Sappi calls for entries for its final Printer of the Year Awards

Patti Groh.
Patti Groh.

Sappi North America (Boston, MA), a leading producer and supplier of diversified paper and packaging products, has announced its 20th and final North American Printer of the Year Awards’ call for entries for printers in Canada and the United States. As in previous years, winners will be recognized for print excellence and innovation across 11 categories for work produced primarily on Sappi paper and paper-based packaging. The Sappi Printer of the Year Awards Program has been one of the printing industry’s most respected accolades for the past two decades, making this last iteration somewhat bittersweet for organizers. “We’re so proud of the work that’s been accomplished using Sappi products over the last 20 years. Printers continue to surprise us with new and innovative 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’re grateful for the ongoing commitment and excitement from our customers that’s allowed this program to run for so long. As we look to the future, we’re excited to continue our evolution and introduce new resources for printers and creatives.” Over the course of the program, Sappi received 48,995 individual entries – and 8,841 North American printers participated in the awards.

Deadline, categories and awards. To enter, Canadian and U.S. printers can submit any work printed predominantly on Sappi paper and paper-based packaging between January 1, 2017, and May 31, 2018 by Friday, June 8, 2018. 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 form. 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; Packaging; Activated Print; or General Print (which can be any printed material not included in the above categories).

  • 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 as well as framed certificates.
  • 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.

All winners’ entries and contact information will be featured on Sappi’s Printer of the Year online resource for ultimate exposure for designers, print buyers and corporations.

Ken Lantz.
Ken Lantz.

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 recognized print institutions and trade professions,including: Lauren Elliot, Principal of Wicked Good Print Production; Ken Lantz, Senior Vice President and Director of Print Operations at FCB Health Network; Dr. James K. Tenorio, professor emeritus in the Cross-Media Graphics Management Program at 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 Sappi’s Printer of the Year Awards, please visit:


Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.