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The Great British Postcards Awards

Sea, sex, seagulls and Brexit. It could only be one thing: a celebration of the postcard. The Great British Postcards Awards were held in Proud Camden, by Camden Market in London this week.

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Some of the postcards celebrated - the judges included The Sex Pistol's Johnny Rotten

The head judge for the event was former Sex Pistol, John Lydon AKA Johnny Rotten, who comments: “There is something very British about the postcard which is a form of art and window on society with places, people, jokes and quirky images. I remember going on holiday to the seaside at Margate as a child and the thing I remember the most were the postcards.”

The event was organised and promoted by Saxoprint, which joined forces with the University of Arts London and the Big Issue to celebrate the humble postcard, with a competition for graphic designer students and members of the general public to create new designs reflecting today’s Britain.

In a packed venue of buyers, artists, printers, students and media professionals Stephan Strehlow explained how Saxoprint had sifted through the entries. He divided the entries into eight categories: the weather (mainly the rain); London (buses and buildings); food and drink (tea, chips and beer); social concerns (homelessness, NHS); cultural icons (Royals, fashion, famous Brits); holidays (leisure and landscapes); misc (terrorism, philosophy); and finally, politics (Brexit).

One of our plans is to further expand our brand, that’s a big target of ours. We are seeing growth in Germany and France and all the areas we operate in

In an interview with Print Monthly at the event, Strehlow comments: “One of our plans is to further expand our brand, that’s a big target of ours. We are seeing growth in Germany and France and all the areas we operate in.” He said events like the postcard competition also helped to build their business in the UK and introducing the awards, he gave a brief explanation to the assembled audience the idea behind the evening. He says: “Why postcards? Saxoprint is an online print company and we are passionate about printing. The postcard is very much a British institution with its missives on holidays, politics, jokes and complaints about the weather.”

There were a number of awards with cash prizes going to the students from the London College of Communication, and the University of the Arts London, as well as several awards for various categories. In the popular vote, the winning entry was They Said It Wouldn’t Rain by Lee O’Brien, which shows the classic British barbecue with a dad cooking sausages in the rain in the garden, with his family in doors with their faces squashed up against the windows. O’Brien is a school teacher, and also had two other entries centred on the family, with one showing small boys taking off their shirts calling ‘Sun’s Out, Guns Out’, and another called Can’t Wait until September featuring a harassed mum and her brood during the summer holidays.

The entries were considered by the panel of judges of Johnny Rotten, member of the House of Lords John Bird, performance artist Richard DeDomenici, Dr. Nicky Ryan Dean of Design at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London, Daniel Ackermann of Saxoprint, Neil Lovell of The Printing Charity, David Gamage of Earth Island Publishing and Simon Biltcliffe of Webmart.

The postcards were auctioned later for charity

The head judge Lyndon said he felt the graphics on printed paper and card were superior to those shown on a website. He comments: “It’s like vinyl and downloads with music. An album cover has something unique, you own it and you own the artwork because you can hold it and feel it. Downloads with their graphics are just two dimensional when vinyl are three dimensional and are the real thing. It’s the same with books and magazines.”

Member of the House of Lords John Bird, who founded The Big Issue magazine, agreed saying he had been in love with printing since a boy and the magazine was something tangible which people had responded to. It was a case he said where printing had changed the lives of hundreds of homeless men and women and got them to turn their lives around by selling The Big Issue.

At the end of the evening the postcards and artworks were auctioned to raise cash for the Big Issue charity.

The final results were:
Peer Vote Winner (Winner with the most votes)
Lee O’Brien “They said it would be sunny”
Young Talent Winner:
Madeleina Kay “Welcome to Brexitland…”
Young Talent Runners up:
Chein Shyan Lee “Hustle and Bustle”
Leah Sinclair “Togetherness”
Lara Pfennigdorf “Heatwave”
And, finally the Grand Prize Winner:
Helen Nodding “End of the road”

Watch a short video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kp_PiVyeYQA

If you have an interesting story or a view on this news, then please e-mail news@printmonthly.co.uk

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