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Christchurch quake survivors take home Pride in Print’s top gong

Tuesday, 07 May 2013
By Print21
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A couple who lost virtually everything in the Christchurch earthquakes has risen to the top of the business mountain by winning the most prestigious prize in New Zealand’s printing and packaging awards, Pride in Print 2013 – on 3 May in Wellington.

The traditional postcard may never look quite the same again after Arria Design Group Limited of Albany, North Shore, designed a translucent plastic card that allows light to shine through photographs of beautiful scenery.

Arria’s New Zealand Postcard – Milford Sound (pictured) took the Supreme Award at the 2013 Pride In Print Awards, stunning judges with the innovative quality of its design. The card shows a photograph of a native tui bird against a backdrop of the beautiful Milford Sound.

Arria director Matt Foster, who with his wife Adie was a victim of the earthquakes, came up with an ingenious way to create see-through images for use in various forms including bookmarks.

Their production methods are kept strictly confidential but the effect is to create something out of the ordinary. It has immediately paid commercial dividends.

Matt used his screen-printing tradesperson experience to develop a way of working on multi-layered printing on both sides of “glass-clear” polycarbonate, creating stunning depth effects, transparency and opacity. This process, used by leading companies to ignite their brands and sales, is unique and proprietary to the Arria Print Group.

“We sell these postcards to retailers through distribution outlets. It’s going well. We are about to start producing a range for Australian distribution and we are targeting other international markets,” says Matt.

It is a massive leap for a couple who until a few years ago were counting the pennies to invest in new machinery in their original Foster Screeprinting and then saw their Christchurch property devastated in the earthquakes.

It came as a result of some technical hard yards. Screen printing is notoriously prone to being affected by dust and contamination, and Arria developed a “clean room” mentality.

“We have people wearing the whole apparel — head gear, suits, the lot. We need it to achieve the quality we are aiming at,” says Matt.

Pride In Print judges agreed with him. Senior judge Symon Yendoll said that as far as postcards are concerned, the see-through images were a step outside the square.

“They are creating something different from the norm of cardboard or metal bookmarks which have to use adornments such as tassels as points of difference,” said Yendoll. “This is very innovative, fantastic concept. It is changing our definitions of the ‘postcard’. It can be mailed but is the first time plastic has been used in this way.

“The production process is very labour-intensive and there has been a lot of care going into its making. It is well thought-out and produced with excellence,” he said.

The New Zealand Postcard – Milford Sound also shared the Industry Development Category prize at Pride In Print with the Pizza Hut Hot Dots entered by Impressions International Ltd of Auckland.

Arria accepted their award before a packed audience of about 550 people at the TSB Arena on Wellington’s waterfront.

The other major winners were:

  • Publications Category – Ghosts in the Landscape, entered by Printlink of Petone, which features the photography of the celebrated Grant Sheehan and takes a journey through some of the most visual and haunting images of our history.
  • Business Print – The New Zealand Screen Production Guide entered by Service Printers of Wellington, which introduces foreign movie makers to the benefits of locating their productions in New Zealand.
  • Packaging – The Woodgrain Cherry Carry Pack entered by Amcor Cartons Christchurch, a self-erecting pack that is easy to carry and has a clear plastic window so the customer can see the quality of fruit inside.
  • Labels – The Horleys Replace Lemon Lime drink label, entered by Rapid Labels of Auckland, which features the faded image of a swimmer to attract the attention of the active sportsperson.
  • Display Print – The Bookmark Range Window Sign, entered by Arria Design Group Limited of Albany, which features four see-through bookmarks with white borders, fanned out against a backdrop of a leadlight-effect depiction of a couple kissing. The whole image is translucent.
  • Promotional Print – The Warehouse Stationery Business Christmas Catalogue, entered by Webstar of Masterton, which radically altered its machinery so it could include pages that folded out to double their width in the centre of the publication.
  • Specialty Products – The Karen Walker Sea Monsters New York Invite, entered by Logick Print & Graphics Ltd of Auckland, was printed on a deep blue background with intricate foiled scrolling surrounding the figure of an octopus and the invitation text, and was produced for a showing to a New York audience by world-renowned fashion designer Karen Walker.

Process winners (reflecting technical skill in specific print processes) were: Printlink of Petone in Sheetfed for Ghosts in the Landscape; Webstar of Masterton in Web Offset for the Warehouse Stationery Business Christmas Catalogue; Gravure Packaging Ltd of Petone in Gravure for the Whittaker’s Fruit and Nut Wrapper; Sealed Air Hamilton in Flexography for the Ikana Greenshell Mussels wrapper; Admark Visual Imaging of Hamilton in Inkjet for the BK Mexican – Backlit; Momento Photobooks of Wellington in Digital for Nature Heritage by Graeme Guy; and Brazen Clothing of Wellington in Screen for Earth Hour.

The Awards Evening featured the theme “Print Out Loud” as a tribute to the quality that New Zealand print and packaging companies can produce.

John Greenacre, Spicers General Manager, speaking on behalf of the Patrons (Spicers, Fuji Xerox, Aarque Group and Heidelberg), said that this was the 20th anniversary of Pride in Print and it was a pathway out of the difficult economic conditions the industry had faced.

“The past year has been tough with many businesses folding and long-term employees in this industry losing what might once have been jobs for life. However tonight these Awards show us the way forward.

“In this changing environment we need to differentiate ourselves from our competitors and adapt to the world we live in not the one we were once used to.

“Every year these Awards introduce new blood to our industry and promote people who deliver innovation and add value to our work. And in doing that these Awards have as much if not more relevance than they did 20 years ago.

“The quality of the entries is outstanding and should give us confidence that however bumpy the ride has been this year, our industry is in safe hands.”

Print NZ Manager Ruth Cobb said the key strategic goal for the organisation was to ensure a strong and vibrant industry, and these Awards were proof of that.

“It has been a somewhat tumultuous start to the year, but tonight we put all that aside and stand as one industry as we celebrate the incredible world-class work that we produce.”

Patrons, sponsors and judges were thanked by Awards Chairman Scott Porter.

John Cudby, General Manager of the Communications and Media ITO, introduced the finalists for the Apprentice of the Year Awards.

The evening was compered by two of the celebrities of New Zealand stage and screen, actress Miranda Harcourt and comedian Paul Ego from the country’s top-rating music breakfast show, The Rock’s “Morning Rumble”.

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