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The Quest for the Guardians of print: The GAPP Awards 2024

As you may be well aware, The GAPP Awards is the largest event of its nature in the world, with the prestige associated with this competition being incomparable to any other on the African continent. The 2022 edition of the Awards boasted 60 categories, almost 800 entries were submitted and judged by a panel of 53 esteemed judges over a period of two days, and The GAPP Awards team are now working furiously to make The 2024 Awards bigger and better than ever before.

When asked what inspired the theme for the next Awards, “The Quest for the Guardians of Print”, Vikesh Roopchand, Managing Director of Sentient Publishing and Publisher of The GAPP Magazine explained, ‘Over the years, print as a medium has increasingly been undermined by the shift towards online marketing and communication, with the momentum being increased exponentially as a result of the pandemic. It is only through being creative and inventive, while striving for consistently exceptional quality that businesses and our industry at large are able to demonstrate that print continues to be relevant and that it has the capacity to be impactful and to make a longer lasting impression than that of the digital realm.’

He continued, ‘As such, the theme for The GAPP Awards 2024 is about our search – as the Awards but also as an industry – for businesses who, through their commitment and tenacity to deliver outstanding quality and to innovate while doing so, are protecting and defending print; they are challenging their peers to raise the bar, and through doing so are very deserving of being recognised for the contribution that they are making to this sector, be it in print, signage or packaging.’

With all of the glitz and glamour associated with the Awards, including a black tie dress code and a celebrity Master of Ceremonies, which has led to the event being referred to as “The Oscars of the industry”, The GAPP Awards serves as a reminder that there is a lot more to what we do than merely putting ink onto a substrate and then delivering it to a customer.

Leanne Manas, who is a multiple award-winning television personality and host of South Africa’s longest running breakfast television programme, graced the stage as the Master of Ceremonies for the evening. She commended the industry for the integral role that it played during the pandemic.  Said Leanne: ‘The educational role that you all adopted in this was phenomenal, and we thank you so much for persevering, pushing through and making it here tonight because what a night it’s going to be. Tonight we celebrate!’

In spite of the repercussions of the Covid-19 pandemic, which included capacity restrictions, there were over 800 guests in attendance at banquet dinner and awards ceremony, which took place at Emperors Palace on 25 March 2022.  The atmosphere was electric as sponsors of the Awards, suppliers, printers and their customers all came together to celebrate the absolute best that the industry has to offer.

During his speech at the 2022 Awards ceremony, Vikesh said, ‘With over 50 judges, the most unique judging system and almost 800 entries, winning at The GAPP Awards is a remarkable achievement. Winning at any level in these awards should be celebrated – it marks you as one of the top five producers within your category in Southern Africa. You truly are the mavericks of genius and the architects of transcendence.’

Vikesh reiterated these sentiments by acknowledging that printers, signage and packaging manufacturers are directly involved in influencing how an audience perceives and relates with printed material and products. ‘Ultimately you have the power to help a business, its brands or its products to either grow or to decline – no pressure, but the responsibility is huge and you deserve to be reminded that you are part of something big and something to be proud of. It’s important for printers to be aware of this, because it is easy to get caught in the routine, so much so that they no longer see the forest for the trees,’ he stated.

Do you have what it takes to overcome the odds in pursuit of excellence? Are you able to rise from adversity; to achieve greatness; and to make your mark in history? If your answer is yes, then the only thing keeping you from entering The GAPP Awards 2024 and standing in line to be recognised as “The Pinnacle of Excellence” is yourself.

Entries for The GAPP Awards 2024 – The Quest for the Guardians of Print – will be opening soon!

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