Winners 2013

Scroll across to view our 2013 winners and high commendations

Bespoke Digital Printer of the Year

Winner: Augustus Martin 020 7537 4200

 Augustus Martin had to hit the very highest standards of digital print to triumph in this extremely competitive new category. One of its submissions, showroom art prints for Bentley Cars, was even awarded a perfect 10 score from one judge, while it received several scores of nine for work that also included a point-of-sale ‘Valentine Arch’ for Tesco. For the Bentley campaign for the launch of the new Continental GTC, Augustus Martin printed 972 canvasses on its HP Designjet Z6200, before they were hand-stretched onto wooden frames. The finished canvasses were cling-wrapped, bubble-wrapped and placed into bespoke cartons for delivery to Bentley dealers worldwide.

Highly commended:

1st Byte Print 0844 815 9662

Pureprint Group 01825 768811

Book Printer of the Year

Winner: Pureprint Group 01825 768811

Last year there was just one standout entry for this category, but this year the Book Printer of the Year award was fiercely contested. Nonetheless all the judes agreed that Pureprint was a worthy winner, impressing with “thoughtful post press work” and “attention to detail on binding.” Achieving several full-mark scores in both this and the Fine Art Printer of the Year category, Pureprint’s Henry Moore Late Sculpture submission was widely praised. So too was the Matrix Collection, a book on historic hand and desk seals, which was printed digitally on Pureprint’s HP Indigo 7500 with cases made from black premium buckram 29009 cloth, mounted over 2mm greyboard, silver foiled on the cover and spine.

Highly commended:

Fulmar Colour Printing 0208 688 7500

Park Communications 0207055 6500

Brochure Printer of the Year

Winner: Hampton Printing (Bristol) 01275 374466

In an incredibly tight category, comprising of no less than 19 entries, judges picked out Hampton Printing for special praise for its Jaguar and Bentley work. The limited edition luxurious Jaguar pack was designed to promote the Jaguar XJ Ultimate car, and was printed in four colour, with a silk aqueous coating throughout and a 2000 micron board cover box. Meanwhile the Bentley New Continental GTC coffee table brochure was given real finesse with finishing detail such as black sewing and Bentley Green ribbon. One judge said: “Every detail of the Jaguar and Bentley work stands out and invites you to buy the product.” Other judges agreed that really proving the brilliance of Hampton’s work was the fact that the brochures enticed them as consumers. One judge said: “Hampton shows how working in concert with the customer and agencies can elevate printed material and really give it a ‘wow factor’. It made me want to buy what was being sold – a sign of a successful brochure.”

Highly commended:

Fulmar Colour Printing 0208 688 7500

Business Magazine Printer of the Year

Winner: Stephens & George Print Group 01685 388888

Finally taking the Business Magazine Printer of the Year crown last year after three years of languishing in the commended position, Stephens & George Print Group has really consolidated its position as a quality printer by achieving this accolade once again. The printers of our very own PrintWeek, another Haymarket title Horticulture Week, premium beauty magazine Pure Prestige and Food Trader magazine, Stephens & George stood out from the competition for once again displaying the holy grail of printing: consistency. Achieving particularly good scores with the judges was Horticulture Week, a Heidelberg printed magazine which is finished by being folded on a Heidelberg Stahl TD82 and then saddle stitched on a Muller Martini Prima Plus Amrys. One judge commented that the printer’s submissions were “well produced products, with outstanding and consistent print quality”, while another was impressed by the work’s “excellent quality and colour balance.”

Highly commended:

Wyndeham Peterborough 01733 555 567 

Catalogue Printer of the Year

Winner: The Artisan Press 0116 235 5221

Work for prestigious clients Laura Ashley, John Lewis, Debenhams and Marks & Spencer led to The Artisan Press reclaiming their 2009 title of Catalogue Printer of the Year, this year. The judging panel commented that the printers “demonstrated excellent results across difficult materials for high profile customers with challenging requirements,” and that Artisan’s “focus for producing almost exclusively for the catalogue market shows a thoughtful approach, in particular in finishing.” Real testament to the printer’s suitability for this award however, is the long-running relationships the company has established with its house-hold-name clients. The Spring/Summer Laura Ashley catalogue Artisan entered this year was the seventh consecutive edition the printer has been entrusted with. Meanwhile, Artisan has been producing the Marks & Spencer’s Home catalogue for ten years, which, with a run length into seven figures, demands consistent quality, and utilises the printer’s six presses and extensive bindery.

Highly commended:

Wyndeham Roche 01726 892 400

Company of the Year

Winner: Real Digital International 020 8603 7000
It’s fitting that the flagship category in the PrintWeek Awards was perhaps the most tightly contested, but Real Digital International got the judges’ vote thanks to a sterling year in which profits soared, continuing an impressive turnaround from losses in its early days after huge upfront investment in kit. The Croydon digital print specialist was founded in 2005and is privately owned by 12 employees and directors. It was formed with the ambitious plan to be the first company to capitalize on the full-colour transpromo market before it even had even been dubbed transpromo and has grown to employ 130 staff, who are all enrolled in a profit-sharing scheme. Pure and simple, its triumph demonstrates the benefits of pursuing a “bold business plan in a niche area”, according to judges.

