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What is transformational print? The story behind the awards

14/05/20

With KODAK FLEXCEL NX technology, flexography had a platform to create truly transformational packaging print. The inaugural Global Flexo Innovation Awards celebrated the industry success creating transformational flexo. But what makes flexo print transformational?

Since the introduction of KODAK FLEXCEL NX technology in 2008, the FLEXCEL NX System and Plates have enabled prepress business and printers to create a dramatic difference to packaging print.

With the introduction of a reliable, consistent, high-quality flexographic system, flexo was able to provide an alternative to established methods, deliver process improvements and add sustainability gains. This is what makes flexo transformation.

The Global Flexo Innovation Awards were created to honor the companies that have committed to flexo excellence, creating positive improvements and change in the industry with FLEXCEL NX solutions.

Creative revolution

At the 10th anniversary of the FLEXCEL NX System, the inaugural edition of the Global Flexo Innovation Awards was launched. This was at a time when brands’ approach to color and graphics had fundamentally changed.

No longer was a strict brand palette to create instant recognition the only requirement. In 2018, a major part of the packaging process was about taking risks: rebranding often moves beyond the brand font and logo to whole color schemes; promos – utilizing a whole new set of fonts, graphics and color – were increasingly common.

“Today, how we put brand creative on a greater range of substrates is where printers are often creating transformative packaging.”

The demand for flexibility in the execution of a brand’s creative identity has further affected how printers approach this creative shift. The Global Flexo Innovation Awards are all about celebrating how flexo has risen to these challenges.

Since 2018, the drive towards more sustainable packaging materials has only increased. Today, how we put brand creative on a greater range of substrates is where printers are often creating transformative packaging.

Pushing the process

Whether it’s meeting fast-turnaround times or improving margins, getting the process right is key in packaging print. The rise of data in recent years has opened up the possibility of scrutinizing processes in detail. That makes identifying process-improvements easy, in theory.

Transformational print takes process knowledge and puts into place measurable process improvements whether on time savings, cost reductions or efficiencies that positively impact sustainability.

It’s improvements in the process that often make packaging on the shelf truly sustainable. It’s not simply the life of the material after purchase: How was the material made? What is the carbon footprint of the process? How much waste is generated? Process transformation can make an impact in many ways.

“The 2018 award judges saw plenty of instances of flexo encroaching on digital and gravure.”

Making conversions count

The introduction of game-changing flexo and the huge strides made across the industry to put this into practice meant the 2018 award judges saw plenty of instances of flexo encroaching on digital and gravure.

The ability to compete on shorter runs and the robust nature of FLEXCEL NX Plates for longer runs, together with impressive cost-per-square-metre cost efficiency, mean flexo that can match, and even improve, the quality of another process. Transforming a process from one method to another – while delivering improvements in the process and finish – that’s a conversion that counts.

Celebrating success

The awards are judged on four criteria: creative design, print process conversion, workflow efficiency and sustainable print. Entries demonstrating excellence in two categories receive a silver award, three categories a gold award and four categories platinum.

In 2020, bringing together these four elements of transformational print receives the highest honor; it demonstrates to the industry and your customers a commitment to the highest level of print production from every angle.

The Global Flexo Innovation Awards 2020 will open for entries on Tuesday 15th September 2020.

During these challenging times, we’ll ensure it is easy for entrants to take part, as it’s important as ever to celebrate the hard work and innovation taking place in our industry.

Join us on LinkedIn and follow us on Twitter to stay in touch. Our regular email to the flexo community, The Plate, will also feature updates about the awards.