The envelope category of the 2018 Excellence in Flexography Awards—and every iteration—is unique for a few reasons. First, it is the only category where judges examine both sides of an entry. Granted there is a window on most envelopes which eats up a not-insignificant portion of one side, and many opt for a solid color on a large portion, but losing package real estate to that window only means there is less remaining space to hide imperfections, and a single-color design only accentuates anything other than a perfect solid ink laydown.
The Envelope Winners in the 2018 Excellence in Flexography AwardsW+D North America, Cyndi Bowers of Continental Envelope, Bill Rund of Mac Papers Envelope, Joe Krstulic of INX International, Katie Graham of Pamarco and FTA Hall of Famer Arleen Neustein of New Excelsior, all overseen by newly minted FTA Hall of Fame Member Lon Robinson of Tension Corp—are often caught in pictures with their faces completely obscured, envelopes drawn to less than an inch from their faces.
It also means they only need to leave their seats to grab a drink or when it’s time to line up all the entries and deliberate awards.
And in 2018 specifically, the envelope category is unique because of its precipitous drop in bronze awards. Judges this year awarded 67 percent fewer bronze honors than in 2017 and the smallest number by far in the last half-decade. The number of gold awards was average—four this year; it jumps between three and five every year—and the number of silver awards even more average—five this year; either four or five every year.
Envelope Awards, 2014-2018
“Once you’ve seen what is possible, it’s difficult to offer an award to anything that doesn’t meet that standard or improve upon it,” comments Graham, who says the solid coverage and difficult flesh tones were what stood out the most to her. “I would imagine as printers continue to push the envelope (ha!) and think outside of the box (ha!), the competition will remain intense.”
The most exemplary envelope was the TruGreen Welcome to Tru-Green Envelope, printed by Mac Papers Envelope Converters Inc; it took Best of Show honors in the category. “175 linescreen with a high-linescreen anilox produced a beautiful, subtle image that was a very good match to proof,” judges explained.