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Print's Version of the Academy Awards

July 2003
LAS CROABAS, PR—Forget the red carpet and stretch limos for Hollywood celebrities, the provocative designer dresses and the "A-list" parties. The printing industry recently celebrated its own version of Academy Awards night here at the Wyndham El Conquistador Resort & Golden Door Spa as part of Sappi Fine Paper North America's Printer of the Year celebration.

Nearly 400 people were in attendance, including 36 Silver Award finalists vying for the six coveted Gold Awards, Sappi merchants and Sappi Fine Paper employees. The black-tie gala featured a giant mask on stage cascaded with special lighting, video clips highlighting each finalist's printed piece and short skits performed by professional actors who highlighted the history of Puerto Rico. The dinner was preceded by a cocktail reception, held amidst long tables displaying samples of the 36 printed pieces.

The 2003 Gold Award winners were announced within six entry categories: annual reports, books, brochures, catalogs, magazines and journals, as well as general (any printed material not in the other categories.)

They included Allied Printing Services, Manchester, CT, for the 2001 Timberland annual report; Meridian Printing, East Greenwich, RI, for its book called "100 Years"; Classic Graphics, Charlotte, NC, for its "[Know]" brochure; Quebecor World, Jonesboro, AR, Div. for SAK's September 2002 catalog; Quebecor World, Effingham, IL, Div. for the December 2002 issue of Vogue magazine; and the general category winner, Phoenix-based Woods Lithographics, for "The Nitrous Oxide of Digital Photography."

These printers will now go on to represent North America in the Sappi International Printer of the Year competition held in October. There, a single North American Printer of the Year will be announced, competing against the South African, Sappi Trading and European Printers of the Year.

In 2002, the International Printer of the Year honor went to North Carolina-based Belk Printing Technologies.

In addition to the six winners, MagnaPrint, of Enfield, CT, was recognized with a special Judges' Award for its 2003 artists calendar, a self-promotion piece.

Finest Printing Around

"Every year, I am dazzled by the creativity and innovative techniques showcased in the Printer of the Year entries," proclaimed Kathy Walters, Sappi Fine Paper North America president and CEO, who was on stage to announce the winners during the awards gala. "It's a privilege to honor the imagination and technical expertise that result in these great works of art."

Nearly 600 printers from across North America submitted more than 3,100 entries in this year's competition, which recognizes work printed on Sappi coated fine papers.


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