Urbis and GEON raise bar at Pride in Print awards

Everyone loves outstanding examples of printing. So here’s a rundown of the esteemed and talented winners of the Pride in Print awards. 

Supreme Winner, Publications Winner and Sheetfed/Offset Process Winner

Glossy magazine Urbis, which is published by AGM and printed by GEON, impressed judges with a complex multi-fold cover that “raised the bar in New Zealand printing”.

Judge Damian Fleming said the magazine caught the attention of everyone who looked at it.

“There are things about this book which are really cool. The front cover folds out to make eight pages and the folds have to be exact to make it work. It is a pretty outrageous thing to attempt and get right … It was printed on different stock, on a different day from the magazine, yet it matches perfectly. This wasn’t some simple glossy advert, but a perforated and complete image match up … This has raised the bar in magazine print standards.”

GEON took home a hefty 44 awards, the most of any company nominated across all categories. And in addition to the Supreme Award, it won two category finalists out of nine categories, one process category, 24 gold medals and 16 highly commended awards.

All four of GEON NZ regions—Auckland, Central, Wellington and South Island—took golds, some good news after the Australian company had to be bailed out in March by its bankers.

“It was a great night for GEON and I thank all staff who were at the awards ceremony and also all who work together to make GEON such a great company,” says GEON’s executive general manager Andrew Durrans. “I thank all our suppliers, our customers and, most importantly, all of the GEON team for their contribution to this great result … Our customers are demanding more from us. Particularly on front covers they are looking for special colours and the ‘eye candy’. This is a magazine that also sells over the counter so it is very important that you get the people they are targeting which is the people who are looking for high-end fashion and quality. They need to see that in the product. The advertisers in that magazine are the higher-end brands. It is important that they are aligned to a high-end product.”

Business Print

The Festivals Collectors’ Sheet of Stamps, printed by Southern Colour Print of Dunedin, was entered in the security, cheques, stamps, plastic cards section but took out the Business category.

“All the foiling involved, in green, gold and purple, the holographic effect, and the micro perforations go to create a very high technical result. There is excellent registration throughout,” said judge Damian Fleming. “It deserves special recognition because the job stayed in New Zealand when it could have been lost to many other countries in the world.”


Originally entered in the carton board packaging section, the Cadbury Milk Tray 200g box by Amcor Cartons of Christchurch features satin and spot UV coatings, and silver foiling with embossing moulded to the contours of the chocolates.

Packaging judge Laurie Lark said the design concept was to make sure the structural design protected the product at the same time as the graphics appealed to the buyer.

“Good packaging has to be fit for purpose. It has to do the job for which it is intended. This box does just that and it is very well-produced. It was difficult to do. It had embellishments including embossing and die cuts, and had to go through the press six times. Plus the printers had to get the Cadbury’s purple just right which is no easy task. Excellent registration and very effective design have combined to create a superb piece of work.”


The Totara Sauvignon Blanc 2010 label by Auckland company Panprint that features a waka paddle, delicately-embellished with gold foiling, took the top label prize.

“The whole thing has been done very neatly. It is a very fine and clean example of a good wine label,” judge Bill Ashworth said.

Display Print and Digital Process

A point-of-sale promoting beautiful eyelashes and a backlit display print that made burgers look succulent shared the Display Category honours at the Pride In Print Awards.

The Maybelline Colossal Lashes stand printed by APC Innovate of Manukau vied with the Kings Collection Translite Honey Mustard Tender Crisp display created by Admark Visual Imaging Ltd of Hamilton.

The eyelashes stand was created as a point-of-sale marketing tool. It was offset printed on fibre board with corrugated inserts and was couriered out as a made-up stand to individual shops, inclusive of an eyelash brush as part of the display. The board had to have a 3D effect to complete the impact required.

Waikato printers Admark Visual Imaging Ltd got their share of the Digital Category honours with The Kings Collection Translite Honey Mustard Tender Crisp print – which also won the Digital Process Award.

Admark’s print was designed for backlighting, giving the product an extra lift and making it more appealing to buyers.

Promotional Print

Jennifer and Andrew’s Wedding album, which was originally entered in the one-off presentation work section, was printed by both Kinetic 21 and Wellington’s Momento Photobooks. It was created by extracting the couple’s files from a website, text was imposed and the design was laid out in PhotoShop.

Judge Chris Woodhead said that hard case covers such as that on Jennifer and Andrew’s Wedding album cannot be done by any machine within New Zealand, to the best of his knowledge, and therefore reflected craftsmanship by hand.

“These are handmade and are of excellent quality. Inside, the sheets are hand sewn too. The alignment of the pages is incredible, as is the slip case and dust jacket. When you consider that 200 of these were created, that represents a huge amount of painstaking work that had to be done to a consistent high level of quality. It takes great tradesmen to do that.”

Specialty Products and Screen Process

Seabreeze Fashions NZ Ltd of Orewa won the Specialty Products Category with its shirts depicting The Colemans – A Countdown Story, supporting the television advertising campaign which was allied to NZ Master Chef.

The tee shirts were printed in five colours on the front and three on the back and sleeve.

Judge Chris Knuckey commented: “It is unusual to see screen printed tee shirt runs of more than 4000-5000 these days. Those types of quantities generally go offshore. But this 12,500 run was produced locally, because the customer required changes and control right up to the last minute, and the printer has shown that we can achieve the very top levels of quality. It is fantastic to see a job of this quantity and quality retained in this country.

Industry Development

Initially entered in the Innovation Category, the in-mould label by Geon Auckland for the 10lt Solagard Range bucket “spun the wheels of the judges” and arose from a request by the customer to provide a new label solution. That gave rise to an 18-month programme of research and development, with the printer partnering with an end manufacturer to trial the print and a production mould.

Various substrates were trialled along with many inks, fountain solutions and coating formulas. Products had to be sourced worldwide to get the best-possible combination with the printed material. A number of trial moulds were created and during the process it was essential to achieve colour control.

Judge Scott Porter said that in-mould labelling was an increasing area of industry development.

“That represents a challenge to traditional printed labels that are applied by glue. Now, this is a commercial product in the marketplace. The industry is showing it can develop new challenges.”

PROCESS WINNERS (check the winners out here)

Web printing –Valley Voice

Flexible packaging – Aria Farms Pam’s Vege & Chicken Stir Fry

Sheetfed/Offset – Urbis magazine

Digital – Kings Collection Translite

Finishing – Julia Grace CD Holder

Screen – The Colemans – A Countdown Story

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