I recently had the pleasure of being a judge at a local PIA print competition. Towards the end, when we were deciding on which printed piece would win the best of show, it struck me how lucky I was. Here I am, standing in a room filled with the best of the best…beautiful…flawless…the kind of printing that anyone would pick up and be impressed with.
Whether it was a slick brochure for an ocean front condo, a catalog of custom accessories for antique cars or a personalized invitation to a charity event, each piece made you want to hold it in your hands and read through it. Each piece was effective and did what it was supposed to do.
We hear a lot about how print is old school and not very valuable in today’s world, but looking around at the tables I wish that I could have magically transported every print buyer or agency into that room and let them experience just how precious print can be to them. It would be an eye opening event! Another group that would benefit would be printing company sales managers and sales people.
Maybe the problem isn’t that print is of little value in the eyes of buyers, maybe the problem is that they don’t know what print is capable of. Are they being sold the same old printed stuff they always bought? Or are they being made aware of the power of variable data or even what a special coating can do to enhance the look and feel of a brochure?
Print competitions are fun and refreshing to be a part of. It’s reinvigorating to know that there are printers (and customers) that demand the best. And the best doesn’t always mean expensive. There were many examples of common printing projects that were executed flawlessly by companies who practice the true craft of printing.
Of special note were the entries from students. For all the talk about how kids don’t care anymore about production skills, there were some fantastic examples of excellent designs that were printed well.
Hats off to all the winners of the competition. You take pride in your work and it shows. You’ve earned the right to boast about your work. Congratulate everyone involved from the salesperson to the CSR to the production staff. They all made it happen.