Making it look easy - The Noel D'Cunha Sunday Column

India’s print business is setting new standards, and it’s spreading. The print companies are becoming good at producing excellence, and are getting better every passing year.This Sunday Column, we look at what the Jury Members had to say about the print samples they scrutinised during the previous six editions of PrintWeek India Awards

03 Jul 2015 | By Noel D'Cunha

During the last six judgement days, the jury members were lavish in their praise. “Everybody’s printing goddam wonderful that it’s difficult to which of them is a winner,” said one. “Wow”, “Fantastic”, and “It was a privilege to be part of the jury for the Awards” were some of the other refrains we heard.
Here are glimpses of compliments and praise the jury members showered on the print samples.
We are so busy with our work that we’re unaware of recent trends in print. Some of the coating jobs and spot UV was excellent. As well as four-colour jobs with extra colour gamut.
Amit Navrange, production manager at Conde Nast
I liked the variety of image styles – black and white, duotone, four-colour – along with the variety of paper used. There were interesting print jobs that had great finishing.
Ashish Khazanchi, Publicis India Communication
Most of the packaging products on display demonstrated the important link in the chain that’s so important – a level of cooperation between product, design, manufacturing and printing. I was impressed.
Shrirang Sahasrabudhe, operations manager, Ergo India 
“It was great to know that the participants are not only from Mumbai and Delhi but from print hubs all over the country. The potential for the printing industry is huge when one considers the quality of applications.”
Shireesh Sabnis, production controller, Publicis Ambienc
The event transported me to a world of innovative print applications with interesting visuals and design. Some of the creative repro work was superbly re-worked. The images had a balance between half tones, shadow and depth.
Arpana Mehta, copy supervisor, Creative, Ogilvy & Mather
Offset printing did produce works which could not be thought about then. But today, digital printing has completely revolutionised the entire system. Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be. As an editor for an arts and ideas journal, I need tactile feel of a book. One may enjoy reading from internet but the tactile feel of a book is different.
Bina Sarkar, publisher and editor, International Gallerie
This is a great event. As print buyers we are exposed to the various options available, which is beneficial to both, the customers and the printers. The categories are commendable, especially the Innovative Printer. It’s the printers who help us convey a social message. The quality of jobs on display is simply fabulous
Vibhuti Patki, manager, production marketing, Hafele India
Impressive. In its third year, PrintWeek India Awards, with the sheer number of entries signifies that it has created a sensation and is considered a coveted Award in the industry. While the recipients of the awards use this as a pitch to market themselves, the print buyers are gaining recognition through it as well.
Subhasis Ganguli, vice president - production, Pearson Group
These are fine examples of the kind of printing work that is possible even in India. I was amazed at some of the customised printing opportunities available in the country. We have all seen the personalised calendars and diaries, but the opportunities are galore, and as agencies we need to look at using these for our clients.
K V Sridhar, national creative director, Leo Burnett
I witnessed a lot of variation in the usage of media. Printing is no longer limited to the conventional mediums such as paper and paperboard. Ribbons, cushions, mini-bar prototypes were few among the interesting innovations I saw.  
Ashwini Deshpande, founder director and design practice head, Elephant Design
Awards are very crucial in keeping the industry dynamic and help set up benchmarks for the industry to achieve. I was very impressed by some of the packaging samples in Point of Purchase category which were based on corrugated material and targeted the retail industry.
Paulose Parakkadan, operations director, r-pac India
In the variable data printing (VDP) segment, there is a lot done in the market. However, I believe there is a scope for lot more. Also, in the Innovative Printer of the Year category, there is a huge lift in the extent of innovations that were submitted
Geetanjali Bhattacharji, Spatial Access
It’s a mixed feeling when one sees the scale of these awards and the number of entries. When the quality of a print job, which is subject to various factors, is under scrutiny, the parameters of comparison must be defined and understood. Else, the judging process becomes difficult. But a clear message conveyed is ¬Print is not dead and print is not going to be dead.
Newspaper guru and print expert, Purnendu Sen
The fact that 113 companies have participated in the awards is a testimony of the extent of great work being produced. A lot of the work was interesting. For a piece of work to come alive, design elements should be amalgamated. But, I feel, the overall quality, scope and extent of print production has risen.
Alpana Parida, DY Works

Print has changed tremendously over the past decade in terms of quality. There are so many options and possibilities. The print buyers and designers are blissfully unaware of the possibilities that exists.
Karan Rawat, Autumnwinter Communications & Design
Printing has become an art and piece of science, from being a hit and miss. Today, print will make money only if you create something that will 'wow' your client.
Hemant Randive, general manager - production services, FCB Ulka
If I told you that the top printers in advanced countries were the same five decades ago, you would probably conclude that the print business has stagnated. In the case of the Indian print business, that would be quite wrong.
The Indian print business grew slowly some three decades ago, with the top printers gathering momentum two decades ago and taking off a decade ago.
I would conclude that the some of the Indian printers; top, medium or small, are truly outstanding. And in case of their innovative ability, you are right on the money.
And the proof is the PrintWeek India Awards – all the six editions produced a startling number of innovative print samples that has made print both sauvé and sexi.
The PrintWeek India Awards will be held on 7 October, 2015.
The early bird entry deadline for the PrintWeek India Awards has been extended to 18 July 2015. Thus, you still have 13 days to avail the discount and stake your claim as one of the top print companies in India.