Winners 2015

Scroll across to view our 2015 winners and high commendations

Company of the Year

Winner: Buxton Press 01298212000

Runner-up last year, Buxton Press, went one better in 2015 thanks to a raft of improvements, including extensive remodelling and extension of its factory in Derbyshire. Into the new-look site went two extra B1 Heidelberg long-perfecting presses and a host of other kit. While capital spend was high, fiscal results were “eye-watering”, reports the firm, which smashed all previous records: turnover rose 8% in the 12 months to October 2014, while a 21.5% rise pushed operating profits to their highest ever level. The next six months to this April were even better: turnover rose 18% year-onyear with operating profits leaping 34%. The judges said: “Looking at its performance, it’s easy to forget that Buxton operates in one of the most competitive segments in print. A fantastic business at every level.”

Highly commended:

Tradeprint 03300240020

SME of the Year

Winner: First 4 Print Finishing 01254 690044

First the reckoning: “Quite possibly the toughest year in terms of the number of exceptional entries,” said the judges. “But this company once again proved, even in one of the toughest markets, that getting the basics right pays dividends.” First 4 Print Finishing in Blackburn, Lancashire, produces up to 12m promotional items a day and fulfils around 300 million mail packs a year. And this year is exciting: it sees the purchase of the company’s main premises and the building of a 2,800m2 extension. Next, a £250,000 drive in the folding department will add three new highspeed automated lines. First 4 Print Finishing expects turnover to exceed £3.75m, well on the way to hitting its three-year target to get beyond £5m.

Highly commended:

CS Labels 01902365840

Plastic Card Services (PCS) 01625504000

Environmental Company of the Year

Winner: DST 0844 3241000

Judges were looking for evidence of programmes, changes and measurable results when weighing up entries for the Environmental Company of the Year. With DST, there were plenty across its seven sites. In 2015 the company published its first sustainability report on strategies and programmes. Last year the company measured CO2 emissions from forklift trucks, generators, transport, heating, hot water and air conditioning systems, waste streams and paper production. “It’s great to see DST taking such strides to put the environment so high up its agenda,” said judges. “And while they may have come to the party late, the results are impressive.” ISO 50001 energy management standard is being implemented across all sites while careful auditing proves saving energy can save you money, from around £1,000 in lighting at the Bristol base to £55,581 in reduced over-production in Nottingham.

Highly commended:

Park Communications 02070556500

Customer Service Team of the Year

Winner: Geoff Neal Group 020 8751 4455

Judges are exacting, and for this category they demanded no less than world-class customer service and exemplary performance – Geoff Neal Group at your service. Last year the company rolled out a training programme for customer-facing staff, including all management, to set rigorous service levels for all customer interactions. All employees signed up to a customer-service charter, the repro department added a night shift to reduce waiting time for proofs while technology upgrades improved remote access, allowing customers to upload and approve jobs on their own. London’s Geoff Neal Group is on a roll, having also won the Direct Mail Printer of the Year gong. The judges were every bit as impressed as Geoff Neal’s customers. They said: “A really tough category to judge, but this entry stood out because clearly, good enough is never good enough for the Geoff Neal team.”

Highly commended:

JPS 01635 522700

Trainee of the Year

Winner: Jonathan Taylor, De La Rue

“Two years ago I could not imagine the fantastic rewards that lay ahead,” said Jonathan. That was before he joined De La Rue as an apprentice printer. He now works on components that go into bank notes and other security print. Given the sensitivity of his work, Jonathan cannot show off the fruits of his new-found knowledge, but that’s the only downside. He can and does shout about the buzz around De La Rue, the enjoyment of tackling new tasks in the print room, the challenge of working towards his NVQ Level 3 with the BPIF, and the desire to “never stop learning and developing”.

Highly commended:

Stephen Bagg, Snows Business Forms

Andy Hitcham, Eclipse

Luxury Packaging Printer of the Year

Winner: Boss Print 020 8992 4080

“Great detail, great consistency, great impact - a great entry all round,” was the judges verdict. The box-and-scroll achievement presentation box for Royal Holloway University included a paper-over-board box tray with a foil-blocked lid and internal scroll in three special colours. Luxury, however, is only part of this category; being fit for purpose and protecting contents from damage is no less vital. The Nexxus Salon Doors PR launch involved recreating a salon experience with a sample pack, the doors of which have clear and black gloss foiling and chrome studs for the saloon-doors effect. Press releases in the top of the box benefit from a raft of finishes and materials, but it’s the white foam, strengthened sections and metal eyelets on the presentation bag that ensure the contents remain safe, no matter how rowdy the saloon-bar celebrations from Boss Print.

