Printing craftsmanship to the fore as experimental job for Jacob's Creek takes supreme Pride in Print honours

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  • July 2, 2012
Printing craftsmanship to the fore as experimental job for Jacob's Creek takes supreme Pride in Print honours

Auckland’s Logick Print & Graphics took home the supreme award at the Pride in Print Awards on Friday night, with an experimental job done in partnership with Panprint for Jacob's Creek that showed what could be achieved by printing its logo with different embellishments.

Combining different effects like a wax seal, metal badge, blind embossing and foiling in gold and silver, the sheet was produced on two different paper stocks in order to highlight the different look each process would create.Skill levels were tested as the job went through repeated passes on the press. The foiling and embossing was done on a platen dating from the 1960s. A total of 50 copies were printed.

With the win coming just days before his five-person team was due to celebrate its ninth anniversary—and with six gold medals in hand from six entries in this year’s event—Logick Print’s David Gick was ecstatic.

“It is good to see that our continual improvement programme, what we see with moving forward with every job we put out, is similar to what the Pride In Print Award judges are seeing as well,” he said. “The market is a very tough one, so if you are thinking about sitting on your laurels and not moving forward, you are in a bad position. What was acceptable before is not acceptable now. It is the way we train people; every time we do a job it has to be equal or better than previous. This job was a proof for how Jacob’s Creek see their logos, that’s why there are so many on the page ... But some jobs you take on because you believe in what the end result is and you are prepared to put the effort in to get the end result for the customer.”

Comments from judges included: “Wow! An amazing exploration of print and processes” … “clearly a Gold winner” … and “fantastic result.” Senior judge Damian Fleming said as a combination of sheetfed and letterpress, the proof sheet was a beautiful piece of craftsmanship.

“This was such a complicated job that many printers would not have taken it on because of the high risk of making an error. The metallics, the foiling, the finishing — it is all mint. It is an incredible achievement,” he said.

Over the past six years the company has won 15 Gold Medals, been a Supreme Award Contender twice, a Supreme Award Finalist, a contender for Best in Process and now the Supreme Award Winner.

CATEGORY WINNERS

Publications (and Sheetfed Process winner)

DHL — Delivering Rugby to the World was printed by Wellington’s Service Printers for courier and logistics firm DHL as a celebration of the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand last year. A total of 5000 sheetfed books complete with slip case and dust jacket Were produced. The key element was that DHL required 300 personalised copies pre-Christmas. Service Printers competed with an international printer to get the job, with the tight timeframe and usual Christmas workload being major considerations. Quality and timing were the deciding factors.

The New Zealand designer and photographer liaised with the international client, assuring them of getting sign offs at each stage of production planning, to ensure the client had confidence in having the work done locally. This often meant dealing with late sign offs due to time differences. In addition, no supplier was able to complete the 300 slip cases in time so the printer rose to the challenge and it was handled in house. The customer was rapt with the final outcome.

Judges said it was “good to learn that being local won the job, in order to meet quality control and timing requirements”. They also praised the “beautifully executed bindery work”.VSenior judge Damian Fleming said the book was perfect throughout. “The images are vibrant. You would imagine the New Zealand printer was competing with Hong Kong and China to get this work. It is a great job,” he said.

Business Print

The TSL Group Business Card is printed black, pearl then white on the front and blue, pearl, gold then blue on the back. Registration and colour matches were critical. Dust had to be kept to a minimum to ensure high-quality halftones and a vinyl mask was applied to reduce scratches. A total of 1000 of the cards were produced.

The labour-intensive nature of the card impressed judges who said it showed perfect crisp, sharp registration and was an example of “exceptional printing with solvent inks”. — “A nice subtle reproduction of halftone image with good dot reproduction ... perfectly-even borders.

“It is done with a screen print process forcing ink through a mesh, with several colours on both sides," says senior judge Bill Ashworth. "You can inspect every inch of it and it is a terrific example. To get this level of reproduction with that process is a fantastic effort.”