Highly commended:

Buxton Press 01298 212000

Stephens and George Print Group 01685 388888

Consumer Magazine Printer of the Year

Winner: Benhamgoodhead Group 01869 363 333

The judges comments on Benhamgoodhead Group’s work speak for themselves in explaining just why this printer was awarded the title of Consumer Magazine Printer of the Year. One judge commented that the BGP submissions were “the most outstanding pieces of printed material [they] had seen for a long time,” while another said the printer was “head and shoulders above the others, with absolutely stunning submissions.” Among the prestigious and well-loved titles BGP submitted for the judge’s scrutiny and admiration were GQ Style magazine, Harpers Bazaar and Landscape magazine. For those interested to find out BGP’s winning formula, GQ Style is printed on a 72pp Lithoman and 16pp Polyman on Royal Roto 100gsm with sections run as A+B format to eliminate crows feet on the heavier stock, while the cover is printed on a Heidelberg SM102 on 220gsm. “A standout entry with lovely consistent quality of entries,” concluded one of the judges.

Highly commended:

The Westdale Press 029 2066 2600

Creative Repro Company of the Year

Winner: EC2i 01702 541311
EC2i has repeated its triumph of 2009 in a category in which it has been a constant presence in the final rankings for the past four years. The Southend-based company was a clear favourite among judges, who praised the breadth of work it submitted and the creative solutions it provided for clients including Laura Ashley, White Stuff and B&Q. EC2i’s work for Laura Ashley’s Autumn/Winter 12 home catalogue demonstrated just why it takes top spot. The original room shots for the catalogue’s Moody Hues pages were too dark, and the whole section would have had to have been reshot if EC2i was not able to improve the images. But, after lightening the images in stages, EC2i used various techniques in camera raw and Photoshop to bring out the details and clarity of the shots to meet Laura Ashley’s brief, saving the client time as well as the costs of reshooting the images.

Highly commended:

020 7729 1000

Customer Service Team of the Year

Winner: Park Communications 020 7055 6500
Park Communications’ victory in the Customer Service Team of the Year category gives it a much-sought ‘double double’; two category wins for the second year running. The east London company has successfully retained its trophy in this category thanks to a transformation in its customer services strategy prompted by its move in 2007 from a location that would later become part of the Olympic Park. This strategy includes regular surveys of customers to gain feedback, the training of employees based on this feedback and performance metrics, and communicating the strategy to both staff and customers. All of this is aimed at achieving its objective of becoming a dominant supplier in the premium auction catalogue market. So far the strategy seems to be working well, with Park almost trebling its sales in the auction catalogue segment from 2007 to 2011, and one judge describes Park‘s focus on customers as “rampant throughout the company“.

Highly commended:

AJS Labels 01903 731212

DM Printer of the Year

Winner: Geoff Neal Litho 020 8751 4455

Winning the Direct Mail Printer of the Year category nearly every year for six years running is no mean feat. But this is exactly what Geoff Neal Litho has done. This year it was a Nissan leaf tech piece that really caught the judges’ eyes. The job was printed on the company’s Heidelberg  XL 105 press with inline water based coating using InPress Control technology to monitor sheets regularly during production to ensure colour consistency was maintained. But it was at the post-press stage that the piece really became something out of the ordinary. Two areas of foil blocking were applied, then a special holographic foil was used to block stars and the car outline, with thermal reveal ink then applied. One judge commented: “The best sample must be the Nissan Leaf Tech pack- it used a great mix of finishing to create an innovative and exciting piece of print.”

Highly commended:

DST Output 001800 441 7587

Fine Art Printer of the Year

Winner: Pureprint 01825 768811

To say which of Pureprint’s entries really clinched the award for them would be a difficult job, so blown away were the judges by all of the work submitted. Scoring particularly highly with all, however, was Pureprint’s Henry Moore Late Sculpture book printed on a Heidelberg 105XL six colour press in various combinations of colour and coatings on both coated and uncoated papers. This book was then cased in a silk screen printed jacket, after being folded in 12s with the grain parallel to the spine, gathered and thread sewn. In fact it was the quality of the post press production of the book, that really caught the judges’ eyes. One commented: “We were blown away by the attention to detail and colour fidelity in this category, but the distinction on the winning choice was precision on binding and the thinking that went into the overall production.”

Highly commended:

Empress Litho 020 8316 6648

Industrial Digital Printer of the Year

Winner: Communisis 0113 225 5000
Communisis proved a very worthy winner in this new category at the PrintWeek Awards, with one judge commending it for producing “true industrial print: high volume, high quality”. Its entry pack included jobs for Tesco Clubcard, Virgin Digital and the Standards and Testing Agency, showing it can deliver results for high-profile clients. The work for STA in particular highlighted the company’s full-service offering. Communisis produced personalised test papers for 90,000 students across 8,000 schools, an order totalling 1.5 million A3 pages, and embedded a unique code into the spine and cover of each pack. It faced an additional challenge in having to fulfil the job in six months, half the normal time for an order of this magnitude. Communisis’ ability to handle fast-turnaround jobs was also tested by Virgin Mobile and its creative agency, DDB, which required the production of highly personalised 24pp booklets and letters within 22 days of outlining its concept.

Highly commended:

Real Digital International 020 8603 7000

Label Printer of the Year

Winner: AJS Labels 01903 731212

The submission that really clinched this award for the second year running for AJS Labels was the Nutrigranics Drops of Youth label for The Body Shop. The brief for this job, the printer reports, was to produce a compact label that would give the new organic product a classy feel, and it was AJS’s use of seven printed colours and three varnishes, a pattern matt varnish for a luxury feel, white silk for the fine text, and the operators careful handling of 357 green, which can be an unforgiving colour to work with, which really set the printer apart from the crowd. One judge commented: “The outstanding label was Nutrigranics Drops of Youth as the fine print and vignettes worked very well with a complex and tiny label size.” Also scoring highly for AJS were the company’s Body Shop Dream Unlimted body lotion, Unilever VO5 Miracle Concentrate and Revive Shower Gel labels.

Highly commended:

Adcal Labels  01494 530761