More than 600 guests attended last night’s 2022 Printweek Awards ceremony, which was hosted at London’s iconic The Brewery by comedian and The Apprentice: You’re Fired presenter Tom Allen.
Featuring a raft of new and revamped categories, after a two-year hiatus a significant number of the highest accolades in print were secured by first time entrants.
Suffolk-based, family run Micropress was named Printweek’s Company of the Year thanks, in part, to its impressive pandemic bounce back.
“It’s amazing, mind blowing. It just means an awful lot to the entire team,” said director Rob Cross.
He said that while like many print businesses it had found the Covid years tough, by investing and pushing through the business had in many respects emerged stronger.
And while he said the factory was “over the moon” to win the industry’s most coveted prize, the Trainee of the Year award secured by one of its apprentices, Mark Mwebe, meant even more.
“We were shortlisted in four awards [categories], and I said to the team if we came away with one, Mark being named Trainee of the Year, we would have been over the moon.
“It’s such a good thing to celebrate and it shows that we’re trying to bring these young people through the industry and we’re really passionate about that as a business, because people like Mark are the future of our industry.”
Mwebe currently runs a five-colour Heidelberg Speedmaster XL 75 having started in the business as an apprentice nearly three years ago. He is now hoping to progress through the company onto bigger machines.
“I wasn’t expecting this, but I feel really good and grateful for the opportunity that James [Cross, Micropress production director] gave me to join the company, grateful to [senior press manager] Andy Rose for training me, and grateful to Printweek and Heidelberg for naming me as Trainee of the Year," said a delighted Mwebe.
While the 2022 Awards were Mwebe’s first, Eight Days a Week Print Solutions managing director Lance Hill is a long-term attendee, but this was the first time he made it to the stage.
“What a great night. 32 years in the industry and this is first time I’ve won anything. But it’s not about me it’s for the team, and it’s absolutely brilliant for the team. It’s all about hard work and the great people in the team.”
In fact, the business, which Hill bought in an MBO just under a year ago, secured two gongs.
Speaking about the company’s first win of the night, in the Customer Service Team of the Year – SME category, operations director Karen Herbert said: “This award means so much to me and the whole business. We’ve got 24 staff and we owe our success to the whole team – it’s such a small business but we are such a good, powerful team.”
The night’s other double winner, another debutant, was Colourpoint, which won the Packaging and Post-press categories.
“After 28 years in print, these two awards are the pinnacle of my career so far. I’m super-proud. It’s been a tough couple of years, and this means a lot,” said Colourpoint director Adam O’Hehir.
Of all the awards categories, the most hotly contested was the brand-new Innovation of the Year, a ‘build your own category’ designed and developed to celebrate the wide-variety of innovations in print.
From the 15 finalists, five secured a Printweek Prism, including Alfred Willday & Son for its Willsow plantable children’s books.
Director Tom Willday said: “I’d like to say thank-you. It’s really nice that a small business like ourselves could be nominated, and could win an award alongside all these prestigious printers.
“Thank-you very much, we really appreciate it. You’ve just got to believe in yourself and put yourself forward!”
Scroll down for the full rundown of PrintWeek Award winners as they happened. If you would like to receive information about entering the 2023 Printweek Awards, please register here or email email@example.com.
Tom Allen can be seen this weekend on Channel 4 hosting The National Comedy Awards.
Printweek Awards 2022 Winners
Book Printer of the Year
Sponsored by Ricoh
Post-press Company of the Year
Sponsored by IFS
High-volume Digital Printer of the Year
Sponsored by Infigo
Precision Proco Group
Plastic Card Services
Label Printer of the Year
Sponsored by PCL Labels
The Label Makers
Bespoke Digital Printer of the Year
Sponsored by Xerox
Packaging Printer of the Year
Sponsored by EFI
Bespoke Publications Printer of the Year
Sponsored by Denmaur Paper Media
Kingsbury Press – Bluetree Group
Wide-format Printer of the Year
Sponsored by Premier
Innovations of the Year
Sponsored by HP
PUBLISHING: Alfred Willday & Son
PROMOTIONAL PRINT: Prinovis
DIRECT MAIL: Ebi
PHOTOBOOKS: VR Print
DIRECT MAIL: Go Inspire Group
Marketing Campaign of the Year
Sponsored by Quadient
Customer Service Team of the Year – Large Enterprise
Sponsored by BPIF
Customer Service Team of the Year – SME
Sponsored by Close Brothers Asset Finance
Eight Days a Week Print Solutions
Environmental Company of the Year – Large Enterprise
Sponsored by Premier
Go Inspire Group
Environmental Company of the Year – SME
Sponsored by Two Sides
Impress Print Services
Trainee of the Year
Sponsored by Heidelberg
Mark Mwebe, Micropress
Matthew Kenyon, MM Packaging UK
Brandon Smith, Harkwell Labels
SME of the Year
Sponsored by Compass Business Finance
Eight Days a Week Print Solutions
First 4 Print Finishing
Company of the Year
Presented by Printweek
Qualvis Print & Packaging
FERO Retail Marketing