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Company of the Year: Buxton Press

Three cheers for three years; this is the third consecutive category win for the stellar sheetfed printer in Derbyshire. But team Buxton will not rest. “In spite of ongoing good results they’re still investing and still seeking efficiency gains, which is impressive,” said the judges.

SME of the Year: Northside Graphics

This year’s winner grew from a tiny acorn to a seven-figure turnover in under four years. Only a few minutes from Belfast city centre, the 41-staff company is in capital form, and in the past year has expanded its digitalprinting.co.uk offering with a second brand for trade buyers, tradedigitalprint.co.uk, and invested heavily in capex, people, software and marketing.

Environmental Company of the Year: Park Communications

The judges are on to something when they suggest “this company is relentless in its pursuit of environmental best practice”. Park Communications has almost made this category its own, winning the award three times and scooping highly commended three times in the past six years.

Customer Service Team of the Year: GI Solutions Group

The customer is king and this Leicester-headquartered business is set for more of them after a survey showed excellent service was a significant differentiator for GI Solutions.

Trainee of the Year: Ryan Samways, Amberley Adhesive Labels

Ryan didn’t have the easiest time at school, “a bit like fitting a square peg into a round hole”. And then it all clicked when Amberley Adhesive Labels took on sixth-former Ryan Samways in 2014 on a modern apprenticeship.

Luxury Packaging Printer of the Year: Boss Print

Luxury comes at a price and judges wanted a lot from this year’s entries, from spectacular production values to printed products that were sturdy yet elegant and fit for purpose. Consistent quality of repro, print and finishing, meanwhile were musts, and Boss Print delivered on all fronts to claim this award for the third time. This was thanks to “spot-on accuracy in finishing and truly exceptional work”.

High-volume Magazine Printer of the Year: Wyndeham Roche

The printer in St Austell, Cornwall, pumped up the volume in this reconfigured category on longer-run magazines produced gravure or web offset. Stepping up to the plate were issues of Boat International, Love, Harrods and World of Interiors. The first is a high-quality magazine for the super-rich printed in runs of 25,000 on heavilly coated paper with high levels of ink coverage.

Post-press Company of the Year: Rapidity

A client wanted to sell his swanky house in Malta, but first came the marketing to an international audience. A limited run of only 40 books saw them covered in calfskin leather, pared by hand and antiqued using Aniline dyes and waxes. The books went into clamshell boxes covered with Brillianta Natur Linen Cloth and inlaid with Skivertex cloth.

Book Printer of the Year: Push Print

“These guys understand what makes a beautiful book,” said judges of the London printer that went one further in 2017 after being runner-up twice in three years. The Gestalt book, for example, ticked the two key boxes essential to anyone aspiring to win this category: highest quality of print and precision binding.

Industrial Digital Printer of the Year: Paragon Customer Communications

It was in the cards. Paragon took the top spot in this category thanks to entries including Hyundai Tarot Cards – a fitting theme for a category that focuses as much on targeted messaging and the handling of complex data, meanings and interpretations as the printed product itself.

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