The Flexographic Technical Association (FTA) is dedicated to bringing all members of the flexographic printing community--printers, suppliers, consumer product companies, institutions, prepress houses and others--together by providing opportunities for the free exchange of technical ideas and discussion of mutual concerns.
The FTA Excellence in Flexography Awards were presented in April in Orlando, FL, at FTA's 2005 Annual Forum. The printed packages were judged for the aggressiveness and complexity of the graphics, as well as for the quality of prints and integrity of dots and solids.
Best in Show - Wide Web
Robbie Manufacturing Inc.
The Arizona Tea carton distinguished itself with its quality of print and innovative use of color. Judge Arleen Neustein, Excelsior Packaging Group, was impressed because it wasn't standard CMYK. "The printer modified its tones and ink colors to achieve something that was a dead-on match to customer-supplied samples of products printed using other methods," Neustein said. Joe Tuccitto of Dunwoody College of Technology offered, "The colors used to make the highlights in the ice were very creative. It looked like it was going to melt right off the sheet."
Best in Show - Mid Web
Judge Milton Ramos of Huhtamaki Consumer Packaging viewed Ralcorp Holding's Berrry Treets package as the epitome of high-quality flexo. "This package jumped at everyone," he said. "Even before looking at it in close detail we knew that it was a winner. The bright colors and sharpness caught our attention. This job is flexo at its greatest."
Best in Show - Narrow Web
Belmark's Strauss Veal Meatball folding carton stood out on top in narrow web amid foil-stamped, embossed, glossy, and matte-finished labels. "The black background really set off the colors and the food image," said John Young of Robbie Manufacturing. "We were impressed that most of the text was reversed out of the process builds and that the printer did not use pin lines around this text. The register was dead on. The line colors were also trapped very well and were sharp and crisp."
Best in Show - Combined Corrugated
SSCC-Castle Rock Display Group
This four-color job used high-intensity water-based inks for exceptional overall print quality. Level of Execution Judge Kevin Chop, Matthews International, praised the entry for "excellent registration, excellent vignette reproduction, quality of screen reproduction, and a match to contract color proofs."
Best in Show - Preprinted Linerboard
Judges also noted the excellence in overall print quality for Weyerhaeuser's Little Tykes(R) process entry. They cited tight registration over a large web and repeat, consistency of print quality over entire web, separations of multi-ethnic skin tones, and excellent image engineering. The job was a difficult seven-plus varnish print on a 96-in. web with a 93-in. cylinder repeat.
Best in Show - Envelope
Washington Envelopes Ltd.
A detailed image of a sophisticated soap and bath set over a complex background texture made this envelope an exceptionally intricate print. "This year's best of show ranked the highest in degree of difficulty," confirmed Cenveo's Tom Kowalski.