July 1, 2008
The Next Wave of British Print Talent
Heaps of enthusiasm and a ringing endorsement spurred this year's event to new heights Think of Stationers' Hall and you'd be forgiven for associating it with some of the stuffier ceremonies in print's calendar. You certainly wouldn't expect to hear the Arctic Monkeys and The Kooks blasting over the loudspeakers. But two weeks ago, that's exactly what happened when the PrintIT! Awards ceremony - and almost 100 schoolchildren - arrived at the hallowed livery company.
To participate, students follow a syllabus in which they have to design a print-centric campaign to promote The Fairtrade Foundation, the organisation that promotes equitable working practices with farmers in developing countries. These can be posters, table talkers, leaflets or any number of other products. Pupils also learn about print processes.
This year's overall winner, Alex Robertson, won the honour for designing and building a beautiful table talker (pictured above). For her labours, she and her teacher have won a trip to St Lucia to see Fairtrade farming in action, as well as taking part in a number of media appearances.
Printers, too, can get involved through the PrintIT! twinning scheme. This year's top Twinner was Berkshire-based Printroom. Sales director Simon Lewington visited a number of schools in the area to discuss the industry. He believes that the scheme can help printers to identify young talent: "It's helped us develop contacts with motivated young people who could join our team in the future," he says.
Perhaps most exciting for the pupils, though, was a little bit of celebrity recognition. George Alagiah OBE, the BBC newsreader who is patron of The Fairtrade Foundation, was on hand to present the awards. Even better, the scheme has won recognition at 10 Downing Street; a letter from Gordon Brown congratulating all the students was read out at the event.
So while some areas of print may be struggling, PrintIT! paves the way for young people to get fired up about print and, with luck, decide to pursue a career in this vibrant, creative and challenging sector.
Above: Alex Robertson picks up her award. Left: The PM acknowledges the good work
AND THE WINNERS ARE...
Overall winner of PrintIT! 2007/8
Alex Robertson, Bispham High Schools Arts College, Blackpool, and teacher Alison Yates
Best Poster Stephen Partington, Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School, Lancashire
Best Table Talker Alex Robertson, Bispham High School & Arts College, Blackpool, Lancashire
Best 'Free' Design Billy Joe Poole, Sandwich Technology School, Sandwich, Kent
Best Use of Brand across the Range Sarah Edmondson, Katie-Louise Wire, Amy Pearson, Keswick School, Keswick, Cumbria
Best Understanding of Printing Techniques
Beth Goddard, Nottingham High School For Girls, Nottinghamshire
Best Use of Materials Daniel Carter, Altrincham College of Arts, Altrincham, Cheshire
Best Overall Presentation Jack O'Brien, Adam Spivey, Alex Walsham, George Farmer Technology College, Spalding, Lincolnshire
Best Understanding of Environmental Concerns Stacey Barry, Aylesbury High School, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire
Best Industry Twinner The Print Room, Bracknell, Berkshire
Best Teacher Daniel Currigan, Tiffin Girls' School, Kingston, Surrey
Best Overall School Effort Beauchamp College
Best PrintIT! Student Karen Sanders, Queen Elizabeth's Community College, Crediton, Devon
Copyright Haymarket Business Publications Ltd. May 8, 2008
(c) 2008 Printweek. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.