Last year, PRINTING United Alliance introduced the Premier PRINT Awards, a larger, all-inclusive program consolidating several renowned industry competitions. With more than 70 categories, it recognizes innovative, standout printed pieces across industry segments, technologies, and processes. The Alliance caught up with two 2021 award recipients to learn more about their experience entering and winning in their respective industries.
Bob Armstrong is the owner of Armstrong Miller & McLaren in Sydney, New South Wales. A 2021 multi-award winner, the company’s “Body of Work Endless Journey,” piece with Body of Work won the Book-Sheetfed Offset category, and was ultimately named Offset Lithography Printed Product of the Year, and overall Best of Show.
Chris Schumacher is VP technical development of Multi-Color Corporation North America Wine & Spirits in Napa, California, which won in Packaging-Labels with its pressure-sensitive wine bottle label for Namo.
PRINTING United Alliance: Tell me a little bit about your company and what solutions you provide.
Armstrong: I started the company in 1969 and it has been Australia’s No. 1 and oldest corporate communication design company for 50 years. We have always been very tech-savvy, but the success of the company has been the ability to understand and communicate an effective corporate message that will inform and motivate mainly through the creative use of print. Central to this has been our photography, which has always been an exercise in photojournalism for impact, [improving] comprehension, and [motivating] action. The objective [has been] to create a product that, as our flagship, is regarded as the best in the world.
Schumacher: MCC is proud to offer multiple print technologies and solutions under one roof: digital, flexo, rotary offset, sheet-fed, hot foils, cold foils, silkscreen, texture deboss, sculpted emboss, multiple wed, backside printing, and diecutting. We love being able to service the customer no matter what their project encompasses.
With all the amazing work that you produce, how do you select which pieces to enter the competition?
Armstrong: Our entries are largely driven by the categories you [offer]. We are very pragmatic and focused and know how to leverage the awards because, without leverage, the value of the award is reduced to simply decorating a mantlepiece.
Our goal was to create the best product in the world, and you can only make that claim if you benchmark your products against the best in the world.
Schumacher: It’s never easy to decide which labels to submit, as there are so many amazing ones to choose from. Our customers are constantly pushing the envelope on design and innovation, which makes our job all the more fun. I earmark standout labels throughout the year as possibilities for submission — they range from unique uses of embellishments, labels that were technically challenging — anything that represents the customer’s vision and MCC well.
What have been the benefits for your company in participating, and, in your case, winning an award?
Armstrong: [In 2021] the Premier PRINT Awards recognized our initial entry as the best in the world when they awarded [us with] the first Best of Show Award. To this end, apart from creating sales in a new space, it has had a huge positive impact on the spectacular increase of our core business — corporate communication. The award system is central to our promotion and includes other international awards. Each year, we internally create a high-impact video and a series of small exclusive presentations to decision-makers and the media where we not only promote our products, but also [note] and endorse the vital role the Premier PRINT Awards play in supporting initiative and progress.
Unlike old-fashioned print awards, which totally focused on technical print and printers, the Premier PRINT Awards recognize that today’s modern print industry also comprises a much wider group of specialist skills that take print beyond anything electronic media can match. The [awards] play an extremely important role in encouraging industry progress. With your encouragement, we intend to keep raising the bar.
Schumacher: It’s always such a tremendous honor to win, knowing we have showcased our customer’s product in the best light, and also to recognize the hard work of our team internally. From pre-press to production, we have an amazing and seasoned team dedicated to ensuring each label is executed perfectly. Recognition from organizations such as yours only affirms this.
Ready to benchmark your products against the best in the world? Visit premierprint.printing.org to learn more about the 2022 Premier PRINT Awards, view the full list of 2021 winners, and submit your entries by May 15!