2017 Excellence in Flexography Awards Recap
And Then, There Were Six
There are heated arguments every year; there were heated arguments in 2017. At the end of day three, each judging group found its own consensus, doling out a single Best of Show designation atop a pyramid of gold, silver and bronze awards.
The six Best of Show prints from the 2017 Excellence in Flexography Awards are:
- The Tops Herb Seasoned Croutons/Italian Seasoned Croutons Wrapper, printed by Transcontinental Robbie
- The Terra Sweets Medley Wrapper, printed by Industrias de Plasticos S.A.
- The Cozy Sunday Morning Body Cream Label, printed by Smyth Companies, LLC
- The Berkley Jensen Ultra Laundry Detergent Carton, printed by Advance Packaging Corp.
- The Zavida Coffee Roasters Organica Box, printed by Packaging Technologies Inc.
- The Paralyzed Veterans of America Tropical Flowers Envelope, printed by Mackay Mitchell
“If anything, the 2017 Excellence in Flexography Awards showed that converters are on the ball. The levels of quality and embellishments were at an all time high,” said Forum 2017 Chair Paul Teachout, from Nilpeter. “Converters have taken every opportunity to utilize existing and trending technologies to improve their print performance and bring another level of ‘bling’ to their processes. The level of execution and difficulty was clear, the winning samples have set a new bar and we look forward to the Awards Banquet to honor the winners!”Teachout was one of nine assigned to the judging committee—the overseers of the entire process, they themselves former judges, guiding their respective groups like Sherpas up a mountain of labels, wrappers and envelopes. That full roster included:
- Anderson & Vreeland’s Alix Guyot
- ProAmpac’s Caryn Kuehl
- Kodak’s Paul Lancelle
- Nilpeter’s Bob Loescher
- FTA Flexo Hall of Fame Member Mark Mazur
- All Printing Resources’ Tim Reece
- Tension Corp.’s Lonnie Robinson
- Great Northern Corp.’s Geoff Roznak
- Nilpeter’s Paul Teachout
A total of 121 entries received an award of some type: A gold, silver or bronze (with Best of Show selected from the pool of gold winners), or a special achievement award (in the categories of non traditional and self promotion). That number is up 10 percent from last year’s 110 winning prints, which was greater than the 104 awarded in 2015, which was an increase over 2014’s 102 honorees.
Loescher, who has seen his fair share of narrow web prints as a former judge, commented that the average submission quality in 2017 was higher than years past. “Historically,” he added, “we haven’t seen expanded gamut (EG) as part of the narrow web submissions. I thought this was the year we’d see some, but I don’t recall seeing a single one.”
Judges spoke to this across the board quality improvement in their comments, which accompany each award winning print on the following pages. Excellent registration, impressive tonal range, even ink laydown, vibrant color, crisp bar codes, smooth vignettes, remarkable execution, sharp edges—the accolades were not in short supply.
Attendees to Forum and INFO*FLEX have the chance to bestow their own compliments on the 2017 Excellence in Flexography Awards winners by visiting them in the Awards Gallery, located in the northeast corner of the INFO*FLEX show floor, inside the Phoenix Convention Center. For four-and-one-half hours on May 1 and May 2, walking through the entrance to the Gallery will be like stepping into that parallel universe, where a package’s overall quality reigns supreme.
Even after everything has been packed up, and it’s the 2018 editions of Forum and INFO*FLEX that are on people’s minds, the 2017 Excellence in Flexography Awards winners will live on, right here, to serve as a reminder of what every piece of packaging should aspire to be, regardless of who is looking at it.