First Timers Take Top Prize

In its first appearance in the In-Print contest, SAFECO took top honors with a colorful marketing piece that required lots of attention to detail.

As a perk for its top agents, SAFECO organizes an annual event called the “Conference of Champions,” which brings the company’s top producers together to attend workshops, mingle with executives and make new friends. Next year that conference will take place in both Vienna, Austria, and Carlsbad, Calif.

To motivate its independent agents to work harder and qualify for the free conference, the Seattle-based insurance and financial services firm wanted to send out a quality marketing piece, bursting with color and class.

So SAFECO turned to its in-plant.

The result, an elegant 28-page book filled with colorful photos, was so impressive the in-plant decided to do something it had never done before: Enter In-Print 2000. So imagine Larry Jablinske’s surprise when the manager of SAFECO Publishing Services learned that, not only had his 115-employee operation won four prizes, it had also earned the coveted Best of Show award.

“We were pretty overwhelmed, considering it was the first time we had entered the contest,” remarks Jablinske.

The in-plant worked closely with SAFECO’s corporate marketing and communications department on the project for six weeks, then spent five days printing and binding the job. The main focus the entire time, Jablinske says, was quality.

“It’s a motivational piece, and so the quality of the photographs, the color, all of those things are important,” he says.

Meeting these quality demands was no problem for the in-plant, which produces many similar jobs, including color magazines. But this job was a bit more difficult than most, Jablinske says.

“The fact that we had to print on four different papers and maintain color consistency—that was a challenge,” he says. The sheets range from coated stock to a translucent UV ultra paper.

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