Judge and be judged: HP's Print Excellence Awards
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By Sophie Matthews-Paul
5 April 2012
François Martin, marketing director for Worldwide Graphics Solutions Business at HP, briefs us before judging starts
Competitions are a bit like Marmite – you either love them or you hate them. But, as I discussed in an earlier blog, they are unique in that they give companies a great opportunity to show off their talents in front of a panel of impartial and independent people. As digital print becomes more adventurous, so its producers rightly deserve a platform on which their products can be acknowledged. And so it was, at the end of March, I found myself back in Tel Aviv, this time as a judge for HP's Print Excellence Awards.
With tracks covering commercial print, labels and packaging, and sign and display, I was joined by Image Magazine's inimitable Stan Kilpin from Perth, Australia and local graphic designer Nir Navot to judge the last of these segments. And, although we had some fairly lengthy discussions about the entries, our decisions for each category were unanimous. So the responsibility rested on us three to come up with the goods from the submissions we had before us.
Compared with entries from the other print segments, it's sad that those for sign and display were fewer. But it has to be remembered that, logistically, it is far more difficult for a PSP producing wide-format work to be able physically and logistically to send in examples of the entry being submitted. Because of size, portability is restricted so applications, such as vehicle wraps, can only be displayed in practical terms using photographs.
As a result, our judging came from a mixture of photographic representations showing final installations and examples of actual jobs, including a sizeable piece of cardboard engineering which we built ourselves prior to assessing it. Each entrant was invited to submit a storyline about the application, a useful feature as it helped us to generate more precise assessments about the finished work.
Because the awards are international, the flavour of the design parameters from different parts of the world provided an interesting aspect of the overall job. Wide-format digital print might be a universal format in its own right, but the way it's executed varies from country to country in terms of ingenuity and overall creativity. It doesn't take long to recognise from which continent an entry has appeared.
Mum's the word on the results of the HP Print Excellence Awards for the time being. But all the winners and recipients of special awards will be announced at drupa, so there's not too long to wait.
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