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Heidelberg lends a ‘judging hand’

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Shanghai, the location of the 2005 Sappi International Printers of the Year awards, is a city that has one foot in the past while at the same time racing headlong into the future.

There was no better place to hold the Sappi awards than Shanghai, where art and tradition are celebrated in a cutting edge, modern environment.

At the Sappi awards, ‘top of their class’ entries from around the world are assessed by an international panel, with judges being rotated every two years.

Heidelberg manager education and special projects for Australia and New Zealand (HAN) Greg Grace has been an internationally-recognised Sappi judge for past two years.

While Grace’s two-year judging tenure had expired, an unexpected gap in the 2005 judging panel, due to one of the original judges not being able to join the panel, resulted in him being invited to attend the awards in Shanghai in October this year.

“The request came out of the blue and thanks to HAN I was able to participate in this amazing event, in an amazing city,” says Grace.

“For the first time, all nine categories were judged independently to determine one overall winner in each classification. There were nine International Printers of the Year and nine elephant awards presented at Friday’s ceremony.”

All entries were gold medal winners from one of the four regions (North America, Europe, Africa and ‘Trading’, which encompasses Central and South America, Asia and Australasia).

The judges commented on the array of marvelous printing and the exceptionally high standard exhibited.

In fact such quality makes award selection quite difficult.

“HAN is committed to sharing the expertise of its employees for judging print awards both in Australia and around the world, including Australia’s state-based PiCA’s and the National Print Awards,” Heidelberg general manager - marketing and product management Glenn Plummer said.

“We make a significant contribution to the industry through sponsorship of all major print awards in Australia and New Zealand. We also support ‘in kind’.

“We have a great depth of skilled and experienced employees and are proud and willing to share their expertise for the benefit of our industry,” he added.

While the winners at this Sappi awards were from Europe, North America and South Africa, Plummer encourages Australian printers to actively participate in print awards.

“Australia has a wealth of skilled and passionate printers and I believe that entering a print award is the perfect way to show the general print buying public and the world the fine work that is produced in this country.”

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