This issue highlights the winning entries in packagePRINTING's 23rd annual Excellence Awards competition. The judging took place in June and as usual, it was one of my favorite days of the year. One of the main reasons for this is that the judges—this year including DuPont's Peter Menzian, Jim Flynn from Gallus, Mark Andy's Joe Hamway, and Bob Waddington, UVitec—are a great group to work with.And work is the order of the day. The Excellence Awards competition presents a unique challenge for the judges with categories that cover the full spectrum of package printing. Categories include labels, flexible packaging, folding cartons, and corrugated materials, produced using all the major printing processes—flexo, offset, gravure, screen, letterpress, digital, and combinations of all of the above. So the judges have their hands full.
The competition this year included 192 entries from 44 companies. Big winners included McDowell Label and Screen Printing, which took home 14 awards; Multi-Color/Collotype, which won a total of ten awards, including three first-place finishes; and Spear, which won six awards, with two first place winners (and came within a whisker of winning Best of Show).
Three companies hit home runs with one swing of the bat. All Stick Label Ltd. of Vaughan, Ontario actually won two awards with one entry—first place in its wine category and Best of Show. Las Vegas Color Graphics won first place in the Specialty Category for Technical Achievement with its "Las Vegas Color Graphics Portfolio" entry. Taking first-place honors in the inaugural Sustainability Category was Aurora, Ontario-based Genpak LP.
Genpak's "Key West Gourmet Foods" flexible package was produced from compostable Cellophane that is 100 percent biodegradable. Bill Reilly, development manager for Genpak, also reported that the use of expanded-gamut Opaltone flexo inks eliminated the need to change colors on-press with the ensuing wash up, reducing the amount of solvents used in the printing operation by 20 percent.