April 6, 2004 -- At this year's red dot awards, the international jury of the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen selected four Heidelberger Druckmaschinen AG (Heidelberg) machines as winners of the sought-after accolade for outstanding product design. The new Stahlfolder KH/TH generation of folders – which comprises buckle plate and combination folders – even won the "best of the best" award for top design quality. Other red dot awards went to the ST 350 saddlestitcher, the Dymatrix 106 CSB sheet punch and the Speedmaster 102 sheetfed press. The award-winning presses and finishing units will be presented by Heidelberg at drupa in May 2004. “Our customers are media service providers who insist on providing high print quality, precision finishing and sophisticated product esthetics for their end customers. This is why we're offering an attractive product design and – most importantly – a user-friendly product”, explains Bernhard Schreier, Chief Executive Officer at Heidelberg.
The red dot is an international seal of design quality which has been awarded since 1955. Of 1673 products submitted from 32 countries, 381 were awarded the renowned red dot this year. The "best of the best" award went to 33 products. The award ceremony will take place on July 5, 2004 in the Aalto Theater in Essen. Thereafter, it will be possible to see the award-winning products on the Internet and in the red dot Design Museum in the Zeche Zollverein. Following evaluation of the red dot awards, Heidelberg won yet another accolade – the company is number two this year in the Industrial Design rankings, behind Festo. The "Ranking:Design" is rated by Verlag Publishing Concepts AG in Offenbach who analyze the results of 19 design competitions across Germany.
Technology and design in perfect harmony At drupa 2000, Heidelberg also presented itself as a solution provider with novel industrial design. The design is modern and innovative and supports the values embodied by Heidelberg – quality, precision, stability and trust. "It is our job to
reflect the technology housed within a machine in its outer appearance", explains Eckhard Köbler, Head of Industrial Design at Heidelberg. With a workforce of twelve, his department is responsible for every aspect of the product, from the initial idea right through to series production. This applies to the complete workflow from prepress and press to postpress. The design features standardized navigation on all machines via a touchscreen display. The operator is taught how to operate the system once and can then find his way around all machines – "learn once – use many".
The most striking aspects are the colors and design elements used. Clear, geometric shapes as a design standard ensure that Heidelberg machines are highly recognizable. Heidelberg Blue is used throughout for the logos on the machines. The "mica" silver tone emphasizes the key function, for example, the printing unit in the case of the press, the folder module in the case of folders and the punching unit in the case of the punching machine. Rounded guards and operating panels are design elements which stimulate an emotional response. "The design of a machine should make the owner proud to own it and boost its resale value", explains Köbler. Clear shapes and bright colors also help to increase staff motivation. For example, a printer works a whole shift at the delivery of a press. Its design is light and welcoming since this is where the finished sheet appears and it is therefore a key element in the value added chain.
Since 1990, Heidelberg has won more than thirty awards, including twelve red dot awards, for its industrial design. In 2002, the Speedmaster CD 74 sheetfed press won the Design Award of the Federal Republic of Germany from the Rat für Formgebung in Frankfurt.
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