May 23, 2019 – The Great Lakes Graphics Association (GLGA) held its annual Graphics Excellence Awards (GEA) Celebrations on May 22, 2019. 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. More than 300 people gathered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Addison, Illinois, on May 22 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 Cartons and Containers category entitled Ritz-Carlton Reserve Box. One judge said, “This is a mindful print experience of laser-finished art prints, exquisitely interleaved with tasteful flysheets, and encased in a flawlessly engineered case. Each turn of the page is a visual smorgasbord.”
First Runner-Up was awarded to VISOGraphic Inc. of Addison, Illinois, for their LED UV VISOgraphic Look (and Feel) Book in the They Said It Couldn’t Be Done category. From the Product Catalogs (4 or more colors) category, Specialty Print Communications, Niles, Illinois, won Second Runner-Up accolades for their Canon Solutions America Océ ProStream™ 1000 Inkjet Press Possibilities Catalog.
Best of Illinois went to ABS Graphics, Itasca, Illinois with their 2019 ABS Desk Calendar in the Diaries and Desk Calendars category; Best of Indiana featured Don’t Gamble With Your Next Printing Project in the Media Kits category by The National Group of Lafayette, Indiana; and N.E.W. Printing of Appleton, Wisconsin, took Best of Wisconsin honors with their Dentsply Sirona Catalog in the Service Catalogs (4 or more colors) category.
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 Philipp Lithography, Grafton, Wisconsin, for their Anheuser Busch Clydesdale Standee in the Large Format Printing category. In Addison, attendees selected VISOgraphic for the LED UV VISOgraphic Look (and Feel) Book.
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 boxes, labels and tags; and wide format and sculptural 3D pieces such as a 6-foot-tall Clydesdale and a large dimensional art print on canvas of a pheasant that felt like an oil painting.
Joseph Lyman, president of GLGA, is extremely proud of the quality of work submitted in the 2019 GEA competition and the results it produced. “As one of the largest regional graphic competitions in North America with more than 500 submissions representing 57 companies, the GEAs are one of most recognized programs GLGA manages throughout the year,” Lyman said.
This year, 79 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.”