Innovation awards… cheers to winners!

Viscom 2007, the international trade fair for visual communication, held from September 20-22, 2007 at Exhibition Centre Düsseldorf, Germany, was an ideal and a complete show for the sign industry. And the Viscom Innovation Award ceremony attracted a lot of interest and participation. “And the winner is…”, this sentence was often used during the Viscom night, when the Viscom Innovation Award and the Digital Signage Best Practice Award were awarded for the first time, which attracted more than 50 submissions. “The product must be fully marketable in terms of commercial, design and environmental aspects,” is how Petra Lassahn, director Viscom, summed up the selection criteria.

In the first category, “Large format digital printing,” there was already a great surprise, as there were two winners. Two equivalent innovations were presented to the jury. They were completely different and therefore incomparable. This was why the jury decided to award two first prizes in this category, which were won by Spitfire Extreme Mild-Solvent-Drucker from Mutoh and Arizona 250 GT from Océ.

According to jury, “The Spitfire Extreme Mild-Solvent-Drucker is one of the first printing systems in which Mutoh integrated their so-called “i2 Intelligent Interweaving Technology.” This printer does not apply the ink in straight lines on the media to be printed – as the competitors do it – but in wave patterns optimized for each printing mode. In addition to the highly convincing printing quality, the Spitfire Extreme also provides for a high printing speed. Mutoh’s i2-technology is also available on the Valuejet series printers and the new Blizzard, which was launched at the Viscom 2007.”

Also for Océ, the jury had its comments, which said, “In March 2007 Océ presented their Arizona 250 GT, a completely redesigned printer using UV hardening inks. The variable drop size of the gray-shade heads allows for a very high image quality. The optional roll module is so cleverly placed on the edge of the vacuum-printing table that the change between flatbed and roller printing is made extremely time saving. In addition, this printer is easy-to-use and moderate in price and maintenance costs – a truly innovative product.”

The second prize in signmaking category was won by Acryl-Material from Tromark. As per jury, “The material presented by Tromark allows advertising technician to produce weather and corrosion resistant signs with highly decorative metallic surfaces in stainless steel and NE metal look with non-sophisticated technical equipment and machines. According to the manufacturer, the material can be designed and treated with common technology. This material provides the advertising technician with additional opportunities to creatively design and produce signs and icons.”

 Whereas in Light advertising category, curveLED from Tennagels won second prize. And jury explained, “curveLED of Tennagels is a modular connector-system for light and image presentation on LED basis. It convinced the jury inter alia because it is a well-engineered LED product, which can be integrated in many fields of visual communication. Applications at the POS are as conceivable as such at other events. The fact that curveLED is both single and duplex information and image system suited for being mounted at the stand or on the ceiling, speaks for the versatility of this ‘transparent curtain’. The particularity of this type of projection screen is, besides the construction of even walls, the design of ‘floating forms’ such as waves or columns. On a concluding note, the jury stated that the meanwhile widespread LED technology gets a new and lively face.”

In Digital Signage Best Practice Award, there were three categories: Retail signage – digital signage applications in retail shops; Information signage – digital signage applications to present information on public displays, and Routing – digital signage applications in routing systems for public spaces.

The winners of the Digital Signage Best Practice Award were Netvico and Peek & Cloppenburg with the store plan in the category Routing; Pixelpark, Ben Hur and BASF with BASF Today in Information Signage category; Visual Food and Valora with k-wachstum k-kiosk in Retail Signage category; and Seen Media and Galeria Kaufhof with their Digital Signage resolution in the Berliner Galeria Kaufhof Weltstadtwarenhaus.

Besides, ag4 media facade GmbH and XL Solutions GmbH won the special award. As per jury, “A special award was given to a product that was so innovative and so practical but didn’t Žt into any of the three categories. The use of complete facades for emotional and aesthetic communication and information platforms opens completely new application opportunities.”

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