Highly commended:

1st Byte 02078414300

Bespoke Digital Printer of the Year

Winner: Screaming Colour 020 7549 3400

Screaming Colour is making a habit of this. Highly commended last year, winner in 2013, the creative production house in London romped home again in 2015. Judges for the category, aimed at short-run, high-value brochures and presentation packs, want good colour and innovative applications. Screaming Colour didn’t have to shout, its digital printing did the talking. A project for the Imperial War Museum in south London featured “amazing details throughout, such as multi-coloured threading and leather,” said the judges. These details, textures and materials blended tradition with modernity to mirror the heritage and future aspirations of its client. Laser-etched acrylic, sepia imagery, perspex, textured materials and illustration give each book its own identity.

Highly commended:

Park Communications 020 7055 6500

Catalogue Printer of the Year

Winner: Wyndeham Roche 01726 892400

Consistency sums up Wyndeham Roche, whether it’s the consistency of colour and folding accuracy paramount for the TTS Compendium, or the fine tuning and consistent running of presses to secure perfection for the Education Supplies and Workplace Supplies catalogues of 2015. The only minor, but welcome, inconsistency is where it landed the company from St Austell, Cornwall. Last year’s finalist went not one but two better to win a category where constraints, more than consistency, often characterise the intricate nature of the work. Judges scrutinised not only end-quality but production excellence, and one challenge for the 300,000 Lands’ End Core catalogues was finessing off-press delta folds to ensure not only accuracy but – that word again – consistency. “A great example of an innovative format using delta fold and binding cross grain,” reckoned the judges.

Highly commended:

The Westdale Press 029 2066 2600

Magazine Printer of the Year

Winner: Park Communications 020 7055 6500

Like last year, judges called for the best magazines from business and consumer markets. And like last year, Park Communications won the category outright with its trademark quality of print, finishing and repro. Judges took into account production and cost implications, of which there were plenty for Puss Puss. The magazine for culture and cat-lovers had the judges purring; a tight budget meant the magazine had to compromise on content or reduce the weight of the title. So, a mixture of papers included a bulkier uncoated stock with good opacity but less weight to ensure stunning visuals from a magazine delivered on time and budget, but with reduced distribution costs and no compromise on content.

Highly commended:

Pureprint Group 01825 768811

Wyndeham Roche 01726 892400

Brochure Printer of the Year

Winner: Boss Print 020 8992 4080

The Noted Notebook was more than noticed by this year’s judges, who insist if a picture paints a thousand words, then the best brochure must speak volumes. The A5 notebook for creative professionals did just that with 176 pages of finishes. The judges, looking for consistent quality of repro, print and finishing, found it again and again in entries from the printer in west London. The AMP Agency Brochure shows how much can be done with mono print. Simple and clean in look the product, with a cover printed and copper foil blocked, which helped demonstrate litho printing at its best. “A stunning entry with four very different brochures produced to the highest standards,” said one judge. “An easy winner for me.”

Highly commended:

Empress Litho 020 8316 6648

Hampton Printing (Bristol) 01275 374466

Post- Press Company of the Year

Winner: Screaming Colour 020 7549 3400

While entrants to this category may sit at the end of the line, their finishing processes can make all the difference to a print product, adding immeasurable value. London-based Screaming Colour has marked 2015 by winning not only the Bespoke Digital Printer category, but also taking the hard-fought post-press gong – for the third time in a row. The company’s entry left judges gasping: “An amazing body of work, truly amazing; dynamic and eye-catching concepts.” As well as big-name cultural icons such as the Imperial War Museum, commercial giants came knocking. The phone cube box was targeted at decision-makers of large companies, wooing them over to a Nokia Windows phone. Packaging for a video screen, two or three phones and a how-to-guide proved so successful the campaign’s ROI target was reached before the half-way point.

Highly commended:

Diamond Print Services 020 8804 5656

Book Printer of the Year

Winner: Pureprint Group 01825 768811

Book ‘em. It’s almost criminal, this is the fourth year running Pureprint has scooped a category that to the outside world has little to celebrate. The book sector has been through the mill in recent years with the UK undercut by cheaper, and in some cases shoddy, imports and digital editions. But the printer in Uckfield, East Sussex, has proven once again, and without doubt, the beauty of the British book, well printed and
bound, endures. Lloyds Banking Group also endures and celebrated 250 years with a print run of 15,000 in a style truly fitting to the British book. The final word on Waterloo, a limited edition of 125 copies, however goes to one of the judges: “Waterloo is quite simply one of the best books I have ever seen, the printing and binding were exceptional – stunning.”

