International plaudits for Print Company

The supreme winner at this year’s New Zealand Pride in Print awards is receiving international plaudits for its revolutionary new screen printing techniques.

Arria Design Group’s range of stunning clear postcards printed with high-quality photographic images, was a multiple award winner at the recent GASA Printovation, and SGIAA Awards in Australia (where it won among others, the President’s Award for Screenprinting and Peoples’ Choice Gold Award).

The Auckland based company was then invited to attend the SGIA Golden Image Awards in Orlando, Florida where it won every award in its category.

“It has been an absolutely spectacular result, and a great reward for the care and attention, eye for detail, and huge investment in the development process made by our printing team at Arria and the talented designers at Creative Juice,” says Matt Foster, of Fosters Screenprinting, the printing arm of Arria Design Group.

The new world-leading printing technique, developed by Foster and his team, uses multi-layered printing on both sides of glass-clear polycarbonate to create depth effects, transparency and opacity never seen before in screen printing.

“To have the quality and standard of our products recognised by international experts who have been in the industry for decades is really gratifying. They are excited to see someone putting time and attention into an old-school process like screen printing, and proving there are still some techniques and craftsmanship that digital printing can’t compete with.”

A judge at one of the recent international awards said: “The quality and excitement of screen printing will never die if the Arria collection is an example of today’s screen printing technology and skills.”

Arria Design Group entered its Australian and New York postcard ranges at the international competitions.

It is currently working on a range of postcards and other innovative products “that use a couple of additional techniques” for the European market.

“Our driving force is to keep improving, changing and doing new things. It’s exciting for us to push ourselves to continually develop new techniques that are different to what’s already offered in the market.”

The SGIAA in Australia wants to enter Arria Design Group’s winning entry from its awards into next year’s FESPA awards in Las Vegas – the largest screen printing event in the world.

“We will quite likely put a few entries of our own into FESPA, and are investigating other international events. Our emphasis is also turning to how we can convert these awards and heightened recognition into sales.”

Foster doesn’t expect an immediate response from the market, as it took six or seven months before he saw an upturn in business following the Pride in Print awards in New Zealand.

He has been in the industry for almost 30 years, many of those spent in the family business in Christchurch, started by his grandfather, and later run by his father.

The current direction of Fosters Screenprinting under the Arria Design Group umbrella means his passion for printing has never been stronger.

“It is so exciting to play a part in reinvigorating the screen printing industry by pushing the limits of fine detail and photographic reproduction to compete against and alongside all other print processes. All forms of printing offer benefits, but it is great to see an ancient process such as screen printing still able to impress the experts across every facet of the industry.”