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Letters, feedback, get it off your chest: 9 December 2009

Thursday, 03 December 2009
By Print 21 Online Article

Support for James Cryer’s recent commentary on the state of National Print Awards, while more readers ponder changes at Blue Star.

Re: Call for a public debate on a new Print Awards Program – James Cryer

I must commend my friend and colleague James Cryer on his article. It raises a lot of questions and issues over the current award system. Whilst I do like the idea of the ‘Best of the Best’, I believe it potentially discriminates against the smaller states. How can Tasmania compete with larger states such as Victoria or NSW? It’s simply a numbers game – the more companies submitting entries, the more chance you have of winning. The same principle applies with the number of entries each company submits.

With regard to the categories, I cannot imagine how you could possibly increase the number of those we already have. Could you imagine how many submissions you would get for inkjet on solar panels? The other point I would like to raise is that if you are going to sympathize with the web printers in the Annual Report category you might as well throw in another category for annual reports in digital electro photographic printing, with sub categories for wet toner and one for dry ink toner categories. What about a digital foiling category, or better still, digital foiling onto fabric bound by a method other than saddle stitched, or perfect bound and has four or more colours? See what I mean? Confusion should be avoided and a culture of healthy and fair competition promoted.? The other issue is that we also talk about the ‘craft of printing’. Great – fantastic! Let’s get our microscopes to see if we are indeed printing perfect dot for dot.

If the truth be said, it could be seen as an unfair advantage competing with a fellow entrant that has an older technology press compared with the one that has all the bells and whistles. In my mind ‘craft’ is more than a machine but a composite of skill, creativity and an innovative execution of printed matter. If we want to survive in this competitive industry I believe we need to embrace emerging technologies and explore how we can best utilize them, whilst at all times adhering to our creed of service and quality. Each person involved in this industry has amazing knowledge that if shared, would only benefit printing as we lift the bar and impress the fact that we are willing to move forward. We take pride in what we do and are passionate about the ‘craft’ of printing.

However, we have to become more innovative and look at how we can invigorate the industry. We also have a responsibility to ensure our industry has a healthy future ahead. Perhaps that’s why our company Digitalpress at the recent Print NSW Awards nominated our first year apprentice to accept one of our awards on behalf of the company. I think it sends out a message that we need to look at the future of print. I am glad you agree.

Theo Pettaras


Re: Best of the Best is best for National Print Awards – commentary by John Wanless

I like the idea of having the National Print Awards as the ‘best of the best’ from the states but unfortunately this does not work for all print sectors. Take commercial heatset web printing for example, press capacity is distributed nationally as follows:

45% NSW
45% VIC
4% SA
4% QLD
2% WA
0% NT
0% ACT

and in this sector magazine printing is distributed roughly as follows:

75% NSW
20% VIC
2% SA
3% QLD
0% WA
0% NT
0% ACT

To have a fair representation at the National Print Awards each state should have a proportion of entries according to market share. For NSW to be allowed only one entry in the Magazine category at the NPA for example, makes a mockery of the process.

To use a parable, it would be like World Cup Football having one qualifier from each continent, where you would have one team from the European continent up against one from Antarctica and Australia etc. This would make a farce of the game.

Like James Cryer in his article last week, I would encourage further debate on the process to enable a fairer and more representative outcome for the National Print Awards.

Mark Rolls

Fair points, but what happened to Tassie? Ed.



This article really doesn’t give much information about the new supremo as the captions are from a website it would be better to have a real history of age and experience; particularly if one ever intends to invest in shares in the printing giant.

Remember there is no harm in investing in your opposition particularly if you believe in your industry. Concerns by potential investors introducing another outsider from the industry particularly when the printing giant as you have said is off on another road show.

Grant Evans

What separates Print21 from other media is that we believe in picking up the phone and calling people, not relying on press releases or the internet. Unfortunately, when people are unavailable or unwilling to comment beyond the mere facts, it means that you cannot please all readers. Ed

Love reading about the Blue Star Group, as being a ex McMillan employee who jumped early after the sale I cannot believed the amount of good people gone from the company and the continuous clean out. Makes my decision to leave a great choice in the end.

Greg Sutherland

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