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‘Kiwi As’ Entry Beats Hundreds to win Award

Wellington firm Printlink has turned a ‘Kiwi as’ flat piece of plain plywood into a stunning trio of 3D Maori carvings which now hang in the Beehive, beating hundreds of entries in the prestigious Pride In Print industry awards to take home the Supreme Award 2019.

The Pride In Print awards programme is seen as the annual benchmarking event for the printing, packaging, signage and graphic arts industries and attracts a huge number of entries each year. The awards this year were held at Wellington’s TSB Arena.

Printlink’s Supreme Award entry was commissioned by Oranga Tamariki Ministry for Children, with the three panels now hanging in the Oranga Tamariki’s Beehive offices. They’re printed 3D image of actual carvings that were done by inmates of Hastings Prison, in solidarity with the theme of reducing family violence and improving family environments.

The print was taken from photographs of the carvings making their 3D appearance even more remarkable.

Pride In Print judges said: “This is Kiwi as. It’s just like a sheet of plywood that you’d purchase at your local timber shop, but it’s been turned into a beautiful thing.

“The pieces should now be in a gallery somewhere with a big price tag on them, but they were simply three pieces of plywood. This is an excellent use of flatbed (press) capability, an outstanding effort to get it right, and great execution of the original brief.”

They said an amazing amount of energy and skill had gone into making the panels what they are– a piece of art showing a beautiful carved image on a flat printed surface.

Even close up, many judges had to pass their hands over the images to satisfy themselves that they weren’t actual carvings - but a print so good it gave that illusion of a carved surface. The panels were entered under the Limited Edition & Fine Arts and the Innovation in Specialty Products categories of the awards.

One judge, Grant Blockley, said the entry was a very good example of the print industry finding something new to do with a printing machine.

“They’re doing some unique things utilising the machines they have. It’s very cool.”

Printlink general manager, Katharine Williams, said the team was just so thrilled for the recognition the award was for a job they knew had been special in the first place. Printlink is a Blue Star Group company.

“It was a very important piece for the Ministry of Social Development, and I think they will be absolutely thrilled by this award. We have a sample of this hanging on our wall and customers just can’t believe it is a print, not an actual carving. They have to touch it to see for themselves.”

Wellington companies did extremely well at the annual national awards, winning a total of 36 gold medals with three companies, including Printlink, taking out top honours. Gravure Packaging won two best in category awards, and a best in gravure process.

Wakefields Digital in Te Aro, won best in digital process for a glossy photographic mixed breed dog book by Wellington pet photographer Jo Moore, titled The Perfect Mix.

Other category and process winners in these major awards came from all over New Zealand. They were: Laserfoil Design and Print (Auckland), Amcor Flexibles Asia Pacific (Christchurch), Admark Visual Imaging (Hamilton) APC Innovate (Auckland) Print Central (Queenstown), Ovato (Auckland), Fuzed (Auckland) Webstar Auckland, Southern Colour Print (Dunedin), Stuff Christchurch, Rapid Labels (Auckland), Blue Star Works (Auckland).

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