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WSU Program Takes Top Prize

A program for a gala event honoring top university donors did more than impress benefactors. It won Washington State University the coveted Best of Show award for digitally printed pieces.

July 2013 By Bob Neubauer
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As he sat at the IPMA awards banquet last month, watching the video of the In-Print contest judges selecting the Best of Show winner, Steve Rigby was surprisingly calm. Two of Washington State University's Gold-winning pieces were among the final four, and he was feeling rather confident.

"My gut told me it was coming," reveals Rigby, director of Printing Services at WSU's University Publishing office.

He was right. Out of the 17 Gold winners in the non-offset categories, WSU's gala program booklet was picked as the Best of Show winner. The 56-page book is perfect bound and features photos of top university donors. The cover is printed on a metallic cover stock, which gives it a unique, iridescent sheen that makes colors appear to sparkle and change from different angles.

Tough Competition

Having looked at all the other winners on display during the awards the reception, Rigby knew his in-plant's piece had been up against some stiff competition.

"There were a lot of pieces that were deserving of that award, quite honestly," he acknowledges—such as a calendar from Briggs & Stratton that used Kodak's Dimensional Printing capability to create a raised effect; and a spiral-bound book from The University of Texas at Austin. But the colors on WSU's program were just a little more vibrant, the judges said, and the binding was flawless.

Thanks to social media, Rigby says, most of his staff knew about the in-plant's victory before he returned to work with the trophy.

"There was a great excitement in our shop on Monday when I came back," he reports.

The 45-employee in-plant, with 20 part-timers, has been entering the In-Print contest for decades and amassed nearly 100 awards over the years, Rigby says—but never the top prize. He brought the glass Best of Show ­obelisk around to each person who had worked on the project and invited staff to his office to watch the video showing the judges picking their piece. The in-plant held a special celebration for the client that ordered the program, the WSU Foundation.


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