Winners 2016

Scroll across to view our 2016 winners and high commendations

Bespoke Digital Printer of the Year

Winner: Team (Impression) 01132724800

High-quality colour and innovative applications were needed to secure victory in this category and who better then to flaunt them than fashionistas? The British Fashion Council annual review showcased a year of fashion and Leeds-based Team (Impression) went big on production, using digital print, foil blocking, duplexing of board to cloth, flat binding, coloured edging and a presentation slipcase made by hand. “This project was simply stunning, such skill has been used and it really takes your breath away,” gasped judges. A Marble Arch presentation book for a boutique property development, and a Hoxton nine document flagging up a high-end apartment complex in East London also left them breathless.

Highly commended:

Pureprint Group 01825 768811

Catalogue Printer of the Year

Winner: Pindar (part of the YM Group) 01723 581581

Judges, who were looking at the quality of work and consistent production excellence, got just that. “Very impressive production demonstrated across all four samples, especially the Marks & Spencer and Laura Ashley products where the retained detail was top notch,” they said. For the 332pp Autumn/Winter 2015 home catalogue for Laura Ashley, the company in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, produced half a million copies in three different language versions and 12 cover changes. To meet complex delivery requirements Pindar coordinated its own fleet of articulated lorries to deliver to multiple addresses across the UK. The Marks & Spencer Food to Order 2016 catalogue numbered 600,000 copies printed in four process colours with seal throughout. The big challenge, however, was a client wanting a high-quality catalogue on matt paper at a cost-effective price. Marks & Spencer was worried that matt papers were prone to marking during printing, yet adding a seal to the text pages could change the colours and add a sheen effect to the matt paper. Pindar used a short-grain press that saved around 15% on paper usage against conventional long-grain presses. A special neutral seal meanwhile affected neither the colours nor the paper finish, ensuring the surface kept its wonderful matt look.

Brochure Printer of the Year

Winner: Pureprint Group 01825 768811

Chairs Are For People and awards are for winning. Pureprint Group secured this gong for a host of brochures including the aforementioned one on chairs. What made this job special was the use of a six-colour digital process that brought photography, illustrations and section dividers to life in brilliant orange and violet. The finishing touches were the handmade paper and letterpress-printed personalised jacket for 50 very special copies. But every sample “ticked all the boxes,” insisted the judges.

Highly commended:

CPI Colour 020 3824 0124
Empress Litho 020 8316 6648

Direct Mail Printer of the Year

Winner: DST 08443241000

The RCN Congress pack that caught the judges’ eyes aimed to optimise attendance at the Royal College of Nursing conference. Out went the old cumbersome pack; in came a more user-friendly and engaging alternative. Each pack was personalised on membership category, region, number of days attending and travel arrangements. “Great use of data to drive value from direct mail,” judges concluded. Whereas the RCN push involved 2,665 packs, the John Lewis All Yours mailing numbered 1.5 million but was no less engaging, interactive or effective in terms of cost, time and generating responses. Furthermore, according to the entry, “it is the most complex reel-fed digital product we have produced and has 90% ink coverage on uncoated stock. Until recently this product would not have been possible.”

Highly commended:

Howard Hunt Group 01322 273252

Industrial Digital Printer of the Year

Winner: Howard Hunt Group 01322 273252

Judges wanted stunning examples of long-run targeted messaging, but the quality of the complexity of variables, text and images had to be top notch. Howard Hunt from its base in Dartford, Kent, delivered. Monarch’s winter holiday campaign for example involved 20,000 mailings and 4,000 variables with recommendations based on previous locations and spend. The front page of the mailer highlighted where the customer visited on their most recent holiday, using variable text and imagery to instantly evoke good memories. Inside the mailer also used customised text and imagery throughout to promote suggested destinations. Back of the 4pp mailer meanwhile included further personalised information on holiday options that were likely to appeal to each customer, including skiing and city breaks. The results were superb: the campaign created a return on investment that would make even the most hardened marketer weep with gratitude. Judges were carried away with this and other campaigns for Wickes, Tool Station and cancer charity Cancer Research UK: “Overall a great submission. To find four samples of this standard in one entry demonstrates they really get the concept of industrial digital.”

FMCG Packaging Printer of the Year

Winner: D2 Printing 020 8979 5544

While this category is targeted at packaging with a short shelf life, the impact of the four entries of Surrey’s D2 Printing will last long. Judges weighed up an Elements Carton targeting cool urbanites, an EIMI Perfect Setting hairspray pack for your typical Ibiza-holidaying fan, an Oral B dispenser and, finally, the Microwave Brownie three-pot carton for chocoholics. “If there were a special award for consistency across all four samples, then these guys would have probably won that too,” judges reckoned. That EIMI pack had to be innovative, jolly and interactive as well as easy to assemble. The client loved the wardrobe-door style of pack; its sun-loving target consumer was won over by the fun-loving design, while the judges were wide-eyed at such “flawless” product development.