Highly commended:

Team (Impression) 0113 272 4800

Direct Mail Printer of the Year

Winner: Geoff Neal Group 020 8751 4455

This was anything but junk mail. John Lewis tasked Geoff Neal to develop a concept for a joint promotion with Le Creuset for a new Cool Mint range. The mailing, to deliver a promotional magnet, involved a gift-style matchbox-type carton on 485 micron FBB to avoid cracking. High-pigment inks meanwhile ensured maximum impact. Equally impressive was the Npower calendar mailing that dovetailed excellence in design, creativity and manufacturing. Everything in this category comes under scrutiny: folding, perforating, personalisation, die-cutting and pop-ups. That Geoff Neal pulled off a mailing for 2 million people in a “seemingly impossible” timesecale before ticking all the boxes to win such a demanding category puts the junk mail moniker right where it belongs. In the bin.

Highly commended:

DST 0844 3241000

Point-of-purchase Printer of the Year

Winner: Augustus Martin 020 7537 4200

While all that glisters is not gold, it definitely was for Augustus Martin, which struck the yellow stuff with entries including L’Oreal Maybelline Glitter, a display for a new product launch for Christmas. Glitz and glamour were the creative calling cards. The London point-of-purchase and outdoor media specialist worked with Tag Worldwide and L’Oreal on a POP display to keep shoppers lingering. The black and yellow units hold more than 150 products, but it was the display itself that had judges in raptures:
“Brilliant stand-out pieces, the perfect example of cardboard engineering at its best.” The Toyota Aygo also received the Augustus Martin treatment in the form of showroom displays of interlocking modular sections with a perfect blend of weight, balance and impact.

Highly commended:

Simpson Group 0191 416 1579

Industrial Digital Printer of the Year

Winner: Gask & Hawley 0161 869 5880

Gask & Hawley prints and distributes more than 3.8 million bespoke leaflets every three weeks in various formats for one of its clients. The judges were looking for stunning examples of long-run targeted messaging where data handling and the number of variables are as critical as the quality of the printed product. Manchester-based Gask & Hawley wrote the front-end software to enable all 1,400 store owners to change their panels, from customer-approved templates, and upload artwork and
images. Meanwhile the company processed the data for printing at up to 40,000 copies per hour and personalisation before distribution to stores, Newshare and Royal Mail. “Impressive use of personalisation with variable imagery and content on a large scale,” was the judges’ verdict.

Highly commended:

Amberley Adhesive Labels 01258 455772

Marketing Campaign of the Year

Winner: DST 0844 3241000

DST’s campaign asked customers six key questions, from ‘How can I make my communication stand out?’ to ‘How can I handle all responses effectively?’ to focus on the benefits of integrated communications. A “journey through the world of communication” took in planning, creation and delivery and culminated in an event at Canary Wharf. “The budget may have been big,” said the judges, “but it was the ROI that was key in making this the stand-out submission. Attention to detail was key.” The travel theme was embedded into each piece of communication: direct mail, personalised microsites and emails. The event drew 178 clients and prospects, 19% up on the target, generated £440,000 of committed spend on the day and, from a £100,000 budget, DST generated in excess of £1m of attributable revenue – a ROI of over 1,000%.

Highly commended:

Kingfisher Print & Design 01803 867087

Report & Accounts Printer of the Year

Winner: Park Communications 020 7055 6500

Annual reports, like the PrintWeek Awards, come around once a year. And, like last year, Park Communications walked away the winner of this category. Was it the complexity of incorporating six colours, foiling, embossing, spot-gloss UV varnish and the tipped-in foiled dividers for the Jimmy Choo document? Or did the tactile, laminate-free Lloyd’s report carefully crafted to ensure no finger marking, creasing, cracking or rubbing woo the judges? The final verdict was emphatic: “Superb use of black on uncoated stocks and consistent quality across all four submissions.”

Highly commended:

CPI Colour 020 8688 7500

Pureprint Group 01825 768811

Out-of-home Printer of the Year

Winner: Octink 020 8232 6868

Eager for the redevelopment of the Battersea Power Station to stand out during construction, the development company turned to Octink to bring to life concepts for the exterior hoarding, signage and large-format banners for this iconic landmark. What rolled off the company’s flatbed printer and roller sealer was in excess of 500 meters of hoardings for the power-station boundary, defined by 1.8m-high powder-coated feature lettering and 18mm thick fret-cut marine plywood lettering. Octink, based in Brentford, Middlesex, also spun its magic for the London Air Ambulance,
London Dock and, another icon, Chelsea Flower Show. For this, each year the company provides more than 4,000 signs, way-finding and eventbranding material. “Really innovative use of media,” concluded the judges, “but first and foremost it’s just great print.”

Highly commended:

SMP Group 020 8855 5535

Social Stationery Printer of the Year

Winner: Woodmansterne Publications 01923 200600

“Even we were surprised we could do it that well,” reads the category entry from Woodmansterne Publications, which may or may not suggest surprise from a company that seemingly came from nowhere to win this competitive category. The National Trust card almost “took the biscuit” in terms of fineness and registration required. Elsewhere, the Watford company had to balance publisher requests to blend fun design with the downright quirky. The hearts, for example, on the Birthday Crown were never intended to exactly line up but were the result of an inspired but off-the-wall, last-minute tweak. The job, which came off a Heidelberg litho press with foiling from Saroglia kit, did more than win over children, it also engaged and delighted the judges.

