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Sappi North America Announces Winners of 19th Annual Printer of the Year Competition

Press release from the issuing company

10 North American printers have been recognized for their technique and technical excellence 

BOSTON –  Sappi North America, a leading producer and supplier of diversified paper and packaging products, today announced the North American Printer of the Year and 10 Gold Award winners for its 19th North American Printer of the Year contest. Regarded as the world's most respected accolade of excellence in printed communications, this award recognizes superior innovation and creativity in print across 10 categories for work produced on Sappi papers. The 2016 winners were chosen as the most outstanding print submissions from over 1,400 entries.

"Printers are consistently finding groundbreaking ways to showcase the work of talented designers and marketers. All of the projects submitted this year were worthy of praise, and the competition was fierce," said Patti Groh, Director of Marketing Communications, Sappi North America. "With our Printer of the Year competition, Sappi believes that these brilliant and visionary ideas are shaping the future of our industry."

Battlefield Graphics, a full service printer with a range of capabilities that include in-house pre-press, printing, and finishing services, is this year's 2016 Printer of the Year award winner. Based in Ontario, Canada, the printer was selected for the book “Art of Rush”, printed for Showtech Merchandising, Inc., which showcases the 40-year relationship of famed musical group Rush and their longtime artist and illustrator, Hugh Syme. The book was printed on Sappi's McCoy Gloss Text and McCoy Silk Cover.

According to judge Jim Tenorio, professor emeritus in the Cross-Media Graphics Management Program at University of Wisconsin-Stout, the piece was chosen for a number of reasons: "The quality of the printing throughout the entirety of The Art of Rush was stellar. It was a challenging piece to create in that the content and images contained a lot of variety,” he said. “It’s one thing to produce a good volume when the images are similar, but the stakes are raised when the content includes artwork with a variety of images, styles, and original media that spanned decades. The design and execution of the book binding complemented and unified the content into an exceptional example of the power of print."

Battlefield Graphics will receive $20,000 to support branding and marketing initiatives, as well as up to 5,000 pounds of Sappi paper. The Gold Award winners, each chosen for their dedication to craft and meticulous eye for detail, will receive 5,000 pounds of paper and a spot on the list of preferred Sappi printers. 

A panel of highly regarded print professionals selected the winning entries based on the overall impact of the piece, degree of difficulty in printing techniques, and technical excellence. The winners of Sappi's North American Printer of the Year award competed in a variety of categories, including Books, Brochures, Direct Mail and Cross-Channel Communications. The following companies represent the best winners of this year’s competition: 

Gold Award Winners of Sappi's North American Printers of the Year, 2016



Company Name

Location of Company


Gold & Printer of the Year

Battlefield Graphics Inc.

Burlington, ON



HighRoad Press, LLC

Moonachie, NJ




Ridgefield Park, NJ



Sandy Alexander, Inc.

Clifton, NJ



Colour Innovations, Inc.

Toronto, ON

Direct Mail


Classic Color

Broadview, IL



The Hennegan Company, an RR Donnelley Company

Florence, KY

Magazines – Sheet


Hemlock Printers Ltd.

Burnaby, BC

Magazines - Web


Publishers Press

Shepherdsville, KY

Printers Own Promotions


Fry Communications, Inc.

Mechanicsburg, PA

To ensure the highest possible standards and integrity, this year's judging panel was comprised of judges from recognized print institutions and trade professions, including: Lauren Elliot, Principal of Wicked Good Print Production; Ken Lantz, studio producer at Ashfield Healthcare Communications; Dr. James K. Tenorio, professor emeritus in the Cross-Media Graphics Management Program at University of Wisconsin-Stout, Wisconsin's Polytechnic University; and John Tenwinkel, program manager at Shutterfly.

Sappi's North American Printer of the Year winners will also gain increased visibility with current and potential clients by being featured on their own page in Sappi's Printers of the Year Online Resource. This unique and searchable database for designers, print buyers and corporations provides information about the award-winning printers and their capabilities, printing equipment and location. The database is available here.


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