When a product is made with care, it sends a message of care to recipients. For promotional products, tapping the magic of personalization, skilled craftwork and attention to detail makes for loyal customers and highly impactful campaigns.

The 15 suppliers being recognized with PPAI’s 2022 Pyramid Awards in Supplier Decorating know that part of the “care” process is approaching their distributor partners with the intent to understand and best meet their clients’ needs. Working together to brainstorm imaginative, on-brand solutions, these suppliers translate concepts into tangible realities with palpable results.

Having made its debut in 1958, the Pyramid Awards remain one of the industry’s most-coveted company distinctions and this year, 20 awards were given across 12 decoration categories. Some suppliers are being recognized with several awards this year, such as Indiana Metal Craft and BAG MAKERS, which both received three, and double-honoree SELCO, but all the winners displayed excellence in product design.

“These are the kinds of campaigns the entire industry can be proud of, whether your company won the Pyramid this year or a competitor,” says PPAI Publisher & Editor-in-Chief Josh Ellis. “Showing off these examples of fine craft to buyers elevates the entire industry.”

Congratulations to all recipients of the 2022 PPAI Pyramid Awards in Supplier Decorating:

A+ Wine Designs
BAG MAKERS
CounterPoint
Indiana Metal Craft
Lion Circle Corporation
OptiGraphics
Orbus Exhibit & Display Group
Pinnacle Designs
Powerstick.com
SELCO
St Regis Group
Terry Town
Towel Specialties
Vantage Apparel
Vision


Casting/Molding

GOLD WINNER
Pinnacle Designs
PPAI 112704, S6
San Fernando, California
Gifted to season ticket-holders, the concept behind these paperweights was to replicate the design of the Los Angeles Lakers’ most recent NBA Championship ring. Pinnacle Designs used two die-cast injection molds to achieve the precision required. The supplier’s most intricate paperweight to date, each magnificent piece features 402 stones.

SILVER WINNER
Indiana Metal Craft
PPAI 112175, S5
Bloomington, Indiana
The commemorative belt by Indiana Craft Metal uses clean lines and textures to tell the story of the client’s machinery. Made from classic fine pewter, each buckle underwent oxidizing, hand-buffing and lacquering to dramatize details. As an added touch, the back of the buckle is lasered with a pattern that resembles the furrows of a plowed field.


Combination of Processes

GOLD WINNER
SELCO
PPAI 113845, S6
Tulsa, Oklahoma

A totally new concept for SELCO, this men’s quartz watch features a dimensional dial that is digitally printed rather than die-struck. The full-color artwork is designed for the specific specs of the dial, and the result is a layering effect that produces a sharp logo and small yet readable text with clean lines.

SILVER WINNER
BAG MAKERS, Inc.
PPAI 111408, S10
Union, Illinois
This reusable tote bag uses a combination of print processes to create a multidimensional artwork effect. Designed to sell at retail, BAG MAKERS used both ColorVista and Sparkle heat transfers to bedazzle the logo with small rhinestones in a rainbow pattern that’s striking and clear-cut.


Customized Non-Catalog Product

GOLD WINNER
St Regis Group
PPAI 230188, S6
Cheektowaga, New York
Given by an online clothing retailer, this on-brand award features the likeness of a mirror and a clothing rack with removable dresses. Secured by matte finished aluminum, St Regis Group used multiple processes to enhance the colors of the dress prints, which includes hand-painted edges. The mirror, which pivots, features laser-engraved personalization.


Embroidery

GOLD WINNER
Vantage Apparel
PPAI 113235, S10
Avenel, New Jersey
Created to celebrate an anniversary, this Vantage Apparel design features a variety of specialty, embroidery-stitch techniques with a twill laser-applique accent. Depth and texture is incorporated throughout with over 36,000 stitches, including silver sparkle applique for the “25,” and set on a hoodie made from eco-friendly fabric.

SILVER WINNER
Terry Town
PPAI 230911, S10
San Diego, California
This sweatshirt beach bag by Terry Town features an embroidered logo with flora and fauna elements, and is designed so it appears the sun is shining overhead with layered palms below. Marketing a new line of lip balms for a personal care brand, more than 53,000 stitches were used to achieve this high-definition embroidery work.


Etching/Engraving/Laser

GOLD WINNER
A+ Wine Designs
PPAI 173549, S4
National City, California
The goal of this wine bottle by A+ Wine Designs was to leave an impression with attendees of a major in-person awards event turned virtual. Housed inside an engraved faux leather gift box, the wine bottle was spray-painted with PMS-matched enamel paint and features a vector cutout displaying the event logo. The large gift box included two wine tumblers, a vlogging kit, ear buds and sweet and salty nuts that were nestled in black crinkle.

SILVER WINNER
PowerStick.com
PPAI 383252, S8
Ottawa, Ontario
To house a company award, PowerStick transformed a piece of foam into a presentation tool with the use of laser foam engraving. Three layers of foam were used to create the product holder—two to add height and one layer featuring a multi-level engraving technique—so the award fit neatly inside the box.


