Last week I attended the PINE Annual Awards Gala, where the focus of the evening was on viewing the entries to the Awards of Excellence in Printing contest and then seeing the winners of each category announced to receive their awards. There were hundreds of entries in about 30 categories, from annual reports to various types of books to catalogs to newsletters, all beautifully printed, well-designed and showing us that ink on paper still is appreciated in today’s digital world. And yes there were three categories for digital printing as well: campaign, personalized/variable data, and on demand.
But where are shows like this going? Offset printing clearly continues to decline and the number of pieces produced that qualify for a show award will also diminish. Meanwhile digitally printed work will continue to increase, but will they be the types of pieces that are award-suitable?
Perhaps it’s our categories that need to change to accommodate the multi-channel campaigns that our forward-thinking print communications companies are creating and producing today. Developing marketing communications campaigns for our clients using pURL’s, QR codes, direct mail, video, email, and all social media should be our new categories, but will our printing industry shows even acknowledge them for recognition or do we enter these in our local Direct Marketing Association competition? Only time will tell.