2013 Excellence Awards: Simply a Great Piece

Diamond Packaging’s 2013 Calendar won Best of Show honors.

Diamond Packaging demonstrated a multitude of capabilities in taking home Best of Show honors in packagePRINTING's 27th annual Excellence Awards competition.

Excellence it is! The 27th edition of packagePRINTING’s Excellence Awards competition lived up to its name. A wide array of entries representing the breadth of the package-printing industry—labels, flexible packaging, folding cartons, and corrugated—again reflected what is happening throughout the industry as a whole.

Companies are lean and mean, quality is a given, and eye-catching graphic presentation is a must. The 2013 Excellence Awards competition demonstrated these characteristics and much more. The judges—Peter Menzian, DuPont; Jim Flynn, Gallus; Joe Hamway, Mark Andy; and Bob Waddington, Nazdar—noted the overall consistency in the great quality of the workmanship; “Everything is good; some could have been interchangeable,” said Hamway. The judges also noted the steadily improving quality in corrugated printing, singling out this segment as the most improved category versus recent years. All companies that participated in this year’s contest are to be commended.



Best of the best

On this annual “judgement day” the fun really begins when the Best of Show selections starts. After all of the category award winners are decided, each of the first place winning entries are “up on the table” vying for selection as best of the best. Many times the judges have favorites in mind based on the good hard look they were given through the first go-around, but the judges also know well that this is where they really need to be tough. As Waddington noted, “For Best of Show, it’s got to be perfect; one wrong step and it’s out.”

With seven entries still in contention, the judges recognized that all of these had “great printing.” In the end, Diamond Packaging’s 2013 Calendar won Best of Show honors nosing out Ten High, a beautiful flexo (process) printed wine from McDowell Label & Screen Printing.

To get into Best of Show contention, the Diamond Packaging 2013 Calendar had already taken first place in the Specialty Category–Technical Achievement—and special it was. The judges were impressed with the creative graphic presentation and the number of elements incorporated in the calendar. “It was impeccable and hit all the marks,” remarked Hamway. “Everything was well put together—embossing, varnish, diecutting, and a great design,” added Waddington.

Putting it altogether

Diamond Packaging’s annual calendar is a long-standing tradition for the company and is used as a promotional item to illustrate the array of Diamond’s capabilities. According to Dennis Bacchetta, director of marketing, this year’s calendar incorporated creative design, the company’s Liquid Metal™ metallic UV specialty coating, UV gloss spot coating, multi-level embossing, and intricate diecutting. From concept to final implementation, all of these elements jumped out in the judges review.

“We explored many concepts before choosing a carousel theme,” relates Bacchetta. “When we considered the rich history of carousels in our area, specifically the nationally-renowned carousel at historic Seabreeze Amusement Park in Rochester, N.Y., our idea was born. The header depicts the Seabreeze carousel, which was built in the Philadelphia Toboggan Company tradition, featuring hand-carved horses and chariots that have created lasting memories for generations of families.”

The concept started it’s march to reality with much assistance from Jeff Bailey at Seabreeze and Diamond’s Bill Diener who photographed the carousel. The calendar was printed in one pass, with the header and all three backers on one form, says Bacchetta. The array of equipment used included a Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 105 offset press, Bobst BMA hot foil stamper, Bobst 102 CER Die Cutter/Blanker/Stripper, and Bobst Alpina 110 II Gluer.

“The graphics were enhanced with 4-color process inks, UV matte coating, UV gloss spot coating (carousel, horses, poles, paisley accents), and Liquid Metal silver metallic specialty UV coating (for each of the mirrors), contributing to a unique visual and tactile presentation,” describes Bacchetta. “Multi-level embossing [carousel, horses, poles] creates a dramatic sense of texture and depth, while a decorative diecut pattern around the header conveys the energy and movement of the carousel.

“One of the challenges of this project was to maintain tight registration of the multi-level embossing and spot gloss coating to the printing,” he continues. “We also strove to incorporate all of the value-added processes in as few production steps as possible.”

Diamond applied its Liquid Metal metallic UV specialty coating in an initial flexo dispersion coater on the Heidelberg Speedmaster press. Bacchetta describes Liquid Metal™ as a key component of Diamond’s Green Chic™ packaging model that emphasizes sustainable converting methods. “Liquid Metal specialty UV coating delivers brilliant metallic effects through a combination of flexo and offset printing with no expensive set-up costs,” he says. “It is a more sustainable alternative to metallized substrates and foil stamping.”

This year’s Best of Show winner epitomizes many of the qualities that just continue to get better and better throughout the package-printing industry—creativity, innovation, workmanship, state-of-the-art technology and materials. As one of the judges said, this year’s winner was a “slam dunk.” pP

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