When worlds collide — a call to overhaul the National Print Awards

This year, at the four yearly PacPrint printing trade show (held in the Melbourne Exhibition Centre), it was obvious that digital printing is well on the way to taking a huge chunk of offset printing’s traditional market — see my blog on the subject.

The National Print Awards were held in conjunction with PacPrint on Friday 24th May at the Crown Palladium Ball Room in the Crown Casino complex at Southbank in Melbourne.

The interesting thing is that in 2013, PacPrint was 90% digital, and 10% offset. The National Print Awards, on the other hand, are almost exactly the opposite, with the vast bulk of awards going to offset printed products. Clearly the National Print Awards are in need of a major overhaul to align them with the realities of the printing world.

There is an amusing article in one of the daily print newsletters we subscribe to drawing attention to this misalignment. You can read the full article here. Here’s a small sample from the article.

“Astronomers are hard people to whip into a frenzy. But occasionally – just occasionally – something happens to excite their passions and make them sit up and take notice, or even duck for cover.

“It’s not often that you get two planets hurtling past each other – both going in completely opposite directions (although, I suppose that’s what “going past each other” means).

“But last Friday night [24 May] we had a near-miss of the most cataclysmic proportions, as ‘planet PacPrint’ soared at warp speed into the outer-limits of our imaginations, at once exciting and tantalising with glimpses of what ‘the future of print’ looks like.

“Meanwhile, we had ‘planet NPA’ [National Print Awards] drifting slowly along in the opposite direction, desperately trying to suck us back into the vortex of yesteryear

“Never was the disconnect more dramatically illustrated, than by the difference in composition of these two bodies – PacPrint proudly presenting the exciting new face of print – 90 per cent digital and 10 per cent offset – while the awards continue to flog those two processes almost in exactly the opposite proportions. What’s wrong with this picture?

“Why didn’t someone frog-march whoever it is that persists with these categories down the aisles at PacPrint to give them a taste of the sunlit uplands where digital is king because it generates so many new and exciting opportunities.