Sappi calls for entries for its 2017 North American Printer of the Year Award

Patti Groh.
Patti Groh.

Sappi North America, a leading producer and global supplier of diversified paper and packaging products, has opened its 2017 North American Printer of the Year Awards call for submissions. Winners will be recognized for print excellence and innovation across 11 categories for work produced primarily on Sappi paper and paper-based packaging. Since its inception in 1999, the Sappi Printer of the Year Awards program has been regarded as one of the printing industry’s most respected accolades. “We’re continually impressed with the projects that printers produce year after year. They consistently find new and creative ways to show the power of print in our lives through their work,” said Patti Groh, Director of Marketing Communications at Sappi North America. “We look forward to recognizing the incredible pieces they create, and we’re expecting to receive some of the most innovative entries to date with two new categories introduced.” To enter, printers can submit any work printed predominantly on Sappi paper and paper-based packaging in Canada or the U.S. between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016 by April 7, 2017. For each entry, six copies of the printed piece must be submitted by mail, along with one copy of the entry form. Each printer may submit an unlimited number of entries – but each entry must be accompanied by an individual completed form.

Award categories. North American printers may submit entries in 11 categories which include: Brochures; Books; Catalogues; Digital Print; Direct Mail; Magazines (sheetfed); Magazines (web); Printer’s Own Promotions; or General Print – which can be any printed material not included in the given categories. Sappi has also introduced two new categories to this year’s awards: Packaging and Activated Print, which features printed materials that use activation points to trigger interactive content.


  • The Silver Award: Award winners are chosen in each of the 11 categories and will receive a framed certificate for themselves and their client(s).
  • The Gold Award: Winners represent the top entry from each category and are entered as finalists for the Printer of the Year Award. The 11 Gold Award winners will receive up to 5,000 pounds of Sappi paper.
  • The Printer of the Year Award: Selected from the top 11 Gold Award recipients, the Printer of the Year will receive esteemed recognition, 5,000 pounds of Sappi paper and $20,000 in support of future marketing and branding initiatives.

Sappi recently launched a new global website which includes a redesigned portal for the Awards. All winners’ entries and contact information will be featured on an updated web page in Sappi’s Printer of the Year online resource for ultimate exposure to designers, print buyers and corporations.

Judging. All entries will be judged on overall impact, degree of difficulty in the printing techniques and technical excellence. A panel of judges was chosen from established print institutions and trade professions including: Lauren Elliot, Principal of Wicked Good Print Production; Ken Lantz, Studio Producer at Ashfield Healthcare Communications; Dr. James K. Tenorio, Professor Emeritus in the Cross-Media Graphics Management Program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, Wisconsin’s Polytechnic University; and John Tenwinkel, Program Manager at Shutterfly.

For a downloadable version of the entry form, please click here. For more information on the Sappi Printer of the Year Awards, please visit:


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.