Highly commended:

The Sherwood Group 0115 928 7766

Cross-media Company of the Year

Winner: Cyan Group 02088438600

Cyan Group supported SPMSD for a Flu Patient Support campaign with a difference: rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to printed materials such as posters, each surgery could choose and personalise their materials. An email went to each surgery supported by a paper mailing driving users online to choose their materials. Within the first week more than 500 orders went through against a target of 320. Hidden in the letter was an augmented reality film to identify surgeries that had not yet logged on.
Clever. And scanning the letter, reps could open an Eyei app to show a promotional how-to-use film. Results were impressive: from 3,230 customer emails and mailings, around 1,800 unique orders were made over a short timescale. The client was impressed: “What a campaign – totally blown away by the response while the subtle but clever use of digital went down a storm.”

Highly commended:

AlphaGraphics 01642 525100

FMCG Packaging Printer of the Year

Winner: The Sherwood Group 0115 928 7766

They are short in shelf-life and lower in unit cost, but FMCG goods make complex demands on the likes of Sherwood Group. Print for such goods calls for fast turnarounds and product consistency across long runs, but Sherwood knows all about this, having won the category last year. “Fantastic entry, easily the stand-out winner,” said one judge, with another chipping in: “A solid performance with a great eye for detail.” Take Tesco Finest Croquembouche Dessert Kit: if the contents were tasty, the creativity and print were delicious. The structured design involved a flat-pack, round based form with a set of five supporting rings to stack and display the profiteroles in the shape of a cone. The Frozen and Star Wars Milk Chocolate Egg and Bar packaging meanwhile featured a tiara made by cutting the shape from the pack. ISO 12647-7-compliant proofs came off an Epson 9900 inkjet printer, with printing plates from a Kodak Magnus 800 platesetter. Print rolled off Komori Lithrone S40 with fourcolour process and spot-gloss varnish. The last word on the Patisserie De Bain bath and shower products, however, goes not to the judges but the customer. Grafton International brand coordinator Ben Edwards said: “The brand prides itself on eye-catching artwork and packaging must reflect this. Working with Sherwood helped us maintain our high-quality benchmark with their superb print quality and knowledgeable workforce.”

Newspaper Printer of the Year

Winner: Trinity Mirror Printing (Watford) 01923 230455

The Daily Mirror remains Trinity’s core business, while Trinity is core to this category – its various sites having won it four times. With a nightly print order of around 500,000 copies, requiring at least three presses rolling at full speed, the Mirror has formidable production targets. But it was The Independent that really wowed judges in this general election year, impressed with “excellent print quality, particularly on solid areas like the Next DPS”. The 72-page 5am Election Special Edition included 179,000
copies printed over four editions throughout the night. As election fever gripped the nation, pressure mounted in the pressroom, as all of its national newspapers increased print orders for the night. High levels of recycled fibre meanwhile put more demand on print quality, but the result, regardless of the political outcome, proved perfect for Trinity Mirror Printing (Watford).

Highly commended:

Newsprinters – Eurocentral 020 7782 6128

Fine Art Printer of the Year

Winner: Push Print 020 7231 1166

“Fantastic, vibrant and beautiful to behold – a superb body of work and I love every one of these books,” said one of the judges. A Strong, Sweet Smell of Incense – A Portrait of Robert Fraser was one of those fantastic works, and that judge was not exaggerating. The book celebrating the noted 1960s art dealer is a showcase of lavish textures and imagery, from the silk-screened cover in one colour to the delicate 60gsm Bible paper. More vibrancy came in the form of Chantal Joffe & Isabel Myerscough Friendship Portraits, a project involving extensive repro, retouching, cutouts and extending backgrounds. Two cover versions were printed and bound at quick turnarounds for the opening night at the National Portrait Gallery.

Highly commended:

Pureprint Group 01825 768811

Label Printer of the Year

Winner: Label Apeel 0116 231 4555

Award-winning label makers, according to judges, must “tick a number of boxes”. Label Apeel has done exactly that for the past three years to secure a hat-trick of category wins. Labels for King’s Siberian Sturgeon Fresh Caviar – like those for Mezan Single Distillery Rum or Hampstead Tea - had to prove best print and production values. The Leicester company knew that the quality of the labels had to match the quality of the product. These were printed on white polypropylene face and over-laminated with a satin polypropylene, but the challenge was in the registration of the foiling, not just once but twice. Decorative gold foiling allowed for no error in registration. Label Apeel polished off the job in two passes on an AB Graphic Series 2 Digicon – an exclusive finish for an exclusive product.

Highly commended:

The Label Makers 01274 681151