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SGIA Awards 2019 Product of the Year Winners

Posted Wednesday, August 28, 2019 by Amanda Kliegl, SGIA.

Fairfax, Va. — The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) is pleased to announce the winners of the 2019 Product of the Year competition. The winning products — all produced by PRINTING United exhibitors and available for sale in 2019 — rose to the top of a field of more than 200 entries in 72 categories.

“Our competition is juried, and judges are scoring entries so they can compare products objectively,” said Ray Weiss, Director of Digital Print Programs, SGIA. “For example, in the digital output device categories, winners were based on measurements of test prints. This is the only competition I know of that tells companies the percentage of Adobe RGB gamut a printer can hit.”

The measurement reports, which were produced by the Sonoco Institute at Clemson University and follow the same format as SGIA’s digital equipment evaluations, will be on display with the entries in the Awards Gallery at PRINTING United (October 23 - 25, Dallas), allowing attendees to compare printers based on data.

More than two-thirds of the competition categories are for non-output devices — everything from textiles to substrates to software. “The products submitted always illustrate trends in the industry, so we saw an uptick in textiles made from recycled materials and workflow software,” Weiss said.

The 2019 judges included Scott Baxter, GAM Graphics and Marketing; Conrad Coe, GAM Graphics and Marketing; Dan Gillespie, Alder Technology; Keith Prichard, TIMSCO; Scott Schoppert, Printing Impressions; Cas Shiver, Sundog Productions; Tony Tribby, Dead Bat Designs and Kent Walker, Walker Supply Company.

2019 Product of the Year winners are listed on To see all of the Product of the Year entries, visit the Awards Gallery at PRINTING United (Hall F lobby). Registration for PRINTING United is free through September 10.

Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) is the premier printing and graphic arts trade organization that provides members with cutting edge resources, tools and education to promote growth and convergence into new market segments. SGIA members have unparalleled access to current industry information, trends, and events. SGIA-produced events include, but are not limited to, PRINTING United (Dallas; Oct. 23 - 25, 2019) and Graphics of the Americas (Miami; Feb. 27 - 29, 2020). For more information, visit

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Preparing for Oregon’s July 1, 2019 Minimum Wage Increase

Posted Thursday, July 25, 2019 by Paul Cirner (Ogletree Deakins).

As of July 1, 2019 Oregon’s minimum wage has increased. Oregon’s minimum wage structure is more complicated than most states with three different levels, depending on location. Here is everything Oregon employers need to know to comply.

The New Minimum Wage

In Oregon, the minimum wage rate varies depending upon an employer’s location categorized by (1) standard counties; (2) Portland Metro areas; and (3) nonurban counties. The wage increase for each location is as follows:


Below is a useful map created by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) identifying each location under the law. There are areas within Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas counties that are outside the Portland urban growth boundary (UGB) which are only subject to the standard county wage-rate.

Oregon Map

*Created by the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI).

Employers located in Washington, Clackamas, and Multnomah counties can use the Urban Growth Boundary lookup tool to determine if they are located within the UGB and subject to the Portland metro rate.

The July 1, 2019 Transition

All hours worked up to midnight on June 30, 2019 should be paid at the previous applicable minimum wage rate even if payroll is done on or after July 1, 2019. If an employee’s work day spans between June 30th and July 1st there should be two different rates of pay if they are a minimum wage rate worker. For hours worked on and after 12:01 a.m., July 1, 2019, the employee must be paid at the higher applicable minimum wage rate.

Impact on Exempt Employees

For exempt employees, Oregon law sets a salary threshold that is higher than the threshold set by Federal law. Oregon’s minimum wage increase impacts employees’ exempt status for those exempt employees that earn salaries near the minimum wage. As of July 1, 2019, employees subject to the Portland metro rate must earn at least $500 per week or $26,000 per year due to the $12.50 wage increase. Employees subject to the standard county rate must earn at least $450 per week or $23,400 per year due to the $11.25 wage increase. Employees subject to the nonurban county rate must earn $440 per week or $22,880 per year due to the $11.00 wage increase. Misclassification of non-exempt employees can result in significant penalties so it is crucial that employers review the exempt status of their employees. Overtime should also be adjusted according to the new wage rates.

Wage Compression

“Wage compression” occurs when senior employees are no longer better compensated than less senior employees due to minimum wage increases. Employees often judge their compensation based on how much others are paid around them. If a senior employee is earning close to the same amount as a new employee as a result of wage increases, this can create moral and retention issues. Companies may want to consider giving raises to employees who earn just above the new minimum wage to avoid moral, retention, and hiring issues.


PPI’s members continue to be faced with significant compliance challenges, as well as economic pressures, caused by active state legislatures enacting new pro-employee measures. In addition to Oregon, association members in Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, and Washington have had to deal with increased minimum wages in 2019. We will continue to monitor developments for our membership.

