Printers from the Sappi Trading region have again achieved outstanding results in 2012 Sappi Trading Printers of the Year awards. They won ten out of eleven gold awards with additional twenty silver and twenty-nine bronze awards. This means that Sappi Trading stands a very good chance of once again bringing home Elephant-trophies from the Sappi International Printers of the Year awards.
Held every two years, the awards programme is part of the global Sappi International Printers of the Year awards, which is focused on raising the bar of print excellence by recognizing exceptional printing done on the group’s range of fine paper.
Awards are made to printers from the four Sappi Trading regions (Asia, Australasia, Central and South America) in eleven categories: Annual Reports, Books, Brochures, Calendars, Catalogues, Digital Print, Magazines - Sheetfed and Magazines - Web, Packaging and Labels, General Print and Printer’s Own Promotion. Entries are awarded bronze, silver and gold, with the gold winners invited to compete in their respective categories against the best printers from North America, Europe and South Africa in the Sappi International Printers of the Year awards.
Entries are judged by an independent external panel of five judges, who represent the leaders in the printing industry in their respective countries. The 2012 panel comprised of Kai Hagenbuch from Brazil, Giuseppe Meana from Italy, Bernhard Nahm from Germany, Michael Seidl from Austria and Ronald Widdershoven from the Netherlands. Commenting on the entries in the catalogues category, judge Michael Seidl said how impressive it was to see “printing houses making full use of different varnishing and enhancing techniques as well as different technologies, including digital printing.”
Each entry is assigned a unique number to ensure impartiality and anonymity throughout the judging process, and winners are only identified once the awards have been allocated. Entries are judged on technical excellence, overall appearance, quality of the finishing and the general difficulty of the print job, as well as factors like special treatment. But none of these are judged in isolation. It is how these elements are combined that defines a print work and elevates an ordinary work into an extraordinary piece of craftsmanship.
As Wayne Rau, Chief Executive Officer of Sappi Trading points out: “Every day our paper products enhance the lives of millions of people all over the world. Books and magazines are much more than content – they are an entertainment experience which totally engages the customer’s senses. While machines and technology have made printing processes easier and faster, printing is still very much a craft, driven by the skill and passion of the individual. And Sappi’s range of coated fine papers is the ideal medium on which to demonstrate that skill and passion.”
“In 2010, three printers from our Trading region – gold winners in each category – were honoured with the coveted Elephant-trophy at the Sappi International Printers of the Year awards, proving that the print from our regions measure up very well against the best of the best worldwide,” adds Rau. The elephant symbolises Sappi’s South African heritage as well as the qualities of strength and courage. “It takes courage and strength to be judged by objective parties and to be benchmarked against one’s peers,” said Rau.
Rau congratulated the printers from the Trading region saying, “Awards such as these celebrate the achievements of the past two years, but they also point the way forward into the future. They do so by establishing a standard of excellence which others will strive to meet – that’s how we continue to raise the bar of excellence in our industry. The winners in the 2012 Sappi Trading Printers of the Year awards have set new standards of exceptional quality in print. We are proud to recognise and honour their achievements and we wish the gold winners the very best of luck in going forward to compete in the Sappi International Printers of the Year awards.”