News of our Benny win is spreading...
Many thanks to David Parker for a wonderful profile on Kallen Printing. The article is a great summary of where we started, up to our present day Premier Print Awards accomplishment.
Nadine Kallen of Kallen Printing, a family-run print shop, earned an international award for Once Upon a Pond. Photograph by: Genesta Walz, Calgary Herald
From the Calgary Herald, Around Town by David Parker:
One of the most coveted awards a printing company can receive is a Benny, a statuette of Benjamin Franklin offered as the highest honour of the Premiere Print Awards, the industry's oldest and largest worldwide graphic arts competition.
Only four came to Canada this year - two to Vancouver companies, one in Ontario and the other to Calgary's Kallen Printing, a small family-run business that prides itself on using technical expertise and its desire to provide the best result, no matter the size of the job.
The attention to detail that "borders on the absurd" is simply in their Swiss genetic code, according to Urs Kallen, who came to Calgary with his wife Gerda in 1965.
They landed in Toronto, but a postcard of Banff from a friend who had settled in Calgary quickly convinced them to move here, as they both have a love of the mountains.
Urs was a trained pressman who quickly found a job here and by 1985 had started his own company with Gerda as his production manager.
Kallen Printing was launched, primarily relying on printing from their Swiss friends who had businesses in the mountains - Swiss guides and ski adventure companies that continue to use the Calgary printer for their work. On my tour I was impressed with a brochure for Ruedi and Nicoline Beglinger's Selkirk Mountain Experience, delivered in an envelope printed with a topographical map of the peaks and glaciers around Revelstoke.
Today the plant delivers printing for a variety of customers, many of whom are long-standing, thanks to modern equipment and the addition of their daughter Nadine to the company staff. Urs is still the press room craftsman and he has a scientific approach to planning, envisioning and executing every project that comes through the shop, while Gerda has daily oversight on every job to ensure quality, co-ordinating with staff and suppliers, adhering to timelines and demanding perfection.
Nadine is a graduate in printmaking from Alberta College of Art & Design who first worked at a Victoria advertising agency to gain practical experience as a designer before returning home to join the family firm.
Meanwhile, the company had purchased a second four-colour press and produced good works for companies such as Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut, Sunshine Village collateral, Nexen's newsletter, Banff Mountain Film Festival posters and an award-winning Fishten-Retrouver Art Catalogue.
It was an art catalogue for Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre in Medicine Hat that won the Benny for Best Booklet. A unique and challenging print job also designed by Fishten Design Studio of Calgary, Once Upon A Pond was praised for its striking deboss and foil on the cover, its vellum flysheets and staggered, angle-cut pages.
It is a super example of the design, pre-press and bindery that make up the art and craft of printing at Kallen.