Creativity and innovation stand out on day two of Jury Day

On day two, the Jury team comprised Elodie Nerot; Geet Nazir; Neeharika Paul; Nikhil Phadke; Ritesh Uttamchandani; Supreeth Sudhakaran and Yatin Patil. They judged samples sent in seven categories The categories were: Digital Printer of the Year; Digital Photo Album Printer of the Year; Fine Art Printer of the Year; Innovative Printer of the Year (paper/ paperboard/ corrugated); Innovative Printer of the Year (PET, LDPE, HDPE, PVC, PP, PS, metal/ glass); Label Printer of the Year and Pre-Media Company of the Year.

06 Oct 2023 | By Disha Chakraborty

On day two, the Jury team comprised Elodie Nerot; Geet Nazir; Neeharika Paul; Nikhil Phadke; Ritesh Uttamchandani; Supreeth Sudhakaran and Yatin Patil

What impressed the Jury most was the thought processes behind the designs of the samples, and the printing and matt, gloss, and adhesion to make the products stand out.  The three big trends which stood out on day two were: four process colours, with minimum two Pantone colours along with one special post-press operation; greater control over the pre-press which ensures easier production (almost all ops in-line); and short runs with the "sweet spot" lower and lower. The simplicity of the technology and the small footprint has enabled more and more ops being rendered in-house."

The jury members were particularly impressed with short-run labels being printed digitally with special post-press augmentation. There were entries with intricate die-cuts, cold foil and de-embossing. There were labels with invisible inks and glow-in-dark. There were pouches with biodegradable materials. There were packaging structures which were child-proof or easy for the senior citizens to use.

There were many samples like self-adhesive labels, cartons, pouches and wraparounds. What grabbed the eye of the jury members was: lightweighting versions of the same product; usage of low-migration compliant inks for indirect packaging; printing on the reverse side of shrink sleeve applications.

The Jury members were especially impressed with the anti-counterfeiting measures used in the samples, from the simple QR codes and barcodes to invisible inks to holographic effects. Also, high-end cartons featuring special finishes and metallics. Plus complex labels with multiple processes and hybrid screening.

The Jury also noted how the prevalence and availability of technology has inspired traditionally small and not-so-market-savvy brands to experiment with innovative packaging design. A quiet sort of revolution seems to be brewing in the segment, where all brands whether big or small, corporate or family-run, are able to find new ways to present their packages, with added enchancements, because the technology is available and at a competitive rate.  

Elodie Nerot said, “The samples we saw today highlight how packaging converters are pushing the boundary of what is traditionally possible in print. It was a revelation for me. I was excited to witness the different possibilities of packaging design.”

Ritesh Uttamchandani said, “I was impressed with the different printing technologies and the use of non-traditional substrates. Today, we can use so many different shades and hues, even in shorter runs, which was almost impossible until a couple of years ago.” Uttamchandani was impressed by the work in the Fine Art Category as well as the kind of photo wedding albums which are being created.. 

Neeharika Paul said, “I liked how micro-foiling has been used to enhance the tactile feel of the labels and the packages.” She also highlighted the user-friendly aspects of some of the samples, and how the packages themselves invite the user to use the product better. 

Yatin Patil said, “I was very excited to see how flexo is evolving alongside gravure. There is still a minor difference in quality, but I think flexo will catch up. Another thing I liked was how the converters are using anti-counterfeiting measures such as invisible inks, holograms, barcodes and QR codes.” Today, QR codes are popping up everywhere, there is a 4,000% increase in the segment increase in their use in the Indian market in the last two quarters. Some of the samples for the agro sector were customised for the farming community. There is less text and much-more videos, farming tips and audio apps.

Nikhil Phadke said, “For me, it was a complete revelation. For me, as a common user of consumer products, getting to see the thought process behind packaging was an eye-opening experience.”

Supreeth Sudhakaran said, “There were so many innovative samples, it was a learning experience. I especially appreciate how the post-press embellishments were unintrusive and at the service of the brand, not the other way around. Today many print firms and converters require self-adhesive labels for bottles. This is a move away from the more traditional wet labelling process. Besides increasing the bottling speeds there is a huge improvement to the quality of the label too.

Geet Nazir said, "Sustainability has become a focus area and it is good to see the industry endeavouring towards achieving it. Ultimately the solutions for sustainability, resource efficiency and recycling and reuse will come from the print and packaging industry. This will encourage and enable brands and customers to convert to the new formats; and help them to meet their sustainability commitments fast."

Noel D'cunha, managing editor of PrintWeek and WhatPackaging? magazine said, "The highlight of Day Two was to see converters and label print firms team up with materials manufacturers to advance the use of alternatives to plastic packaging. Earlier this was a utopia, today we saw industrial production. Potential applications included sachets, pouches and stand-up pouches as well as labels and cartons." He alluded to samples which were designed to be in direct contact with food products and has achieved the necessary barrier properties without the use of plastic film. Also use of eco-friendly coating process that results in a product that is free from PE, PVC, PET and polypropylene and can be reprocessed in existing paper recycling systems.  

All the jury members concurred that  the Jury Week is a wonderful opportunity for customers, brands and suppliers from across the eco-system to meet and share solutions, as well as develop new ideas to help solve key industry issues and create new opportunities."

  • The Digital Printer of the Year and Digital Photo Album Printer of the Year categories have been sponsored by Canon India.
  • The Fine Art Printer of the Year category has been sponsored by Sona Papers.
  • The Label Printer of the Year category has been sponsored by NBG Printographic. 
  • The Pre-Media Company of the Year category has been sponsored by Esko.

The Awards Night is scheduled for 30 October at the Westin, Powai, Mumbai.