October 5, 2021 — The Great Lakes Graphics Association (GLGA) held its annual Graphics Excellence Awards (GEA) Celebrations on September 30, 2021.
The Celebrations are the culmination of the annual GEA competition, which recognizes companies throughout Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin for superb craftsmanship in the design, creation and production of outstanding printed projects they produce for their customers. Almost 200 people gathered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Addison, Illinois, on September 30 for two simultaneous awards ceremonies to celebrate another spectacular year of print in the three-state region.
Best of Show, the competition’s highest honor, was awarded to Fey Printing of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin, for their entry in the Booklets (4 or more colors) category entitled Neenah Rethink Everything. One judge said, “This Best of Show is a prime example of whimsical lithography. The visionary portion is the ultimate tease of a stylish back perforated holder concealing the best bindery in the show.”
First Runner-Up was awarded to Kingery Printing Company of Effingham, Illinois, for their Kingery Printing Company for Behind the Shutter Magazine in the Magazine Series category. From the Calendars category, LCP, Waukegan, Illinois, won Second Runner-Up accolades for their Lake County Press 2021 Calendar.
Best of Illinois also went to LCP, for Google X booklet in the Soft Cover Books category. Best of Indiana featured Wieland Designs sixinch catalog in the Product Catalogs (4 or more colors) category by Lithotone, Inc., of Elkhart, Indiana. Philipp Lithographing Co. of Grafton, Wisconsin, took Best of Wisconsin honors with their Mountain Dew Out Here It’s Dew Display in the Large Format Printing category.
Two new top awards were presented this year. Quantum Group of Morton Grove, IL, received the Best of Packaging honors for their Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin /Wisconsin Cheese Box Retail Sample Kit in the Product Packaging Assembly category. Fey Printing was awarded the Judges’ Choice for their entry in the Promotional Campaigns, Consumer category, Four Seasons Minneapolis.
People’s Choice honors were awarded in each location. Each winner was selected by a vote of the attendees at their respective Celebrations. The Milwaukee attendees selected Arandell, Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, for YETI Fall-Winter 20 in the Environmentally Sound Materials category. In Addison, attendees selected International Label and Printing Co., Inc., Elk Grove Village, Illinois, for Yoomi Hand Sanitizer in the They Said It Couldn’t Be Done category.
The GEA competition was judged over two days in March by a panel of outside graphics experts, who brought almost 100 years of collective print, finishing and converting experience to their evaluation of the contenders. There was a wide range of excellent entries from booklets, reports and calendars to labels and tags, wide format, and packaging.
Joseph Lyman, president of GLGA, is extremely proud of the quality of work submitted in the 2021 GEA competition and the results it produced. “As one of the largest regional graphic competitions in North America, the GEAs are one of most recognized programs GLGA manages throughout the year,” Lyman said.
This year, 90 percent of companies submitting projects won either a Gutenberg (Best of Category) or a Best of Division award. “This demonstrates just how outstanding the quality of work produced in our region is and the high level of parity there is among printers, finishers and converters located throughout Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin,” Lyman said. “We are extremely proud to represent such outstanding print organizations.”