Highly commended:
Curtis Print & Packaging 020 8947 8178

Cross-media Company of the Year

Winner: ESP Colour 01793 438400

“What the hell is this...?” opens the piece that scooped this prize. Improve International runs training for vets and veterinary staff and wanted to maximise uptake. Bravedog, the group’s marketing agency, brainstormed a complete strategy to raise brand awareness, inform vets, differentiate the client from rivals, and fill up training spaces. ESP used a personalised email campaign, trade magazine and Facebook ads and personalised printed prospectuses. The campaign, said one judge, involved “full use of cross-media with impressive lead generation stats, and that’s what matters.” Results were spectacular, with significantly more leads than in the previous year and an equally impressive number of click-throughs. The training programmes, meanwhile, were fully subscribed.

Highly commended:
DST 08443 241 000

Book Printer of the Year

Winner: Pureprint Group 01825 768811

Five years, five wins for Pureprint thanks this year to, according to the judges, “a strong set of entries, with the Dior book in particular stunning”. That Dior book. Richard Avedon immortalised Christian Dior’s creations in images that became legendary. While Uckfield, Sussex printer Pureprint undertook more than 80 hours of repro work, meticulously converting mono to tri-tone and four-colour black and whites. Pureprint increased ink density on the blacks by 30% to give a rich photographic black to complement Dior sketches in a sleek, dark slipcase cover. What made this special were the challenges: Pureprint tested laminates with a sand grain finish and different embossing pressures before balancing blacks and greys for a true representation of Avedon’s iconic photography and the Dior sketches.

Highly commended:
Push Print 020 7231 1166

Report & Accounts Printer of the Year

Winner: CPI Colour 020 8688 7500

All the numbers stacked up once again for CPI to ensure last year’s highlycommended in this category went one better in 2016. A fundraising review report for WWF had judges gushing “the project was outstanding”. It had to be both unique and sustainable and after a few dummy runs, the final version included a cover of laminated oak board with simple lasered logo and oiled finish. Rank’s annual report threw timing into the numbers mix: “Every aspect of this production was time dependant, which can lead to difficulties,” noted the entry. The summary report and mailing included data processing and personalisation. All processes were carried out in-house, adhering to a demanding timetable – there was no allowance for delays. Judges concluded the “whole entry oozed quality”.

Highly commended:
Pureprint Group 01825 768811

Magazine Printer of the Year

Winner: The Westdale Press 029 2066 2600

The Cardiff company took stock for Take Stock, one of several highly praised magazines. The high-end catering title had reluctantly agreed to reduce the cover weight from 220gsm to 200gsm to enable bespoke making of reels. Westdale was spot on: despite the drop in weight, the quality was uncompromised. “Vibrant results across all four submissions,” concluded judges. “Some great finishing too, such as a 6pp flush gatefold on Man About Town‘s autumn issue.”

Highly commended:
Pureprint Group 01825 768811

Wyndeham Roche 01726 892400

Label Printer of the Year

Winner: Amberley Adhesive Labels 01258 455772

The one that really swung if for the judges was the St Pancras White Cedar & Stars Candle, which “was simply astonishing; it looked both aged and premium at the same time”. The luxury brand St Pancras Chambers Collection and St Pancras London Hotel collaboration took inspiration from stars on the hotel’s magnificent gothic ceiling. Two separate laminated substrates achieved a tactile, textured feel to define a limited edition of 500 digitally printed labels. Matt varnishing, embossing, hot-foiling and die-cutting worked their wonders to give the finished label an exquisite border and unique shape. That label may have swung it but others – including Martin Miller, 9 Moons and Bramley & Gage gin labels – also gave extra zing to the Dorset printer’s entry.

Highly commended:
The Label Makers 01274 681151

Newspaper Printer of the Year

Winner: Iliffe Print Cambridge 01223 656500

And why shouldn’t Iliffe Print Cambridge blow its own trumpet about the Brixton Bugle? The 24pp full-colour tabloid and broadsheet newspaper in runs of 10,000 boasts online magazine and leaflet insertion. This exemplar newspaper printing service is anchored around two KBA Colora presses capable of printing 80,000 copies per hour. The Bugle, however, is not the only stand-out product. According to the judges “all of the papers had excellent lift; the China Daily was specially impressive when you consider the the length of the run.” The title is the largest, oldest national English-language newspaper in China with a daily circulation of about one million. The European edition, a 32pp weekly, has been printed in the UK for over five years. According to the award entry it takes all of Iliffe’s 120 years of experience and trusting relationships with customers to deliver the kind of excellence needed to win such a highly competitive and coveted award. The Voice meanwhile, the UK’s only weekly paid newspaper targeting indigenous British-born black and mixed-race populations, along with the CathCom Reach newspaper for Catholic primary schools and parishes also relied on those trusted KBAs to secure victory for Iliffe Print Cambridge.

