Pride In Print Supreme
Wakefields Digital's Pride In Print Supreme Award winner documents the Christchurch Town Hall refurbishment

Wakefields Digital has won the Pride In Print Supreme Award for 2021.

The Wellington-based company took out the main prize with a book called Christchurch Town Hall: A Conservation Story. It covers the refurbishment of the Christchurch Town Hall from 2015 to 2019. This entry also won the Print Finishing Category.

Dickon Lentell, managing director of Wakefields Digital, could not make it to the awards gala night because of Covid-19 precautions. However, thanks to a link via the internet, he had the opportunity to speak to the award’s audience. He said, “Oh my gosh. Well, I can tell you it was a bugger of a job. We were really proud of it when it was finished. When we lined it up for the entry, we knew it could do quite well because it had everything in it.

“I am proud to say that everything was done in house. It was painstaking but, oh my god, it was worth it in the end. I wish we could be there with you guys. We were really excited and we had our flight tickets booked and the hotel booked but that wasn’t meant to be.

“A big thank you to our clients in this job, Momento Photobooks, whom we have had a very long association with. We have stuck by them and they have stuck by us through thick and thin. But more than anything else, they have given us the opportunity to print some truly amazing and beautiful books. For our work, printing books like this is the pinnacle and it makes us love what we do. Thanks to you all and especially to Ruth Cobb and Tania McDougall for keeping this [Pride In Print] going.”

Handbound book

Pride In Print Judges said the glossy, limited edition, hand finished case bound book “blew them away” with its craftsmanship and perfect centre spreads throughout.

Johnny McHarg, Pride In Print judge, said, “The stunning photography in the book and the number of centre spreads, or crossovers that had been perfectly executed, was astounding. The complexity of these crossovers, and there are so many of them, that are 100 per cent perfect is very difficult to achieve. Some of them are next level.

“This is a standout entry and miles ahead of every other print finishing job that we looked at. It is spectacular.”

Another judge, Steve Watson called the book a thing of beauty. He said, “What blew us away when we started going through the book (at judging) were those crossovers. A lot of them were like a single leaf, all the way through the book.

“The book is tightly sewn which allows the line-ups and folding to give that effect, which came in page after page. Most judges have seen thousands of crossovers in their careers but never anything like the quality of this. This book is special.”

Wakefields Digital printed the Pride In Print Supreme Award winner on an HP Indigo 7r Digital Press. It produced 100 books, which it finished with sections sewn and hand bound.

The company produced the book from photographs by award-winning photographer Olivia Spencer-Bower. She documented the refurbishment and rebuilding of the heritage building from the start of the project to completion. Her work recorded its transformation from an earthquake-damaged state into the fully repaired venue for the performing arts. Spencer-Bower supplemented her monthly records with time-lapse cameras located at strategic points around the complex.

Wakefields Digital entered the book under the subcategory of Hand Binding.

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