; My advice is to be humble and patient. The time will come. Just practice, practice, practice and be prepared to grab ANY opportunity when it beckons.

Final Words

I think Malta Guinness has set a standard for other companies here in Ghana. They have proved that we are capable of doing things by ourselves. As a brand it has also shown us that it cares more about its consumers and the nation as a whole.

Enjoy the platform, I have been given by such a big brand. Go back to the lab and practice more so that I will be ready for the next opportunity. This is just the beginning.

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