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2019 Premier Print Awards Winners Announced!

Posted Monday, June 17, 2019 by Benjamin Mertz.

alt textPPI is pleased to announce the 2019 Premier Print Award Winners who were submitted into the competition at no additional charge from their wins in the 2018 PrintROCKS! Awards. 85 submissions were awarded with 25 organizations recognized for their stellar work.Our region’s showing only reinforces once again the tremendous work done by the greater print community in the six states we serve. Bonus for the entrants is that we saved them over $13,000 collectively in processing time, shipping and entry fees.Warm up your fingers, prepare your trash talk, and get ready for PrintROCKS! enter today! It’ll be the best PrintROCKS! yet! We will celebrate these wins at the PrintROCKS party September 27th in Portland, OR at the Redd on Salmon.

ALL 2019 PrintROCKS Entries awarded Honorable Mention through First Place will once again be submitted in 2020 to the Premier Print Awards for consideration at no additional charge. You too can get this 2+++ for 1 opportunity by entering PrintROCKS today! We’re open for entries and look forward to helping you promote your amazing work.

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See the Industry Under One Roof

Posted Thursday, June 6, 2019 by Kate Achelpohl, Director of Publications & Public Relations, SGIA.

Printing United Banner

Time and technology are transforming the printing industry. Printers who once identified with a single segment are now adopting technologies and product lines that pull them into adjacent markets. Those changes — summed up in the word “convergence” — are at the heart of PRINTING United, the latest iteration of the SGIA Expo, produced by the Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) and NAPCO Media, and coming to the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas October 23 - 25.

Partying at PRINTING United

“There’s a transformation taking place in the printing industry, a blurring of segment boundaries as print service providers (PSPs) seek out new products and technologies to better serve their customers. Convergence is changing how PSPs and their suppliers do business, the technologies they choose and the information they need to stay ahead of the competition,” says Mark Subers, President/CRO, Printing and Packaging, NAPCO Media.

But it’s more than just the technology that’s changing. The needs of brands and marketers are continuing to evolve as well. “Our customers’ needs continue to change and we need to change with them,” says a PSP interviewed for SGIA’s “Critical Trends Report: Commercial Printing Winter 2019.” “It is not just about how well we can print, but how well we can help them communicate their message — in a variety of ways.”

PRINTING United will bring the universe of printing under one roof, serving markets including commercial printing, apparel decorating, graphics production, functional printing, packaging printing and in-plant.

“PRINTING United represents a sea change in event strategies for addressing the industry environment. Rather than focusing on a single industry segment, it’s welcoming in the entire community,” says Subers.

Attendees can begin making connections on the expansive show floor — the equivalent of more than 12 ½ football fields — filled with more than 600 exhibitors, including Ricoh, Heidelberg, RMGT — Graphic Systems (Ryobi), Muller Martini, and Kirk-Rudy.

The show floor is more than a comprehensive view of the latest printing technologies. It’s also home to The Experience Zone, a 4,000-square-foot exhibit with over 100 printed applications that demonstrate how printing shapes consumers’ lives.

“Our industry touches everything around us,” Subers says. “The Experience Zone will put a face on it, with displays from in-home, out-of-home and retail environments. We want PSPs visiting The Experience Zone to leave inspired to try new product lines and markets.”

Education Empowers Convergence

What printers learn at PRINTING United will change the way they see their business.

The greatest levels of product-line expansion for commercial printers, according to SGIA’s Commercial Printing Scorecard (based on 2019 (Q1) SGIA Survey — Markets & Products), are graphic and sign (65.4%), functional printing (21%), package printing/converting (19.8%) and apparel decoration (14.8%). PRINTING United provides the knowledge attendees need to explore these and other segments.

“The education at PRINTING United is designed to give attendees the resources to explore new markets and opportunities — whether inside or outside their traditional segment,” says Dan Marx, Director of

Content Development, SGIA. “We’ve structured the programming so there will be something relevant to anyone in attendance at any given time.”

Education begins Tuesday, October 22, with three concurrent half-day intensive workshops:

· Convergence Power Rankings: Where (and How) to Grow — Marco Boer of IT Strategies provides background PSPs need to find and take advantage of new, opportunity-rich areas.

· Wide Format 101: Strategies for Success — SGIA’s Ray Weiss assembles a cast of seasoned professionals to share knowledge for success in the wide-format segment, covering technologies, applications, color management, pricing strategies and more.

· Digital Textile Printing: What, Why and How — Keypoint Intelligence/Info Trends’ Ron Gilboa and digital textile experts will discuss how to maximize the possibilities of digital textile printing, its future and the importance of workflow.

Like the trade show, the PRINTING United conference is built on the foundation of its predecessor, the SGIA Expo, but, says Marx, “We’ve ramped up the relevant, innovative education past attendees know to expect and extended that to the commercial, package and in-plant printing communities as well.”

