Print power reigns

The jury says print needs to leverage its 500-year old tradition much more aggressively, if it has to have any impact on the spends by brands and influence the creativity of new-age designers.

08 Oct 2013 | By PrintWeek India

Geetanjali Bhattacharji, Spatial Access
There is a lot of thought that has gone in the conception, printing and execution of this calendar. Each of the pages have an innovative feature and aptly appeases the target audience; the children and the Disney viewers. The colours are vibrant. This, undoubtedly, is an example of calendar made to work the best.

Ashwini Deshpande, Elephant Design
This is an exemplar of practicing restraint. A printer could have done numerous things with this job, but the designer has showed restrain, to which the printer has done complete justice. The die-cutting and embossing is intricate and the colours are excellent. It goes back to simplicity, something which seems forgotten today.

Paulose Parakkadan, R-pac India
This is an all media-inclusive product. There is rigid box packaging, carton, the printing and then the inclusion of the audio device. It is an excellent example of how one would want to present their company profile, or a particular product to their clients and prospects. With this kind of work, corporate communication has a long way to go.


Kiran Prayagi, Graphic Arts Technology & Education
This piece of work requires the best of all; planning, designing and print innovation for the execution. The designer has explored and tapped the possibilities of the printing and the finishing processes. With all the technology available, it is all about how one makes its optimum use. 


K V Sridhar, Leo Burnett
This is the top job among all the jury members this year. The sample looks like a copy of the lithoprint of an artist. However, when one touches and feels it, the intricately produced work comes very close to the original. The printer, for producing such a piece of work, puts in more efforts than the artist himself. Kudos!

Raja Mohanty - Industrial Design Centre, IIT  Bombay

The National Gallery of Modern Art (NGMA), Mumbai, hosted a printmaking exhibition that had woodcuts, etchings, lithographs and screen-prints from the Waswo X Waswo Collection. The exhibition represented over 84 Indian artists from diverse geographical regions. At a printmaking colloquium organised as a part of this exhibition senior printmakers and artists R M Palaniappan, Rajan Fulari and Kavita Shah spoke of their concerns on printmaking. 
The opportunity to be a part of the jury for the PrintWeek India Awards, provided me a glimpse of an entirely different universe of printing.
It would be of interest to note that printmaking techniques such as woodcut, linocut and lithography are the precursors of highly sophisticated print technologies available today. The Ravi Varma Lithographic Press started in 1894 in Bombay, printed oleographs of Hindu gods, goddesses and mythological figures. Picasso’s line drawings were made available as limited edition copies printed by master printers. 
Printing technologies advanced. It was not very long, before an ordinary person with limited means could acquire excellent reproductions of Van Gogh’s sunflowers, printed as posters, T-shirts, on coffee-mugs. The work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction destroyed the aura around some rare and inaccessible original painting.  
The digital revolution ushered in new means of communication but the printed image held its ground. Walking through the rows of printed material at the PrintWeek India Awards session, it was evident that Indian printing had come of age. Yet, there was something that made me uncomfortable and pondering over what this could be. 
I thought that I finally figured why I felt a sense of uneasiness. The very well organised display of excellently printed material, suggested an age of excess and in the same breath, an age of anxiety. Someone had changed all the rules and now a book could be judged only by its cover.