Luxury Packaging Printer of the Year

Winner: Boss Print 020 8992 4080

London’s Boss Print lived up to its name for the second year running to prove when it comes to luxury, it’s the boss. “Absolutely outstanding, so well made, beautifully designed and a great choice of materials,” raved one judge. The 50 Canaletto ceramic sculpture boxes included a champagne-colour foil-blocked logo, tray in metallic ink and plinth diecut and wrapped in Kashgar Black Silk. The LVMH box sets had an outer box litho printed on 140gsm Splendorgel and silk laminated. Lavish interior elements include welcome letter with a USB stick inserted into an inner plinth, with the handmade masterpiece wrapped and finished with concealed magnetic catch to hold it all in place.

Highly commended:
Pureprint Group 01825 768811

Out-of-Home Printer of the Year

Winner: Augustus Martin 020 7537 4200

Big is beautiful for the Bromley-by-Bow printer. Take the Lucozade 48-sheet Find your Flow outdoor posters that sport big, bold blocks of colour to throw up an immediate and visually arresting poster. It looks simple, almost simplistic, but the key is the consistency of colour across the sheets to create a seamless impression when installed. Everyone, according to the award entry, loves working on luxury brands and Chanel always comes up with stunning imagery for its campaigns. The six-sheet Coco Mademoiselle-Bleu poster for Network (London) required Augustus Martin to balance skin tones with the needs of background imagery. The judges were won over, with one suggesting the “strong colours, excellent skin tones and sharp details just edged it for me”.

Highly commended:
Octink 020 8232 6868

Social Stationery Printer of the Year

Winner: Woodmansterne Publications 01923 200600

All that glisters was solid gold for this category, where judges wanted consistent quality of print, finishing and repro. They got it once more, with Woodmansterne in Watford, Hertfordshire, securing a consecutive category win. Entries included a 3D Christmas village advent calendar and nine luxury Christmas cards with a glitter finish that had to combine with colours underneath to create different shades, effects and subtleties. It also had to sparkle across the card without detracting from the artwork. “To achieve this,” said the entry, “we had to start from scratch to explore every element of the glitter process and see how we could improve it.” Judges were suitably dazzled, with one commenting: “The glittering was amazing, I’ve never seen it applied so precisely.”

Highly commended:
The Sherwood Group 0115 928 7766

Point-of-Purchase (PoP) Printer of the Year

Winner: Imprint (part of Pureprint Group) 08448 112138

The look and feel of real door and window frames were essential for the success of this project, explains this year’s winner of its White Stuff display. The Newcastle upon Tyne team worked with the client’s visual merchandising team to create mock-ups to ensure they matched original reclaimed doors that were the main inspiration. Imprint turned to largeformat digital for the job, using its six-colour, 1.6x3.1m digital flatbed to produce window and frame props on Re-board material. “We were tasked with ensuring the final printed version of the door and window frames closely matched the original feel and look and then carry it out throughout all 100 stores across the UK.” Judges bought into the idea and execution: “Loved the adventurous way they executed the process - peerless.”

Highly commended:
KMD Company 0116 270 9221

Fine Art Printer of the Year

Winner: Push Print 020 7231 1166

“Can I take it home?” asked a judge seizing the book on Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. This award has judges poring over prints, books or art catalogues with the very highest levels of origination and print. With Kusama’s work on show at the Victoria Miro gallery, Push Print could compare the work alongside proofs. Metallic paper was used and images were retouched to perfection. But the best details were the subtle ones: looking at the side of the book reveals a fine sliver of black and white. This publication was no one-off, having printed images for photographer Giles Duley before, the London printer had to balance new photos with old, but passing proofs was a problem: Duley was in Greece covering the refugee crisis so Push Print had to rely on its expertise. Duley was, according to the award entry, “over the moon”, as should Push Print be with its award.