Large Format Printing

GOLD WINNER
Orbus Exhibit &
Display Group
PPAI 428128, S7
Woodridge, Illinois
For an employee leadership program, Orbus Exhibit & Display Group created four separate, larger-than-life, double-sided pillowcase graphics. Each measuring 20-feet-wide-by-14-feet-high, variable droplet printhead technology was used to create resolution up to 2,400 dpi for picture-perfect clarity.


Mascot/Character Product

GOLD WINNER
Artistic Toys &
Promotions, LLC
PPAI 110753, S5
Nazareth, Pennsylvania
For a campaign to promote a snack-food company’s products, Artistic Toys and Promotions designed characters in the likeness of avocados, which were cross-branded to social media. Made from super soft velboa and brushed terry fabric, it features hard felt glasses and a flawlessly embroidered logo on the back. A full, four-color, two-by-two-inch hang tag with vivid colors includes brand information.

SILVER WINNER
OptiGraphics
PPAI 113581, S1
Dallas
Optigraphics has been providing lenticular tip-on to a bible supplier for more than 50 years. This latest rendition of the Last Supper was fully designed by the supplier using historic artwork, and all 3D imaging, layering and interfacing done in-house, making for a spectacular presentation.


Metal Striking

GOLD WINNER
SELCO
PPAI 113845, S6
Tulsa, Oklahoma
The skilled craftwork of SELCO’s luxury watches shines with this award watch featuring a new dial. Initially handcrafted from a square piece of metal that underwent a 250-ton hydraulic pressed, the watch was then cut, spray, lapped, antiqued and hand-polished into this glamorous gold-plated creation.

SILVER WINNER
Indiana Metal Craft
PPAI 112175, S5
Bloomington, Indiana
Crafted to commemorate an annual event, Indiana Metal Craft minted this medallion on .188-inch thick brass, which features a 3D rendering of the founder’s namesake and edge engraving. Photographic images and CAD/CAM software was used to sculpt the coin face, and it was satin-finished by hand and individually gift-boxed.


Print On Hard Surfaces

GOLD WINNER
Indiana Metal Craft
PPAI 112175, S5
Bloomington, Indiana
Created for a client in the hospitality space, this detailed, commemorative holiday ornament features 3D digital printing to communicate the feel of being there. Using a photo provided by the client, Indiana Metal Craft used a variety of processes to imprint the image onto a raised, multi-level pewter surface. The crisp image shows fine details like the dusting of snow.

SILVER WINNER
CounterPoint
PPAI 227346, S6
Las Vegas
This vinyl counter mat is a stunning display of digital offset lithography at work. Producing a result that’s realistic, visually effective and provides customer stimulation at the point of purchase, CounterPoint laminated the mat with its durable Vynex surface to bring the image to life, and highlight details like the bottle bevels.


Print On Textiles

GOLD WINNER
BAG MAKERS, INC.
PPAI 111408, S10
Union, Illinois
These economical branded tote bags were created for a local festival and feature screen-printed artwork that carries the event concept. The festival was made into a drive-thru experience due to the pandemic and the artwork shows a merry band of festival characters in a parade of cars. The bags were completed on three-day timeline with an achieved goal to ensure the artwork preserved its detail in a one-color imprint.

SILVER WINNER
Towel Specialties
PPAI 113150, S7
Baltimore
This 30-inch-by-60-inch beach towel features bright and bold coloring to call up feelings of warmth around the client’s branding. To achieve these saturated shades, Towel Specialties used specially formulated poly-cotton towels that were ink-cured and pressed at high heat and pressure.


Special Applications/Processes

GOLD WINNER
BAG MAKERS, INC.
PPAI 111408, S10
Union, Illinois
Created for an entrepreneurial beauty brand, these 12-inch paper gift bags by BAG MAKERS feature aesthetic details, like a ribbon handle and matte-laminated finish. One-sided customization is achieved using foil print decorating using three colors—gold, gloss black and metallic red foil—which requires each bag to be printed three separate times with precision.


Supplier/Distributor Collaboration

GOLD WINNER
Visions
PPAI 110751, S8
Celina, Ohio
The design of this award initially called for the use of wood and acrylic for a simple cut of the logo, but Visions took it 10 steps further. The final design consists of several layers of colored and clear crystal, creating a 3D representation of the brand’s mascot. The logo is featured on a dimensional zinc plate on the award’s black crystal base, with includes four-color customization.

SILVER WINNER
Lion Circle Corporation
PPAI 112372, S6
Chicago
Working with a distributor partner, the goal of the Dad Jokes Box was to showcase the possibilities of an experience-in-a-box for virtual meetings to 175 of the distributor’s top clients. A faux Dad Jokes Conference was created to show the concept. Lion Circle Corp. created five unique products, including a digitally printed thought bubble kit, necktie with elastic prints, doorknob hanger and popcorn box, which was distributed in an offset-printed mailer envelope.


Renda is a New York Metropolitan-area-based freelance writer and former associate editor at PPAI.