A decade of innovation: The beautiful prints of India– The Noel D'Cunha Sunday Column

Innovation matters, but what is innovation?

In this Sunday Column, PrintWeek India celebrates a decade of innovation

18 Aug 2019 | By Noel D'Cunha


Innovative Printer of the Year Award 2009 | Peacock Media (Mumbai)


Peacock Media bagged the Award for the clever use of technologies for solutions, which resulted in really innovative products. Innovation based on systematic processes that organisations use to develop new and improved products, services and business methods. According to Peacock Media, it involves harnessing creative ideas of an organisation’s employees and blending it with the infrastructure to bring a steady flow of profitable new innovation to the marketplace – fast and efficiently.

Peacock’s Indian Railways project was one such innovation, which attracted national attention. This was followed by its heroics for Jet Lite and others like HSBC. It also earned them awards at the Singapore advertising event and HP excellence award in 2008. As one judge remarked, this PrintWeek India Innovative Award is “yet another Peacock feather in the cap”.


Innovative Printer of the Year  Award 2010 | Jak Printers (Mumbai)


The Innovative Printer of the Year was one of the strong groups with very high-quality entries. While most of the entries had good production value, Jak Printers’ entries, which won this Award category “took more chances, even within traditional styles.” The Excelerate flyer had the judges exclaiming “an innovation that’s succinct and hip too!” The Chinese binding used and the casing for the book Madhushala also came in for special praise.

Jak Printers, which produced the award winning entries, called on its in-house post-press expertise and specialised printing skills to woo its clients, and our judges.


Innovative Printer of the Year Award 2011 | Jayna Packaging 


This category saw a maximum number of entries (59) from the 18 Quality Awards categories. What stood out was the first time entrant Jayna Packaging’s Rocking Chair made out of strongly bounded stacks of fabricated 180 gsm five-ply corrugated board. It had the jury members exclaiming “such an innovation is out-of-the-box and diverse from two-dimensional print.”

The winning entry was one of the most aesthetic achievements of Haresh Mehta, owner of Jayna Packaging. It amply demonstrated the company values of product design and the importance of translating them into three-dimensional models. According to Mehta, “corrugated sheets are known to be dull, cube boxes which are used to pack and transport merchandise. I challenged this perspective.” All the 29 jury members who sat on the chair were amazed.


Innovative Printer of the Year Award 2012 | Parksons Graphics (Mumbai)


This was one of the categories which saw a photo-finish result. Parksons Graphics inched ahead of its nearest competitor Marvel Graphic Studio’s ‘Curiosity Kills the Cat’ (by a mere point) on the usability factor for its Note n Tote Bag entry. 

While judging the awards, the jury looked into how much the entries support the overall efforts in print, usability, understanding of the target audience and available resources besides innovation.

As one judge said, innovation occurs at the edges of organisations. Innovators must have foresight; must be able to conceive a product in a compelling manner and they must execute successfully. The note n Tote Bag entry had all those qualities.

Parksons Graphics is a commercial-cum-magazine printer, also a noted playing cards printer used a Sakurai flatbed press, outputting screen positive with a Prinergy workflow. Stitching was used as a post-press force.

The bag is designed to be carry bag – a clutch and collapses into a travel pouch. The Bag produced for 61c had a run-length of 500 and used 105gsm Tyvek paper. “We had to do embroidery on jobs, and we were able to utilise our skills and equipment to take on the entire stitching of a bag,” says Parksons Graphics. “We are a printer, and this job is an example of versatility and value-addition that we can offer in print today.”


Innovative Printer of the Year Award 2013 | Parksons Graphics and Spectrum Scan (Mumbai)

The Innovative Printer category saw a close fight among the contestants, two of whom topped the chart with equal points. Last year’s winner Parksons Graphics and Vasai-based Spectrum Scan were declared winners, for the usability factor and for creating a product that emphasises the “wow” factor.

Parksons Graphics, the Mumbai-based company, which picks up three Awards this year, had a winner in the ACK Media’s Trolly Bag. Parksons, which promotes itself as a solution provider, says, “It’s our duty to understand the pain areas of our clients, and during one of our visit to ACK Media, we stumbled on a problem of theirs.”

According to Parksons, ACK Media wanted to market around 300 titles of their Indian classic titles, mythology, bravehearts, visionary, fables, etc together. They also wanted to add 10 hard case books of comics into this pack. The challenge was: how to pack these and display it in their bookstalls?

Parksons fabricated a box using four-ply double wall heavy duty corrugated, 300gsm three-M-duplex board, and printed the titles with illustrations (in four-colour) on the outer side of the box, with its Heidelberg XL 105. All the titles were placed in the box. Since the box was around 45kgs, four castor wheels were fitted to the box to make it mobile. The fabrication of the box makes it a multi-purpose item. The lid of the box has been created in such a way that it can be pulled out and used as a handle for the trolley. The box can also be used as a chair and a table to write. “This is not only a solution but a marketing triumph,” says Parksons, because ACK Media could sell a large number of its titles to NRIs.

