RSS header - this is hidden

Why 2018’s Product of the Year Competition was a Game-Changer

Posted by Ray Weiss on 9/12/18 1:41 PM

This was a banner year for SGIA’s Product of the Year competition, with 255 entries in 68 different categories. For the second year in a row, we adjusted the entry deadline so that judging and the announcement of the winners could occur approximately two months before the SGIA Expo. This allows winners to let Expo attendees and the world know that they have a Product of the Year winner, encouraging them to visit their booths to learn more. Wrapping up the judging in advance also allows SGIA the time to prepare the Product of the Year jewels, to be displayed at winning booths at the Expo.

2018 POYjewel 250x250
Each year, I review the categories – with input from participating companies – to better identify what is most relevant to include in the competition. This year, for example, we added:

  • Spectrophotometers
  • Single-pass printers
  • Digital presses
  • Industrial and packaging inks
  • Screen printing inks
  • Heat presses (large-format)
  • Dye sublimation transfer paper and rigid material for transfer
  • Finished garment blanks (accessories)
  • Screen printing curing equipment
  • Product finishing (sewing)
  • Direct-to-shape printers 
  • Banner finishing (grommet/sew/weld)

Other categories that were determined to be too broad were split into multiple categories. The goal is to have a robust competition with multiple entries in each category, and to avoid ending up with single-entry categories.


I also added a new target for the output device categories this year. Previously, the output devices have been assessed by a panel of judges on subjective criteria (color balance, image quality and text detail, color gamut and banding), with a maximum possible score of 100. A new target — developed by Dan Gillespie from The Color Management Group and Steve Upton from Chromix Maxwell — made it easier to generate a report card on each printer with some of the categories we evaluated. We measured the Delta E Average of the 8 Pantones on the print form, SCTVi Average Delta E (50% tone of the 8 Pantones), RGB Solids Delta E, along with the NPDC K Max and CMY max.


These objective measurements were then scored as deductions from the total possible score of 100. As in years past, I am always glad to see that prints that do well on industry specifications (objective scoring) also do well in the eyes of the judges.

The success of this program allows us to continue next year at PRINTING United, so watch for the competition to open around April of 2019 (for supplier members exhibiting at Printing UNITED), with winners being announced the end of August 2019 (exact dates TBD).



Topics: SGIA, Printing, Wide Format, Commercial Printing, Print, Printing Industry, SGIA Expo