Celebrating the Art of Print: PIA Premier Print Awards

One of the busiest times at Printing Industries of America is when we are getting ready for the Premier Print Awards. Each year we are excited and eager to see what sort of amazing work those around the industry have been producing. Printers from all over the world submit pieces into this competition for a chance to set themselves apart from their peers and be rewarded for their outstanding printing abilities. Since its inception, we’ve given out thousands of Bennys, certificates, and celebrated the art of print like no one else. Now in its 61st year, we’re looking forward to how printers are pushing the limit of the medium and using mixed media to spread a message.

This competition brings the industry together, as anyone is free to enter and is judged solely on their ability to print superior pieces. Years in the business, size of the company, and location don’t matter. It comes down to quality and expertise.

Judging Process

Once all the pieces have been entered into the competition, the judging begins. Judges come from across the country to critique printed pieces in more than a hundred categories. The judging is an anonymous process and judges do not know which company submitted a particular entry. Judges look closely at every entry for minor flaws that only a well-trained eye and a loupe can discover. The judges, sometimes after a bit of debate, decide what piece will earn an Award of Recognition, Certificate of Merit, or the top prize Best of Category, known as the Benny. The judges may also choose not to give an award in a particular category when the entries do not meet their criteria. Next, each Best of Category piece is displayed and a Best of Show is determined. At this stage, no detail is too small, and only the piece that exemplifies the art form and craftsmanship of printing wins this honor.

Leveraging the Awards

Since 1950, printers have been leveraging this prestigious award to impress their customers and separate themselves from their peers. Last year’s Best of Show winner, Adams Lithographing, has been using the award in their marketing to turn heads and wow customers. Wyatt Hogue, vice president of Adams Lithographing, has impressed customers with news that their print shop won Best of Show. Wyatt said, “We sent out a press release announcing our win and the CEO of one of our customers said, ‘I want to see that press release.’ He was so thrilled. It just reiterates to your customers that they are getting the premier printer; the best of the best.”

Jay Mandarino, president of Benny winning CJ Graphics, said, “We’ve opened lots of doors because of this award, and we have customers come to us because of the multiple Bennys we have earned.” The Premier Print Awards have also been a great tool in raising morale and shaking off the lingering effects of the dipping economy. Being recognized in the Premier Print Awards can be the inspiration and validation a company needs to keep producing works of art. And to us, that’s a big part of the Premier Print Awards.

Print Is Fantastic

The highlight of the competition is the Premier Print Awards Gala where the Benny recipients are recognized. The reception takes place amongst the actual Benny pieces. The dinner provides the opportunity for the industry to recognize the best print has to offer. It is an exciting evening for the world of print and a great celebration. The sole purpose of this competition is to celebrate print.

The deadline for entering the 2011 Premier Print Awards is May 20: www.printing.org/ppaentries. PN