Aussie firms beat US rivals to international finishing awards

Superior Foil won the 'embossing with print' category at the Foil & Specialty Effects Association's 20th annual Gold Leaf Awards. The Melbourne firm also bagged three silver medals and one bronze.

Owner John Rushgrove told ProPrint that the winning entry featured a 10mm-deep emboss, which he said was two to three times the industry standard.

"People are unable to believe the depth, detail and overall effect of the image. In this regard the result has exceeded even our own expectations and has already begun to generate work and open doors for Superior Foil Print," he said.

[Related: Rushgrove founds Superior Foil]

Rushgrove said the emboss depth was the result of three years of experimentation. "I was forced to spend hundreds of hours experimenting with the makeready process, stock types, die design, impression required and various techniques," he said.

Superior Foil's winning entry was a self-promotional piece that also won gold at the 2012 Victorian PICAs and 2012 Printovation Awards and is in contention for a 'Benny' award at the Printing Industries of America's Premier Print Awards.

Superior Foil has also won three gold medals, eight silvers and four bronzes at the Gold Leaf Awards between 2008-12.

Sydney-based Watermarx joined Superior Foil in tasting success at the 2013 Gold Leaf Awards with victory in the 'capabilities brochure' category.

Watermarx's win came for the embossing and letterpress printing work it did for the second edition of Justus magazine.

Co-owner Angela O'Dea said it was a victory for Watermarx's patented embossing system, Cliqx, which was used throughout the job.

"It's lovely that Australian craftsmanship is recognised above all the entries in the US. It's also nice that the US recognises the quality that Cliqx can achieve," she told ProPrint.

"The quality of the emboss is what won the gold regardless of how it was done. They see that the results achieved with Cliqx for a single level die are up there with the best. We're getting gold medal-winning results with photopolymer dies."

O'Dea said printers could achieve similar results with Cliqx because the system was easy to use. "We're trying to show what can be done by the masses," she said.

Watermarx also used Cliqx for its bronze medal job in the 2012 Gold Leaf Awards, she said.

[LinkedIn: What innovative things has your firm done?]

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