This has really surprised us. With our specialized publication, “beyondprint unplugged” we have won an award, receiving the “Print Innovation Award” in bronze.
Even though the news already made the rounds a few weeks ago, it was a special moment when the deputy WAN-Ifra CEO, Manfred Werfel, announced in front of more than 300 international guests at the Berlin Publishing Night: “The bronze medal in the New Products category goes to beyondprint unplugged”. Continued applause for the new publication of the small publishing house from Germany – because this year the “newspaper Oscars” were mainly awarded to large newspaper groups from all over the world.
Being among the top three in the same category as the F.A.Z. with its “Quarterly” projects and having emerged as a winner from out of 61 projects in 23 countries is a huge success. It is also proof that cooperation pays off. After all, beyondprint unplugged is a collaboration product between the trade magazine “Druckmarkt”, which is published by arcus-Verlag, and the management consultancy, zipcon consulting, which in turn runs the highly respected blog beyond-print.de. The project is also supported by PresseDruck Augsburg, which also received a bronze award in the category “Products for young Readers”.
In other words, there’s more to print, as innovations in the publishing industry are not just limited to the digital world. That’s why the World Printers Forum, the print community of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-Ifra), has created the Print Innovation Awards to recognize excellence and reward the most innovative print products. Worldwide! The jury awarded gold, silver and bronze prizes in seven categories, in which the assessment criteria are innovation, creativity, excellence, customer and consumer relevance and the value of the publication in question. Well, if that’s not a compliment for us!
“You have to get it right first: “Beyondprint unplugged” is five issues young – and already it has received an award! Not just any award, but a “Print Innovation Award” – and this one counts worldwide.” – Bernd Zipper
Courage and Inventiveness
Having won the award in the “New Products” category, this naturally spurs us on to continue working even more intensively on our emerging specialized publication, to refine and optimize it. In this context, Ifra CEO, Manfred Werfel, also emphasized the unbroken spirit of innovation in the industry. Anyone who has seen the many new developments in the industry has inevitably concluded that the printed newspaper is not justified in any way.
At the same time, it became clear once again this evening in the “Tipi am Kanzleramt”, the event location held in the government district of the capital, and at the simultaneously held “World Publishing Expo 2019” that it is not always the large newspaper and media groups that set the pace for further developments. It is also the small ones who shape the future with courage and ideas.
Excellence in printed matter
Courage and inventiveness generally benefit all printed matter – and not just publications. After all, print innovation does not mean the installation of new machines and equipment by manufacturers in the pressrooms of print shops, but rather much more creative services and new developments that print shops themselves develop.
This should involve unusual, creative solutions and excellency in printed matter, as we have already called for in the articles “Print wird Premium” (5. 9. 2019) and “Schwerter zu Pflugscharen” (9. 10. 2019). And it should not only be solutions that individual print shops offer in order to gain a competitive edge, but new solutions that move the industry forward overall in order to continue to hold their own in the media mix.
This is easier said or written than done. After all, what is there to be reinvented in printed matter? Perhaps, however, it is not the form of a printed matter, but its special nature. Never before have there been so many sophisticated printing and finishing techniques and never before has there been such a variety of different substrates waiting to be refined. Have all the possible combinations really been tried out, tested and effectively put together? This is where original creations, courage, perseverance and inventiveness in marketing are called for.
My Take: When customer-oriented services are put into practice, print innovation can take on another dimension. And one of these services is unmistakably competent consulting. It is therefore all the more important that printers, their customers and creative people move closer together, exchange ideas, communicate with each other, stimulate each other and learn from each other. This is the only way to create print products that deviate from the usual, that go beyond the normal, that strengthen the value of print and that are worthy of an award. Seen in this light, awards are always an incentive to improve.