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Italian Printer, Fontegrafica, is Sappi International Printer of the Year

Friday, 17 October 2003
By Print 21 Online Article

It is third time unlucky for the local contingent in the world printing titles as Fontegrafica is declared overall world winner, picking up the highly coveted 2003 Sappi International Printer of the Year award for its Freedom to Dream book.

Three Australian printing companies made it through to the finals and their representatives travelled to New York city to be part of the occasion. From left, Tim Shafer, Sappi Trading Australia; Shane Smithe, SNPSprint; Garry Taylor, Goanna Print; Greg Grace, Heidelberg Australia, one of the three international judges; Tim Smith, SNPSprint; Graham Paxton, Goanna Print; Hugh Martin, Sappi Trading; and Garth Hackett, Offset Alpine.

The finals night involved a series of playoff between the winners in the different regions. Regional Printer of the Year awards went to Meridian Printing (North America), Creda Communications from South Africa (Africa) and C&C Offset Printing from China (pictured right, Hugh Martin with Simon Chan of C&C Offset) for the trading territories of Asia, Australasia, South and Central America. Fontegrafica, was awarded Sappi European Printer of the Year.

Jonathan Leslie, Sappi’s Chief Executive, presented the prestigious world award at a glittering gala awards function in New York at the weekend (10 October 2003). Leslie said Sappi had initiated the awards, which have claimed the title of world championships, to honour excellence in skill and craftsmanship among printers worldwide.

“The Sappi Printer of the Year awards are unquestionably the most prestigious in the industry worldwide. They’re the Oscars of printing, the industry’s equivalents of Olympic golds. The winner and all the finalists are world champions at what they do. (at right, Wolfgang Pfarl of Sappi Europe congratulates Corrado and Guiseppe Musmeci Sappi Printers of the Year.)

“These are companies at the very pinnacle of their profession; the organisations who consistently prove they have the skills and craftsmanship to print material with exceptionally high quality and to set universal standards for print on paper. Sappi is proud and privileged to honour their achievements.”

The event was appropriately held at the New York library, the Big Apple’s symbolic centre of quality literature and printed works. The winners were selected by an independent panel of judges, initially from more than 6,000 entries from more than 60 countries overall, and then from gold medal winners in their own regions.

According to Greg Grace, the Australian judge, there was almost unanimous agreement between the judges on the winners. “When we came to compare notes, agreement on all the finalists except for one or two was arrived at individually,” he said. “These were resolved after a short discussion. The winning work is truly a world beater.”

This is the third time Australian and New Zealand printers have been eligible to enter the Sappi Printer of the Year competition. The prestigious event has only one qualifying condition – that entries are printed using Sappi paper.

Tim Shaffer, general manager Sappi Trading Australia encourages all local printers to have a go. For further details and entry forms contact him on 02. 9410 2911 or email

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