Entries in the web offset category for newspapers, ranging from community giveaways to major city newspapers, has tended to lag behind other sectors of the printing industry since the Awards began in 1993.
Now as the Awards celebrate their 12th year, newspapers have begun to realise that their printing standards are worthy of recognition and the number of entries has lifted significantly this year.
Web Offset judge John Whittingham, of ChemTek (NZ) in Auckland, said the disappointing entry level in the past was possibly just due to work pressures.
“With the tight deadlines of the newspaper industry, perhaps people simply got the paper out on time and were happy to get off home without considering an entry into Pride In Print.
“Perhaps there was a feeling too that newspapers could not compete against supposedly higher art forms of print, like heat set or sheet fed. In fact, everything has its own category and has an equal opportunity of being recognised.
“Now, it appears that the word has got out and we had more entries for this category than ever before.”
Judging by the examples submitted, Mr Whittingham feels the New Zealand quality stacks up against the benchmarks set overseas.
“With the South China Morning Post for example, a huge newspaper, the quality was good enough for a perfume manufacturer to want to place an advertisement on the front page. That is a very big endorsement for the print quality.
“When we analyse how NZ standards compare to those, the answer is that we do well.”
Fellow judge Shane Kinniburgh, of PMP Print in Manukau, agrees that newspaper standards have improved but says that standards could be lifted still further
“With a little more time taken, and more care shown in areas such as colour consistency across a page, newspapers and other web offset printing jobs could achieve better quality results for a relatively small amount of time spent.”
Mr Kinniburgh says that now, with a greater number of newspapers entering into the Awards concept of excellence in print, the stage is set for still higher standards to be achieved in future.
“We already compare well in New Zealand with overseas. Now is the time to start lifting the bar, and achieving still better results.”
This year’s Pride In Print Awards will be staged and winners announced at the Rotorua Sportsdrome on the May 20.
For further information on the Pride In Print Awards contact:
Sue Archibald – Awards Manager 021 663 881