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The inaugural UK Graphic Awards event a ‘raging success’

The inaugural UK Graphic Awards event a ‘raging success’
According to all involved in the inaugural edition of the UK Graphic Awards competition, which is designed to reward graphic projects in a wide range of categories, ranging from branded interiors and graphic roll-outs to innovation and green awards, was a resounding success.

Held in September at Oulton Hall in Leeds and attended by winners, sponsors and attendees drawn from across the wide-format printing sector, the event delivered the first opportunity for the industry to gather together following the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Alex Mighall, speaking on behalf of sponsor R A Smart enthused: “The whole event was a raging success in our opinion – well organised and executed without a fault! It presented the perfect opportunity to network and celebrate an industry that, despite an incredibly tough 18 months, has produced some exceptional work that is well worth acknowledging. We can’t wait to do it again next year!”

Dan Tyler, founder of the awards and CEO at Vism, added: “One of the sponsors described the awards as a wonderful celebration of our incredible community, and I think that’s exactly right.

“It was really exciting to feel the positive and electric atmosphere as people caught up with friends and colleagues they hadn’t seen for two years while also making new connections too.

“There was so much joy and laughter, and some people said they wished they had brought even more colleagues along to share the celebrations.

“The feedback has been amazing and our plans for next year are already underway, with key sponsors from 2021 already signed up again, and some exciting new categories being prepared. We’re going even bigger next year. I can’t wait!”

Mark Bartlett, Managing Director at Signbox, winner of the Best in Show award sponsored by Agfa, said: “Reflecting on the past 18 months of the pandemic, we are delighted with this recognition for such a creative, passionate and resilient team who have diligently and successfully delivered these outstanding projects.

Signbox also won the Innovation Award, sponsored by Compass Business Finance. The company’s Sarah Crumpler, Head of Marketing, said: “At Compass, we’re passionate about the success of the people and the businesses we support, along with the industries that they’re part of. Sponsoring the UK Graphic Awards gave us the opportunity to recognise and celebrate some of those successes.

“The night itself was an incredible celebration, with companies receiving a well-deserved reward for work that would otherwise have gone unnoticed as part of their day-to-day business.”

Winner of the Rising Star award, sponsored by RMC, was Kalub Smith of Sovereign Signs. Alex Yates, Sales Manager, at Sovereign Signs said: “We are delighted to be working with Kalub, our Rising Star Award Winner. Although he has only been with us a short time, he has made a lasting impression with his eagerness and desire to learn new techniques and technologies within print and graphics and is thus thoroughly deserving of recognition.”

John Bayly, Director at Wild Visual Communications, which won Retail Project of the Year, said: “It was a pleasure to have been part of the awards. As a relative newcomer to the industry, it’s been amazing and also humbling to be recognised in such a way by our peers, especially when such established names were also in the running. The only downside is now we need to work out how to do even better next year!”

Imageco took home three awards on the night for best Leisure and Hospitality Project, The Green Award, and best Wide Format Print Company (under 30 employees). Nathan Swinson-Bullough, Managing Director, said: “We are delighted with our three awards. We work tirelessly on amazing projects and, at the same time, acknowledge our social and environmental responsibilities. The awards are a credit to the whole Imageco team and we value the recognition with extreme pride. We don’t do what we do to win awards but it’s great that the UK Graphic Awards were created to acknowledge and celebrate the work of the industry.”

Dan Tyler suggested that both Imageco and Signbox’s success proves that it is worth taking the time to enter multiple categories, saying: “The awards are free to enter and with the range of categories on offer, companies may have a number of suitable projects or business-related initiatives that are worthy of inclusion. Our aim is to make sure everyone has the chance to highlight all the great work they do without any barriers to entry.”

Lisa Samuels, General Manager at Grapefruit Graphics, the Graphics Roll-Out of the Year winner, said: “Being shortlisted for and then winning a UK Graphic Award was a fantastic and exciting morale boost for the team at Grapefruit – we are already thinking about which projects to enter next year!”

Simon Wheeler, Director at Stylo, winner of the Museums & Galleries Graphics Project of the Year category, added: “This win is a great reflection of the effort and pride everyone at Stylo puts into each job. Working on prestigious projects, such as this one for the British Library, highlights the skill and dedication out team puts in every day.”

Steve Poulton, Print and Business Development Manager at Into Print Digital, Event & Exhibition Graphics Project of the Year winner, said: “With all that has gone on in our industry during the last 18 months, it was an achievement to get recognition, let alone win and particularly for a project that incorporates all the services we offer.”

Edward Arnott, General Manager at Leisure and Hospitality category sponsor Amari Plastics, Leeds, said: “Amari Plastics along with ADAPT is a leading supplier to the UK Graphic industry, so when we heard that the UK Graphic Awards were to be announced in Leeds it was a no brainer that we should co-sponsor them. Our customers are amongst the best in the UK and supporting them is what we do.

“The awards evening was a great event and we look forward to working with the organisers again for future award dinners.”

Alex Mighall, from sponsors R A Smart, added: “We decided to sponsor the inaugural UK Graphics Awards as we thought it would be an amazing opportunity for the industry to recognise some of the remarkable work that our customers are producing. We’ve been involved in the sale and support of digital wide format printing solutions since they were first introduced in the late 1990s. Now, with the introduction of our dedicated ‘Large Format’ signage division, we’ve cemented ourselves within the industry as a key supplier to some of the biggest names in the game and we’re keen to support them wherever we can!”

Dan Tyler concluded: “Social media went berserk after the awards, and it was great to see everyone sharing photos, with lots of the entrants already aiming to enter again next year. I’m already excited to see how this thing evolves and together with our brilliant sponsors we plan to bring even more value to the industry. One thing’s for sure, we’re only just getting started!”

Plans are now underway for an even bigger event next year, with the organiser announcing a date of October 5th 2022

 The winners in each category are listed below. They can also be found at with further details:

Best in ShowSignbox

Branded Interiors Project of the YearSignbox

Event & Exhibition Graphics Project of the YearInto Print Digital

Graphics Roll -Out of the Year – Grapefruit Graphics

Leisure & Hospitality Graphics Project of the Year Imageco

Museums & Galleries Graphics Project of the YearStylo

Retail Graphics Project of the YearWild Visual Communications

The Green Award (Sustainability & Environmental Achievement)Imageco

The Innovation AwardSignbox

The Rising Star AwardKalub Smith (Sovereign Signs)

Large format print company of the year (30+ employees)Signbox

Large format print company of the year (under 30 employees) – Imageco



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