6 October 2008, A4 Ofset- Istanbul | Cape Town, South Africa hosted the unique and most important competition of printing industry, organized by the leading paper producer of the world, The Sappi. A4 Ofset finally grasped the “Elephant”, the grand prix of the competition of the “Sappi International Printer of the Year”, held on 3rd of October in Cape Town and fetched it to Turkey. Having been the only Turkish printer to win the prize, A4 Ofset sounded high for Turkey.
A4 Ofset had won the degree of the best of Europe and in the competition of the best of the bests in Cape Town, where the winners of Europe, Asia, North, Central and South America, Australia and Africa competed, successfully reached to the grand prix in the category of catalogue.
Regarded as the “Academy Awards” of the printing industry, this highly prestigious competition received over 7000 pieces of print work from all over the world.
Having won the Gold Medal in the Europe Leg in May, reaching the top among 717 competitors from 34 countries in catalogue category and a Bronze Medal in general category, A4 Ofset had been credited to compete for “The Best of the World” with the gold winners of the other continents.
Founders of A4 Ofset, Mr. Alparslan Baloglu and Mr. Alptekin Baloglu joined the award ceremony, held in South African Prime Ministry House, with the group of many other elite people of the sector and the print house owners from the countries of the continents, the gold winner competitors of 9 different categories. Noticing that the best of the continents met there in Cape Town Mr. Ralph Boettger the General Coordinator of Sappi, described and opened the night as “the very time to project the world’s best among the best”. He also added that the winner would receive not alone the privilege of being proud with the title of the “Best Printer of the World” but it also received the “Elephant” the 22 kg bronze sculpture symbolizing both South Africa and more, the leadership, the courage and the strength to reach the excellence in print quality.
In the catalogue category of the competition, A4 Ofset left North American and Indian gold winners behind by the anonymous decision of the professional and independent jurors and won the Grand Prix. The jury pointed out that besides the offset printing techniques, the catalogue, titled as “Letter”, had deserved eulogy by the splendid and unerring application accuracy of laser cut, silk screen printing, foil printing, UV varnish, die cut, aqua varnish, PUR binding etc. which basically made A4 Ofset slip forward.
“For the last four years by perpetually being a finalist in the European Leg of this outstanding competition and winning several medals, we, as A4 Ofset, have shown that Turkish print house technology and capability have already reached the universal standards. We have proven that. Winning the prize in the world’s final and taking it to our homeland, however, is an outstanding success for A4 Ofset. Before the award ceremony, other competitors had mentioned after scrutinizing our product that it was most impressive and we had been close to the award. Having seen the jurors under the same influence really made us happy. Not before that very long 400 years passed had the printing emerged in my country but now, we are proud of catching the world’s highest standards and of the success we have achieved.” These were the words of Mr. Alparslan Baloglu. Further, Mr. Alptekin Baloglu pointed out in his speech that for the finalists seeing the production quality of the work besides the pricing advantages of Turkey, in European market had been a little worrying as much as surprising. He added that the award had a great meaning in rising A4 Ofset’s exportation capacity. So far, exportation explained 20% of A4 Ofset’s total production, yet they were then to target far high.
This very outstanding work that brought the grand prix is the combination of the works of designers of Zebra Design Factory, independent from the clients. The catalogue, named for the standard paper size of “letter” has been designed not for the promotional purposes but for a far better adapted purpose, solely to push the evolution of the design business upward.
Printed materials in the competition of Sappi, since 1993, have been evaluated in 9 categories of catalogue, leaflet, book, promotional pieces, packaging, calendars, magazines and general printing work. This year, of the 9 “Elephants”, 3 went to Europe, 2 went to South America, 2 went to North America, 1 went to Asia and 1 to Africa.