Golden Age Club
And the winners of the 17th annual Gold Ink Awards are …
For some, this time of year means deep autumn colors as the leaves lose their summer green. Or hot dogs and beer as the football season kicks off. For those in the print industry, however, it's all about 'gold'—the annual Gold Ink Awards—and paging through this issue of PrintMedia to admire the winners.
This year's competition, however, was particularly challenging, as so many quality entries awaited critique from the esteemed judges from several states and a variety of print production backgrounds. Plus, judges had to pour over 1,574 submissions in 46 categories, debating the merits and sweating over each nuance of every piece before bestowing a gold, silver or bronze designation on a winner. It was tiring work that sparked enough spirited discussion to keep our judges busy for four days.
"Our job was not an easy one. Some categories proved most difficult due to the sheer number of entries, others because almost every entry was worthy of an award," says Gretchen Morris, catalog manager for Edmund Industrial Optics in Barrington, N.J.
Some of the factors that the judges were compelled to consider included how difficult the project was from a production standpoint, the quality of the materials that were used, and how well the materials were manufactured and integrated.
But difficulty didn't necessarily mean complexity, nor did it automatically translate to quality.
"An entry needn't be complicated or clever to be a winner. Sometimes the simpler, the better," observes Morris.
Another judge noted that many entries pushed technology to the limits in often surprising ways. "The two things that stand out are, first, the amazing prevalence of new imaging technology on press, high-definition stochastic imaging in particular," says Christopher Farrell, associate creative director at Rodale Press in Emmaus, Pa. "On some very high-end pieces it was impossible to imagine that any technical improvement might still exist, [and it seemed] that we might actually be at the very limits of what can be accomplished with ink on paper.