Association Update – August

Every year at the NZ Sign Display Awards of Excellence the New Zealand Sign and Display Association acknowledges outstanding workmanship, mind-blowing projects, exceptional skills, and creativity in the craft of sign-making.  We also recognize those individuals that are making waves in the industry with our Notable Awards.  Being celebrated for being passionate, creative, leading, and pushing boundaries is a huge achievement and we all need to support these movers and shakers of the industry.  Their passion for the craft, the mindset for leading change, embracing challenges and leading with inspiration and a humble attitude can change and future-proof the industry.

We were excited to acknowledge the 2023 Innovative Champion, Jeremy Gibson from Ellar Graphics.  It is fair to say that Ellar Graphics went above and beyond their client’s expectations when it came to offering sustainable practices.  Ellar Graphics, a key supplier to L’Oreal NZ were approached on how they could reduce the impact of nationwide backlit campaign rollouts from ending up at landfills around the country.  Ellar Graphics then introduced the Zero Waste Initiative, where he outlined the potential to reclaim and re-purpose expired light box graphics.  From there, the retailing stores that had the backlit graphics were collected and returned to Ellar Graphics, and then recycled via the Zero Waste Initiative provided by Total Supply.  Since beginning this process, Ellar and L’Oreal have recycled over 500 kgs of media. Now Ellar Graphics specifically suggests recyclable or repurposable media and substrates to their clients, especially for short turnaround campaigns where possible.  And as more sustainable products come onto the market, communicating alternative choices to brand managers will continue to build awareness of being more sustainable.  Over the past 3 years, Ellar Graphics has been making significant investments to assist them with their sustainable offerings such as the purchase of their HP Latex printing equipment that compliments their Existing equipment including the Green Gold Certified Mimaki UCJV-300 160.

And our Mana Influencer Award for 2023 was given to an outstanding character of the industry and active member of the Association, Jeremy Hunt, from Big Brown Industries – what a man, what a legend, what a myth!   Jeremy’s connections within the industry are nationwide, he is always checking in on others, praising their projects, offering advice, or lending a hand when needed.  Going above and beyond is what Jeremy does, always making a conscious effort to deliver exceptional results for clients.  Giving back to the community, industry, and association, comes effortless for Jeremy, as he was recently approached for a show-and-tell project that Computaleta and the Shore Junction Youth Centre put together to raise awareness of the sign industry.  Jeremy is often approached by High schools for work experience, and he never turns them down as he believes that in order to keep the craft of signage alive, we need to invest time into our youth.  When it comes to his staff he is always encouraging them to upskill and broaden their knowledge.  Jeremy is happy to share his knowledge within the signage community, believing that everyone can be better and do better, pushing growth within the industry and within his small business.

Acknowledging the growth of our youth in our industry is becoming more important each year and we do this with both the Apprentice of the Year Award and the Keith Langstone Highflyer Award.  This year these awards went to two very worthy candidates that are both excelling within the industry.  Firstly, the Apprentice of the Year 2023 was awarded to Brandon Cooper-Barnett, from Coastal Signs.  Brandon received a $3,000 Resource Grant sponsored by Computaleta our Apprentice Sponsor.  Brandon’s commitment and determination from the beginning to the end of his apprenticeship have been remarkable. He truly earned this achievement with well-researched assignments and strong support from his employer.  Brandon is an outstanding young man with huge talent and passion for the industry – a very commendable effort.

The Keith Langstone Highflyer Award recipient was Tana Stewart of Hamilton Stripes and Signs.  This award represents an outstanding young person that showed and demonstrated a commitment to the craft, to learning and always striving to achieve above and beyond expectations.   Tana completed his apprenticeship in October 2022 and was an enthusiastic learner right from the start. Tana worked hard to achieve the goals set and was able to provide good consistent quality evidence showcasing his ability which was reinforced further by communicating this verbally and with full support from his employers also.

We are getting better at celebrating successes, but we need to do more!  If you have a worthy candidate that deserves some recognition for our 2024 Awards, we would love to hear from you!  Nominations are open from February 2024.