Spectrum Scan’s The Cadbury thermoformed large-format is a high-impact display item. The back-lit, print and formed backlit signage was designed in-house. The pre-press included colour and graphic correction and pre-distortion to compensate for thermoform distortion. Semi-automatic screen printing machine was used to print the PET G acrylic sheets. The in-house thermoforming machine was used to form the shape of the bottle. CMYK colour was used to produce and a special colour was used to compensate for the distortion of colour and day and night effect.

Spectrum Scan recently opened an experience lounge, what it claims is, a unique concept. It is called the Bazaar, a 2,500 sq/ft showroom of POP and POS items. It has also installed an interdeck- six-colour + coater (28inch x 40inch) Roland press and a new custom-made 5 x 10 thermo-forming machine. “This technology has opened up new markets and opportunities and we are now looking at the next exciting investment,” says Amit Shah of Spectrum Scan.

According to the judges, the two ideas by itself would not have made it an award-winner, but the ability to leverage its use beyond display, has taken it to that level. “Innovative products with a purpose,” said one.


Innovative Printer of the Year Award 2014 | Screen Art Enterprises (Mumbai)

Screen Art Enterprises beat some impressive competition from the other shortlisted companies to lay claims to this year’s Innovative Printer of the Year Award for their Om book wedding card. A total 2,100 of these book wedding cards were printed using a four-colour offset press and screen printing on Sun fine paper supplied by Sona Commercial. Post-press solutions used for the wedding card were perfect registration, foiling and punching. But the most unique feature that set it apart was folding of individual pages of the book to recreate Om on the book. It took almost two months of folding pages to get perfection and achieve the desired result.


Innovative Printer of the Year Award 2015 | Jayna Packaging


The brief for the judges was to look for an innovative combination of man and machine to achieve a unique product. Jayna Packaging’s Corrugated Kids Furniture entry simply fits the description, about which one of the judges said, “When we look at these set of chairs and tables, we are looking at the rituals of kids studying and socialising. It’s got an innocent quality to it.” Yet another added, “When I sat on the table, and leaned forward, I could feel the little boy inside me come out.”

The Mumbai-based corrugation specialist returns to pick up the Innovative Awards three years after it floored the judges with its Rocking Chair in 2011.

Jayna’s renewable, recyclable, eye-catching coloured kid’s furniture is entirely made of corrugated board, and is so designed to be easy enough for a child to assemble with a little help from mom and dad. Each piece packs flat for shipping, saving on transportation.


Innovative Printer of the Year Award 2016 | Jayna Packaging


Jayna Packaging is the ‘Steve Jobs’ of innovation. Plus the innovations are desi and economical.

The company, which took home the prism in the same category last year for its kid’s furniture made of corrugated board, again wins the honour for another innovative product – the Loo Box – made entirely of corrugated board.

It was the cover story of PrintWeek India 10 August 2016 issue, and rightly so!

The kit consists of a portable commode and a sleeve for privacy. It also has compostable, biodegradable bags, hand sanitiser and tissues. It is light-weight, foldable and convenient to hold as a carry pack while travelling. It can be used anytime, anywhere during emergencies, when nature’s call cannot be ignored.


Innovative Printer of the Year Award 2017 | Viraj Prints (Mumbai) and Any Graphics (Noida)

Viraj Prints: Last year’s joint winner in the Industrial Product Printer of the Year category, Viraj Prints takes home the trophy this year, while the Jury also commends Any Graphics for its innovations.

The Nescafe Rotating Parasite for Nestle India features a solar panel fitted within the unit to make it rotate with indoor lights. The four-colour plus inline coating job is printed on a Komori Lithrone LS 29 HUV. The plates are fired on Kodak Trendsetter with dry process technology. The USP of the job is that it resolves the issue of the scarcity of power supply or sockets at the retail counters. Total 1,100 units of this in-house POS (point of sale) displays were made.

Any Graphics received the Special Jury Award for its in-house customised holographic design pattern Rangolee for Arts and Crafts. The 5,000 labels are printed using metallised polyester on Omet flexo press with two coatings. Generally, while producing intricate label designs, a male-female die or laser cutting is used to strip off the unwanted face stock material, which in some cases is done in an offline process. Any Graphics have tweaked its machine to accomplish the operation inline on the press thereby eliminating the additional die making cost. According to the firm, it can now remove unwanted facestock area as small as 2mm in diameter.


Innovative Printer of the Year Award 2018 | Pragati Pack (Hyderabad) and Aadarsh (Bhopal)

Pragati Pack: The Folding Foropter has been developed by Pragati Pack in collaboration with LV Prasad Eye Institute, in an attempt to provide affordable tools for Refractive Error screening in low resource areas. 10,000 pieces have been created using Cyber XL and pieces of 1.5mm binding board to hold the lenses. The offset printed job includes fabrication with concave and convex lenses embedded in the binding board. The design had to take multiple things into consideration, such as ensuring the safety of the lenses, foldability so that they can be shipped flat and allowing easy assembly at the end-user level.

Aadarsh: Talking Teacher is a series of books which is specially printed with codes. When the reading device is pointed on the codes, an audio file is activated. The reader can listen to the corresponding audio while reading the printed words.