Wellington (New Zealand)-headquartered Gravure Packaging (GPL) has been named the printer of the world’s best gravure process label in 2017 by the L9 group of international label associations. A shrink sleeve produced for a Chobani yoghurt 170g tub saw GPL win the Gravure Class in the L9’s prestigious World Label Awards (WLA) competition, which is colloquially known as the ‘technical Oscars of the global label industry’.
Winning in this competition is highly valued throughout the global label fraternity, signalling that the printer has achieved real excellence, explained judging panel chair Tony White.
“Never will a label have been examined in such detail, even by a quality control department,” said White.
“We expect a high standard of printing at this level and we also look for the quality of the design of the label.”
During a recent visit to GPL’s Fitzherbert Street plant, MP for Hutt South Chris Bishop said he was impressed by the operation and to learn the firm is both an exporter as well as supplier to another accomplished local enterprise, in Whittaker’s Chocolates.
“Hearty congratulations to GPL — a real Hutt success story,” said MP Bishop.
“I’m proud to represent an area in Parliament with so many award-winning businesses, of which GPL is just the latest. Well done to the staff of this fantastic and world-class Petone company.”
GPL managing director Greg Chapman said the WLA award is “great recognition” of the development work invested in improving the firm’s print quality as well as its capabilities to solve what were quite technical challenges in this particular job.
“We’ve worked with Chobani for a few years now, they have very precise standards and we love delivering great looking shrink sleeves for them,” said Chapman.
Chapman said the Melbourne-based yoghurt manufacturer is “very focused” on producing the highest quality product which nicely aligns with GPL’s own culture.
“Chobani’s range of yoghurts taste great and the highly-detailed graphic work needs gravure quality print to really make the labels pop.”
In order to be considered for entry to the WLA competition, a printer’s label must first have won an award in its local association’s competition — entries from individual printers are not accepted.
“This shrink sleeve, in fact, won two Gold Medals at the New Zealand Pride In Print Awards last year, including the Gravure Category. The New Zealand label association SALMA selected it as the sole submission it was permitted to make in the WLA Gravure Class for the year.”
Chapman added that the WLA award win came over “truly international competition”.
“Labels are submitted from around the world including Europe, the United States, Japan, India, China, Australia and New Zealand. The second-placed entry in our class was a Heineken label from the United Kingdom.
“We are aware the WLA’s panel of international judges spend a considerable time examining and debating the technical and aesthetic features of each label, including converting and finishing technology.”
New Zealand ranked second-equal with the United States in recording five WLA Class Awards this year, only being superseded by Japan with eight. When adding in Honourable Mentions, New Zealand finished in third place overall with eight awards in total behind Japan (ten) and Europe (nine).