Australia's plain-packaging tobacco law has earned the federal government a nomination in a prestigious international design award.

London's Design Museum announced its contenders for the annual Designs of the Year on Monday, pitting the bland olive cigarette packets from Down Under against contemporary and costly creations from around the globe.

In the graphics category, Australian cigarette packaging commissioned by the Department for Health and Ageing is lauded for its "anti-design".

"Based on consumer studies, the anti-design features a hard-hitting anti-smoking image, with plain text and unappealing colours," reads a blurb on the museum's website about the ciggie packs.


Nominees were chosen by a "distinguished" panel across the areas of architecture, digital, fashion, furniture, graphics, product and transport.

The Australian-made London Games cauldron featured in the product category.

Designed by Heatherwick Studio, the 16-tonne cauldron wowed a global audience as it unfurled like a flower at the Olympic opening ceremony in July last year.

Constructing the cauldron, comprising 204 individual copper petals, was an "extremely complex" task, according to Constantino Manias from the South Australian manufacturer, FCT Flames.

Other nominations include the Windows Phone 8, western Europe's new tallest building The Shard, and a Louis Vuitton collection.

The museum aims to showcase the nominations during an exhibition which opens in March.

Winners from each category, along with an overall winner, will be announced in April.