Stepan Azaryan

Art Director & Founder

Backbone Branding


2018 Marking Awards – Let packaging design be the best symbol of a brand

Packaging design is the most direct way to express a brand’s attitude and identity. In the Asia Pacific region, where there is considerable package consumption from fast moving consumer goods, food and drinks industry are surely heavy users of packages. However, they are not always leading the competition. Yet Marking Awards, born to dig out and honor good packaging design in China, has become a powerful platform that encourages healthy competition and communication between domestic designers and international ones. It is intended to refresh the aesthetic cognition of local brands and drive faster innovation. With the launch of annually changed ‘Tear up’ design themes, 2018 Marking Awards welcomes good designs from the professional and students.

Awards Setting

Marking Award: having highest mark in INTEGRITY among the in-market category

Marking Concept Award: having highest mark in INTEGRITY among the Conceptual category

Marking Annual Award: having highest mark in INTEGRITY among the “Tear up Condiment” annual category

Marking Visual Awards: the highest mark in DESIGN

Marking Communication Awards: the highest mark in RELEVANCY

Marking Creative Awards: the highest mark in CREATIVITY

Marking Tech Awards: the highest mark in TECH CONTENT

Marking Functional Awards: the highest mark in PRACTICALITY


Speech Time: 16:45 - 18:15


Professional Career
Having graduated from the Yerevan State Academy of Fine Arts in 2004, Stepan Azaryan quickly paved his way and soon became one of the leading designers in Armenia and got a wide recognition out of the borders of the country. While studying at the Academy, Stepan Azaryan worked intensively and in his third year created his debut project inspired by the notion of biomimicry, thus bringing an innovative approach to looking at the surrounding world. This concept was duly credited and acknowledged and was put into a wide use. 
In 2004 he started working as a graphic designer in Armenian leading design agency PrintInfo. 
In 2008 Stepan started his freelance experience, and the same year he received the first prize in the China Best Foreign Stamp Annual Poll for the Best Stamp Design. 
Stepan` s quest for the most irrational and the ground-breaking finally resulted in founding a creative design studio, “Backbone Branding”. Besides a successful cooperation with local producers, he led Backbone Branding to an international framework. And not only his company: a local beverage producer started to export its products as a result of the cooperation with Backbone Branding. Among the clientele, there are also businessmen from Russia, UAE, among which is world famous football player, Diego Armando Madonna as a co-owner in Cafe diego projet developed by Backbone Branding.
Among other highly prestigious international awards, Backbone Branding received highly acclaimed Pentawards, The Dieline, Golden Drum, Golden Hammer, KIAF and others, the total number of awards reaching 35. 
Stepan Azaryan was invited to represent Armenia in a number of festival juries, such as 2012 Popok 3 International Advertising Festival, 2013 Kyiv International Advertising Festival and 2015Ad Black Sea International Advertising Festival.
Stepan Azaryan, representing Backbone Branding, participated in the prestigious 9th Pentawards Trophy Ceremony 2015 in London and in the 10th official Pentawards Trophy Ceremony 2016 in Shanghai, being the only representative from Armenia.  
Having a diverse and fascinating experience and a big desire to share it, Stepan organizes and participates in master classes, conducts talks about design tendencies, international market and more, meets professionals, inspires the beginners and is full of ideas of reconstructing and innovating the notion of design in Armenia. He is also a member of a team, which mission is creating innovative products from Armenia to international market and developing them with the help of crowd funding platforms.