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FLEXO Magazine : August 2008
FTA TODAY The Path to Excellence Do’s and Don’ts for Winning an FTA Award By Greg Platt W hile FTA’s Excellence in Flexography Awards competi- tion is intense, with numerous entries in each category and sub-category, there is a lot you can do to improve your score and help you win more awards and recognition for your company. Surprisingly, many involve following the most basic fundamentals of fl exographic printing. Contrary to some beliefs, judging is not solely subjective, but rather is quantifi ed by a scoring system. In each category, judges are divided into two groups of three, which rank the entries by the challenging nature of the image (degree of diffi culty) and the overall quality of the samples (level of execution). Within each of those two areas there are numerous points and factors to be con- sidered. The print samples that score well are those that cover all aspects of the judging criteria. SUBMISSION ERRORS An unfortunate number of very challenging and high-quality entries to the Excellence Awards end up scoring low due to sub- mission errors. The requirements for entry are very simple, and are in place in order to ensure that all samples are being judged fairly. A lot of it has to do with giving the judges a frame of refer- ence and/or a complete picture of the job itself. The most com- mon of these include: Failing to submit or meet the required number of repeats. In order to be considered for judging, every entry must have a mini- mum of four consecutive repeats. Judges must see that the image can, and has been, printed consistently. It also allows the three judges on either side of the table to examine the entry at the same time if they so choose, expediting the judging process. Failing to submit a target for color. Sure, if you didn’t exactly match the proof the customer gave you, the entry will lose some points. But if the judges don’t know what you are aiming for, they have no idea if you even came close. In fact, they’ll have no choice but to assume as much. Lack of a target automatically brings with it a standard point reduction that makes it difficult to score high. 20 F LEXO AUGUS T 20 0 8 www. f l e x o g r a p h y. o r g Failing to submit the full web as described on the technical data sheet. Much like with the required number of repeats, the full web width must be available for the judges to score. Even if (or perhaps especially if ) the image is redundant across the width, you want to show that it was printed consistently. Failing to submit additional information that describes a diffi- culty in the project or with submissions. This is a no-brainer. Why wouldn’t you want to explain what made a particular job diffi cult? While all the judges chosen every year are experts who understand and recognize a challenging graphic or vignette, there may be more to the story than they realize. Be as specifi c as possible. Many gold winners are not necessarily those that are the best executed, but rather are the best executed for that level of difficulty. Failing to enter the information correctly on the technical data sheet. Incorrect or contradictory information, whether intentional or otherwise, makes it tough for judges to fully understand the difficulty of a job, and thus poses a problem in the task of ranking all entries fairly. Double check your entry sheet before sending it in to FTA. FTA Awards Committee Chairman Gregg Platt (top left) and committee member Arleen Neustein (top right) answer a question for wide-web judges Mark Coffman (bottom left), Katie Tuckwiller (middle right) and Brian Jacobs (bottom right).
Flexo Sustainable Fall 2008