Highly commended:
Pureprint Group 01825 768811

Post Press Company of the Year

Winner: Diamond Print Services 020 8804 5656

The concept for the Wardian Brochure seemed to be asking too much of the processes involved to come close to the designer’s ambition, according to this year’s category winner. Long discussions took place before anything went to print and the project demanded a strong partnership between the London company, the client and its customer. A book block with 20pp was gathered and sewn, but heavy ink coverage throughout made cutting, folding and binding a challenge. It was overcome with custom-made pressing pads and care and skill, which was not lost on the judges. One of them said of this and other entries: “This is the perfect combination of inventive and traditional finishing – fantastic and some of the most beautiful books I’ve ever handled.”

Highly commended:
Screaming Colour 020 7549 3400

Marketing Campaign of the Year

Winner: Resource 0113 200 5000

“Don’t forget the results of the campaign,” reminded judges for a category rewarding the best marketing project for printers to promote their own businesses. Resource launched its communications and marketing events brand, CommsHero, to “get in front of new customers and win business” using a dedicated website and Twitter. It did just that: In the first year of hosting face-to-face icebreaker events, the Leeds business rolled out 45 delegate meetings, saw a 53% jump in Twitter followers and clocked up £1.3m of new business, leaving one judge to sum up, “you can’t argue with the results because in marketing that’s what matters”.

Highly commended:
Howard Hunt Group 01322 273252

Inc Direct 020 8344 6280

Environmental Company of the Year

Winner: Windles Group 01844 201683

Two new programmes sealed the deal to make this year a green dream for the company in Thame, Oxfordshire. The first, a £5m investment in a purpose-built eco-factory, was underscored by a ‘Loop-It’ in-house campaign. While the building is a high-tech nerve centre of light and motion sensors, latest glazing and insulation techniques, rapid roll doors to keep in the heat and a biomass boiler, the Loop-It initiative includes colour-coded action panels strategically placed throughout the factory to show how simple changes to the working day can have a positive impact on sustainable print and production. “Yes the move to a new factory was impressive,” recalled a judge, “but it was everything around the building that edged it for me - every impact was considered and acted on.”

Highly commended:
Park Communications 020 7055 6500

Customer Service Team of the Year

Winner: Pensord 01495 223721

It’s the small things that count at Pensord, such as amending the way a box label is presented. Such detailed consideration came into sharper focus this year when the company in Blackwood, Wales, undertook a new initiative where all staff in all areas were encouraged to put themselves in publishers’ shoes to widen their working perspectives and put them firmly in the mindset of their customers. From this evolved twice daily audits to ensure every process is executed to the highest standard and delays are reduced. The company has enhanced checking of plotter proofs and the analysis of mailing data, and extended courier options to offer more flexible pick-ups and collections. “A great business with a great strategy,” concluded the judges. “They seem to put their people first, which in turn encourages their people to put the customer first.”

Highly commended:
Pindar (part of the YM Group) 01723 581581

Trainee of the Year

Winner: Samuel Jackson, We Do Print

Sam went from being aged 24, homeless and living in his car to an outstanding trainee print operative. This is his journey: last May Sam became the first young person to join the social enterprise’s 12-week volunteer print programme, which led to a full-time post. Sam is now being trained on its MIS software and quality assurance for clients including Sky and Lloyds Banking Group. “To even be in a position to be nominated for this award is beyond anything that I could have imagined a year ago,” said Sam. “We talk about business turnaround stories in print,” added a judge, “but people can do it too.”

Highly commended:
Jacob Cook, The Alexir Partnership

Jack Southern, The Folkestone Academy

SME of the Year

Winner: PH Media 01726 891111

According to Creative Review magazine: “PH Media is the go-to pre-press provider for high-end magazines”, and why not? The Roche, Cornwall, business has an enviably prestigious independent portfolio spanning the arts, fashion and museums sectors. According to the company’s entry, “carving out success in a print sector once considered dying has meant constant diversification and reinvention, investment in staff and equipment.” Rather than customer testimonials, a live client list including the V&A, ArtReview and British Museum almost says it all, but not quite. For one PrintWeek judge concluded: “Small but perfectly formed is probably the best description of PH Media.”

Highly commended:
First 4 Print Finishing 01254 690044

Nationwide Print 01726 72548

Company of the Year

Winner: Buxton Press 01298 212000

Buxton Press is well into a £20m-plus investment programme, which may explain why last year’s winner has done it again. A major highlight was the installation of four new long-perfecting presses with all the trimmings. A huge “holistic” remodelling of the factory meanwhile helped accommodate the expansion and, no doubt, freed up badly needed space in that trophy cabinet. “I just don’t know how they keep doing it,” said one judge, “they just get stronger and stronger.”

Highly commended:
The Delta Group 0208 498 4400

Opus Trust Marketing 0116 232 7500