Out of more than 270 session proposals, just 96 made it to the curated conference schedule in tracks for commercial printing, digital print and graphics production, digital textile printing, functional print (industrial applications and printed electronics), apparel decorating, package printing and business intelligence.

“The competition was stiff, and every proposal went through a rigorous review process with a team that included editors-in-chief from NAPCO Media’s Printing Impressions, Wide-Format Impressions, In-Plant Impressions and Packaging Impressions,” Marx adds.

On the show floor, PRINTING United’s three amphitheaters will feature research and exhibitor-led presentations addressing the apparel, industrial, graphics, commercial and packaging printing communities in prominent locations on the show floor.

PRINTING United Connects the Community

“PSPs who want to improve their businesses and better serve their customers need access to suppliers, manufacturers and education. PRINTING United provides those connections across market segments,” says Ford Bowers, President and CEO, SGIA.

In addition to the expansive show floor and educational options, PRINTING United will bring the community together to create and strengthen connections with peers and industry leaders. Networking events during the show feature informative and inspiring speakers for the apparel, functional and industrial printing, sustainability and Women in Print Alliance communities.

And in the evening, the Opening Night Party on October 23 at the iconic Gilley’s Dallas will channel the energy and excitement of the printing industry.

“The launch of PRINTING United is something to celebrate,” Bowers says. “It encompasses and serves today’s printing industry better than any event in the printing and packaging space has before. If you’re part of the industry, you need to be there from the start.”

Registration for PRINTING United will be free through September 10, but some events have additional fees. Learn more and register today at

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SGIA Now Accepting Product of the Year Competition Entries

Posted Wednesday, May 29, 2019 by Kate Achelpohl, SGIA.

Fairfax, Va. — The Specialty Graphic Imaging Association (SGIA) is accepting entries for its annual Product of the Year competition through August 2. Exclusive to PRINTING United exhibitors, and judged by a panel of industry experts, the competition awards the leading products in the market across 87 printing categories.

“The Product of the Year competition represents the best of the best among a wide range of categories in commercial hardware, software, consumables, and industrial and screen equipment,” said Ray Weiss, Director of Digital Print Programs, SGIA. “Any exhibitor’s product that is, or will be, available on the market in 2019 is eligible for entry.”

To best reflect the current array of solutions for the printing industry, Weiss also noted all the competition’s categories are re-evaluated and refined each year based on previous entrants’ feedback.

Entries are judged at SGIA’s headquarters by a panel of volunteer industry experts in an open scoring system, factoring in criteria such as date of manufacture and “wow” factor, as well as objective print quality data. The results will be announced in advance of PRINTING United — SGIA and NAPCO Media’s latest iteration of the SGIA Expo coming to Dallas October 23 - 25 — allowing exhibitors to promote their winning products prior to the expo. Additionally, winners will receive a Product of the Year award jewel and have their entry displayed in PRINTING United’s Golden Image/Product of the Year Gallery.

“The Product of the Year awards gave us the opportunity to coincide a product launch with a product win,” said Yoann Giorsetti, Managing Director, Siser North America, which won the Media — Heat Transfer Material, Cuttable category in 2018. “We knew introducing Siser® BlackBoard™ heat transfer vinyl at the SGIA Expo was going to cause a buzz, but the extra publicity from the win skyrocketed our booth attendance. We were out of sample tote bags by the end of day two!”

Weiss hopes this year’s entries will top 2018’s record-breaking 255. “With each year, it gets more exciting to see the game-changing entries,” he said. “Product of the Year allows participants and winners to bring their solutions to the forefront for prospective customers.”

Giorsetti echoed these sentiments. “In addition to the extra attention, the Product of the Year awards supported and confirmed the quality of the product to our customers,” he said. “Although we already believed in BlackBoard™, we were honored to receive SGIA’s stamp of approval and are grateful for the benefits that followed to help make this one of our best product launches.”

Product of the Year participants must submit entries ($85 each) online and send in required materials before August 2. For more information and to enter, visit

About Printing United PRINTING United, a new event owned and operated by SGIA in partnership with NAPCO Media, will launch in Dallas, Texas, October 23 - 25, 2019. Focusing on the opportunities presented by the convergence of printing technologies and markets, PRINTING United will cover print and finishing technologies in industry segments from apparel to graphic, packaging to commercial, and industrial. Its objective is to convey all components of integrated solutions to satisfy virtually any client need.

About SGIAThe Specialty Graphic Imaging Association is a trade association for the leaders of the 21st Century printing industry. SGIA members are bold, driven, creative and riding a wave of technology and innovation. In addition to providing high-quality information and educational resources designed to help move the printing community forward, SGIA produces the leading trade shows PRINTING United (Dallas, October 23 - 25, 2019) and Graphics of the Americas (Miami, February 27 - 29, 2020).

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