Judging criteria

Judging will be by panel headed by a chairman. Judges are independent industry professionals picked for their relevant sector expertise and knowledge.

Production quality is fundamental and the printer’s skills in prepress, printing and finishing are key criteria. However, as the market becomes more complicated, there is more to many jobs than production prowess. With that in mind we ask for a brief written submission that puts the physical samples into a broader context using the criteria listed on the entry form.


  • Adding value

    Printed products that clearly show the benefit of digital print to enhance profitability and/or effectiveness. Please provide evidence of how digital production increased effectiveness, highlighting the benefits to your customer and their clients. These can include financial performance, raised awareness, better response or other elements that clearly demonstrated added value.

  • Books

    Any digitally printed book is eligible. Monochrome or colour, on demand, short run and personalised. The judges will be looking at the production quality including repro, print and binding. Additionally they will be considering challenges and advantages for the producer or the customer by using digital print.

  • Creative use of substrates

    Examples of jobs where the physical attributes of the material used are fundamental to success. This includes printing onto challenging substrates and sympathetic design, print and finishing to highlight the tangible and tactile qualities of the materials used.

  • Designed for digital print

    This award will be given to the job that best exemplifies the capabilities and strengths of digital print and finishing. This may include extended gamut printing, using additional colours, fluorescent or clear inks or toners, variable data capability (at least three samples will be required to demonstrate this), printing on unusual substrates, “digital embellishment” (each item potentially different) or other special effects techniques.

  • Environmental/sustainability company of the year

    We are looking for print companies that can demonstrate an ongoing commitment to sustainability through their policies and working practices. This may range from choice of substrates, inks and print technologies to waste management, recycling and carbon offsetting initiatives plus employee engagement and recognition programmes. The 500-word “job” description here should outline these and supporting documents such as policies, environmental certifications or awards may be submitted, along with a sample of any job that you feel particularly demonstrates these values.

  • Finishing

    The use of post-press processes to add value and differentiation. Judges will be looking for evidence that the finishing processes provided clear benefits. These may be through the format, feel and appearance of the job, or reduced time, cost and material usage.

  • Innovation

    Any digitally printed job, regardless of process or format, that offers something beyond the current state of the art. Whether it is the printing or finishing processes employed, the substrate used, format, use of data or the business model. The judges will be looking at innovations in production, service and delivery. Please provide a clear description of the challenges faced, innovative approaches taken to meet them and evidence of the benefits.

  • Labels

    Labels that use digital printing to deliver additional benefit to the customer. That may include making high-quality products available for micro and small businesses in addition to providing agile supply chains and reduced inventory and waste.

  • Marketing collateral

    Marketing materials produced digitally, including personalised campaigns. The judges will be looking at the print and finishing quality, the materials used and the choice of format to provide impact and effectiveness. Details of how digital production improved the offering along with supporting data will be considered.

  • Multi-channel communication

    Stand out examples of multi-channel campaigns that include a printed component. Please provide details of all the channels used (eg email, SMS, web), and how print was integrated. As far as possible provide the objectives for the campaign and for each channel, and evidence that objectives were met.

  • SME business initiative

    The SME business initiative category rewards any activity that has driven your firm forward. It is about steps taken to improve your business. Examples include training, sales and marketing, diversification, developing new products, efficiency improvements, adoption of standards or other certification and environmental initiatives. The entry is a written submission outlining the challenge faced, the steps taken to address it and the results. Results include increased turnover and/or profitability, new business, additional customers and improved market visibility. This award is open to all firms with a turnover up to £6.5 million who operate digital printing equipment.

  • Transactional and direct mail

    Examples of marketing, transactional and customer communication mailings that deliver clear benefits. The judges will consider the aims of the client and how those have been met. Consideration will be given to format, the design of the campaign, use of materials and return on investment, response rates and effectiveness.

  • Variable data

    Clever use of data to customise or personalise print to improve relevance and response. Please describe the aims of the project, how well they were met and how the use of variable data contributed to that. Include details about the data that was available for the campaign, the aspects that were personalised/customised, number of variants and the impact. Details of any specific challenges in data, design, production and distribution should be documented along with how those challenges were overcome.

  • Web-to-print

    The aim of this award category is to recognise web portals and e-commerce sites that have delivered value to printers and their customers. Whether the site is a private business-to-business portal or consumer-facing, you will need to be able to demonstrate that it has increased sales, reduced costs or improved customer acquisition and/or retention. Entries must include both a description from the printer of the aims and achievements of the project and a supporting testimonial from one or more customers/users of the site who agree to be contacted independently for verification. Please include the URL for publicly-accessible sites; screengrabs or other supporting documentation for private portals may be submitted.

  • Wide and super wide-format

    This broad category encompasses the full gamut of wide-format production, from posters and banners, through displays, exhibition and event graphics to retail and vehicle and building wraps. Samples that are too big to be submitted by post can be illustrated by photography and supporting written submissions. Please provide details of the challenges faced and your response including design, production and installation factors