Print Excellence Competition 101

Posted By: Jennie Nesspor Pressing News,

PIAG’s Print Excellence Competition call for entries is now open. But you may be asking yourself, what exactly is the Print Excellence Competition (PEC)?

The PEC is one of PIAG’s most popular programs. It is an annual competition that recognizes Georgia’s printing industry’s excellence.

Who Should Participate?
Any printing, imaging, print finishing, and design facility located within Georgia may enter. Entries are limited to Georgia-produced work, with a minimum of 75% of each entry having been produced within the state.

I’m an Education member. Can my students participate?
Absolutely! We have a division specifically for schools so your students can showcase their work, and student entries are free to enter.

I’m an Associate member/equipment manufacturer. How can I be involved?
Encourage your customers to participate! There is a sub-competition of the PEC, the Performance Excellence Competition, which awards the equipment manufacturer with the most Top Gold and Best of Division winning entries printed on their equipment.

Why Should I Enter?
Winning a PEC award can be a useful promotional tool that demonstrates your company’s capabilities to current and potential customers. It also serves as an excellent opportunity to recognize your employees for their hard work and dedication.

In addition, PIAG members receive their first entry free! Tip your toe in the water by submitting your best of the best entry at no cost.

What if I’m a smaller company? Do I have a chance to win?
Yes! Let your specialty skill sets shine. In addition, entries are submitted based upon division, defined by number of employees located in Georgia. At certain recognition levels you compete against companies of a similar size.

What Pieces Should I Enter?
Simply put, select those pieces from last year that make you say to yourself “we nailed it!”

Entries must have been produced between January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2022. There are over 90 categories in the competition to choose from. Categories range from type of product (brochure, annual reports, calendars) to techniques (digital, web), to ingenuity (innovation, they said it couldn’t be done). A single piece may be entered into multiple categories at a discounted price for the second category.

Ensure your samples don’t have scratches/smudges, roller/gear marks, hickeys, etc. Entries are judged on registration, visual impact, illustration & halftone detail, finishing, richness & tonal qualities of color, degree of difficulty, paper & ink selection, and ink consistency.

When Do I Need to Enter By?
The call for entries is open through April 14, although members receive a discounted rate if they enter by March 3. Note that only the online entry submission must be received by March 3 to receive the discount; the physical samples can be received any time before April 21.

Where Do I Enter?
Entry submission is available online at Samples of the pieces should be delivered to the PIAG Office no later than April 21.

How Do I Label My Entries?
We ask that you place your company name and entry number on a sticky note or temporary label that you place on each entry. Please do not apply a permanent label directly to the entry.

What are the Different Levels of Recognition?

  • Best of Show is awarded to the entry that is judged as the most outstanding in the competition.
  • Best of Division is awarded to the entry in each division that exceeds all others in overall quality, regardless of category.
  • Top Notch is awarded to the company in each division that wins the highest percentage of Best of Category awards.
  • Top Gold awards are presented for the best piece in a selected category, regardless of company size. Selected categories are at the judges’ discretion, with examples including Most Innovative, Best Use of Color, Most Creative Use of Paper, Best Calendar, and/or Best Annual Report.
  • Best of Category certificates are presented to the top piece in each of multiple categories, within each division.
  • Award of Excellence certificates are given to entries that meet competition guidelines for quality, within each division.

Best of Category and Award of Excellence winners will be notified in June. Best of Show, Best of Division, Top Notch, and Top Gold winners will not be announced until the imPRESS Celebration of Print on August 10.
The Call for Entries is open now through April 14. We can’t wait to see the amazing work PIAG members have produced!

Learn More and Submit Your Entries