Packaging (and Flexography Process Winner)

Sealed Air Hamilton carried off both the Packaging Category and the “best in process” award for flexography printing — with its Regal Smoked Salmon package. The win is especially pleasing because the customer, New Zealand King Salmon, chose to keep the job in New Zealand rather than go offshore.

The company had entered the thermo-formed twin pack market where many products have gravure packs done overseas. The overseas print standards set the benchmark for quality, density of colour and reproduction. In this case the customer wanted to maintain a short-run local supply so agreed to stay with a flexographic-produced product as long as it could be shown to compete with gravure-printed products in the marketplace.

In liaison with the customer, the designer Curious Design used new Kodak plate technology to allow for a fine-screen ruling while still maintaining colour density. The outcome was a strong retail presence with dense colour and a strong vibrant gold ink. A very dense white was printed to prevent product show-through.

Labels

Wine labels are a major source of design innovation as producers aim to get maximum shelf impact, and the Colour Pinot Noir 2009 (Embossed) label by Auckland printer Rapid Labels brought together printing craftsmanship to help achieve the designer’s concept.

The label was designed by Grant Blazey of Periscope Design and featured hot foil over which was printed a highbuild screen to give a tactile finish, along with embossing and both gloss and matt varnishes.

The printer faced a challenge to get all components perfect at the same time. The registration of the job had to be flawless in order to emboss the seal.

Judges saw the label as being a very technically-challenging job in which “fabulous use was made of the letterpress process for the seal”.

Senior judge Mark Sullivan said the job was a lovely example of self-adhesive label printing. “A lot of pride has gone into completing this. They have used screen printing, flexo and letterpress along with fine embossing and three varnishes. It epitomises pride in craftsmanship.”

Display Print (also Screen Process Winner)

Original Print’s poster of a Wella model was a prime example of the challenge to process these type of images to screen, and to achieve soft tones. A fluoro pigment was used in the process set because this quality of impact of colour and dimension is not obtainable using standard CMYK pigments. The end product gave interesting results depending on how the light was viewed. The fluoro ink heightened the reflective qualities of the print and made it more magnetic to the eye.

Judges said it was a “superb result” that showed great detail as well as beautiful finishing. One commented: “It was so good I thought this was a one-off inkjet product until I saw 250 had been produced!”

“This is an incredibly-clean reproduction at very fine resolution for this process," says senior judge Bill Ashworth. "When you think this is achieved with a squeegee pushing ink through a screen mesh, it is a wonderful achievement for a process which is relatively-fundamental.”

Specialty Products (also Finishing Process Winner)

The Matins Vespers CD of hymn and prayer was produced by Auckland’s Sentra Printing for Parachute Records. The CD pack features gold foiling in both the book and case, which judges felt were “fabulous” and the excellent die-cutting also took their eye. A print run of 9000 was produced.

Finishing judge Chris Woodhead said the CD sets brought together numerous processes including printing, die cuts, folding, foiling and then further finesse was achieved in collating the units into an attractive pouch. “There is foiling on every page. Getting a lot of these processes right would have been extremely difficult and they have done it very well.”

Industry Development

Printstop’s version of the British newspaper The Guardian—printed digitally in New Zealand—was entered in the Innovation in Print section and represents a bringing together of print and marketing initiatives to find a new niche for selected newspapers.

The concept is to reproduce overseas titles such as The Financial Times and Washington Post as newspapers in New Zealand, at the same time as the originals are being printed overseas. The layout is supplied digitally and within minutes it is on the press in New Zealand. This means the target market, including ex-pats and visiting business people, can see exactly what they would have seen had they bought the newspaper in their own country, without the need to ship the original edition halfway around the world. Print runs can be varied to suit the desired audience.

The market potential of the idea has already been proven during the Rugby World Cup when there were many overseas visitors in NZ. An agreement with a marketing company was concluded to allow for distribution and it was launched successfully.

Judges felt it was an excellent concept as well as a good print job — “This breathes life into tactile newspapers.”

“This could reinvigorate newspaper production in an age where all newspaper runs are reduced and people are getting lots of their news online," said design judge Kerenza Smith. "The success in the Rugby World Cup proved the concept and it has shown there is a commercial niche for this kind of innovation."

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