Scottish Print Review 2002

By The Drum, Administrator

October 2, 2002 | 8 min read

Summerhall's award winning print work for The Howard Smith Paper Company.

Love it or hate it design and other printed creative work isn’t worth the paper it is printed on if you choose the wrong print house to bring your two dimensional creations to life. What could look like the Porsche of packaging or the Aston Martin of annual reports on your Mac screen could end up as a worthless jalopy unless you choose the right printer to complete the job.

Fortunately Scotland is blessed with a myriad of good quality print houses and The Drum set out on its annual mission to identify the print companies which Scottish print commissioners have the most respect for.

We polled the design, advertising and direct marketing sectors of the industry as they are the heaviest users of print to gauge their views on whose strengths lie in which areas of the print arena. All nominated print shops were awarded three points for every nomination they received. These points were tallied at end and an overall winner and finalists table, in terms of how many nominations they had received in total across all categories, was achieved.

Overall Scottish Printer

The overall winner in The Drum’s annual Print Review this year was Summerhall Press, who managed to snatch back its crown from Waddies, who reigned supreme last year.

Waddies drop to equal third place this year, with Nimmos Colour Printers pushing ahead into second place.

Summerhall Press was the overall winner topping two out of the nine categories, which must be good news for all concerned, with many different companies vying for first place both in the individual categories and in the final poll.

Scottish print companies are setting high standards for their customers, with a great deal expected from the industry – but one thing that all who were polled in the review agreed on was that low price and high quality are essential if printing firms want to offer the best service to their clients. The fact that so many individual printers were nominated in each category appears to bode well for the future of print.

Most Innovative Printer

Winning hands down in this category was Edinburgh-based Summerhall Press, who was some distance ahead of its rivals. With accolades ranging from “they take a craft-based attitude to projects” and “are up for a challenge”, it is little wonder that Summerhall Press has moved from position number two last year to being named most innovative printer in this year’s review.

The print producers create a range of items for blue-chip clients, design and advertising agencies, along with business throughout the United Kingdom.

Alan Hollis, of Graphic Partners, commented on the general innovation within the print industry: “New innovations seem to be happening outwith the press room and on the internet, with many companies offering online and some are offering online print management facilities.”

Other companies in this category included Nimmos Colour Printers, Colour Network and Kestrel press.

Best Scottish Repro Facility

Transcolour won this category ahead of Core Image and Marshall Thompson, both of which received three nominations.

Gordon Murray of Shaw Marketing and Design commented: “Transcolour has provided many years of service and quality in an ever changing environment”, but all of the companies featured in the category were congratulated for their work in this sector, with praise for Nimmos Colour Printers for doing much of their work in-house, which is definitely an added bonus.

It can only be seen as good news that there was so little between all of the companies in second place, proving that the quality of repro in Scotland must be of the highest order.

Best Sheet Fed Printers

Again, Summerhall Press won this category with little competition. This is the second year in a row that it has won the category.

Nimmos proved that it was to be the bridesmaid once more in second place, with Ditto Print and M&M Press vying for third place. Commenting on sheet fed printers, Hollis of Graphic Partners said, “Scotland has many capable printers offering a similar high quality product. Therefore, the level of service supplied by a print company is likely to have as much bearing as their print expertise when selecting a printer. I have rarely to question the work produced by Summerhall Press, but if I do response is always swift.”

Best Scottish Web Printer

For the third time in a row Waddies has been crowned the undisputed winner. Overwhelmingly, all those who were asked to name the Best Scottish Web Printers chose the Edinburgh-based company as the one they turn to for their specialised web printing. No other company was nominated in this field.

Whilst Waddies was named best web printer, there was a slight cause for concern, as they obviously have a distinct advantage within this area of print.

Gordon Murray of Shaw Marketing and Design offered a word of warning, as Waddies appear to be the only company offering this service. He commented, “Unfortunately, Waddies have a bit of a monopoly on web, although I have no doubt about the quality of web print that they produce.”

Best Digital Printer

This category was added to the survey last year to recognise the huge developments in digital print which are allowing smaller and more bespoke print runs to be completed.

This year’s winner was the Simpson Label Company.

Simpson’s won through the narrowest of margins, beating competition from both Transcolour, whose attention to detail and service was highly praised, along with Kestrel Press, who offer “super quality”.

Simpson’s was praised for its ability to “develop press capabilities beyond their original purpose”.

The other companies nominated in this category were Colour Network and Core Image.

Best Large Format Printer

This category was a closely fought battle between all contenders. Eastern Digital managed to pull off a win despite competition from ADS, M&M Press and Pillans and Wilson, to name but a few.

Eastern Digital was congratulated on not only being very helpful, but also offering a fair and reasonably priced alternative to its competitors.

But praise for M&M Press was also forthcoming for its “service quality and competitive prices”, along with B&S Photobition, who offer both “choice and variety”.

Best Scottish Paper Merchant

Once more Robert Horne, which was recently rebranded, managed a triumphant victory, easily winning by fifty per cent against the only two other companies nominated in this category.

Robert Horne was complimented on its level of service and speed in samples, along with its diverse range in products. The company, according to those who had nominated it, also offered the best customer service in this area of print.

Donald Murray and GF Smith were also nominated in the category, with both companies being placed in second position.

Best Paper Rep

This category saw a clash of the titans – both Lynne Corrigan and Paul Scharf have won this accolade in previous years. This time around, the winner was Paul Scharf of GF Smith, who has been with the company for the past 16 years.

Scharf was nominated for being both “a nice guy and very professional” and for also having “enthusiasm, passion and knowledge”.

Praise was lavished upon him, with Prem Reynolds of the Big Picture commenting “He is by far and away the most enthusiastic, knowledgeable and committed rep.”

Lynne Corrigan was also praised for her “availability and consistency of updated information on both new paper stocks and discounted deleted stock.”

Best Paper Stock

Much to the dismay of Raymond Morrison, managing director of Aberdeen-based advertising agency Covey McCormick, last year’s paper stock winner, Donside’s Royal Consort, has now ceased production and he maintains that no other paper can match it on its sheer quality.

But, there has to be a winner and this year’s new kid on the block chosen to pick up the Best Paper Stock accolade was Accent.

Those who voted for the paper, made by G F Smith, commented on its “flexibility in terms of its tactile and reproduction performance”. It was also commended for its value for money, quality and durability.

Other paper stock that was nominated in this category included Conqueror Concept, Crusade, Mellotex, Munken Lynx and Curious Metallics.


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