In the latest installment of the Print Geeks Interview Series, Resident Print Geeks Jim Raffel and Shelby Sapusek talk to Mark Geeves, co-founder and director of sales and marketing for Color-Logic, about the importance of education and training in the graphic arts and printing industries, as well as how to bring new people into the industry.
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By Alan Darling on Jul 13, 2021
Jim and Shelby - thanks for the topic. Geeves - great job!
I am a graduate in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and I am in print because, as one does, I was looking for a job after I graduated. I went to a company called Monotype that was just getting into computerized phototypesetting (that dates me, but what the heck). In my interview I was told that these machines made their own hyphenation decisions. This intrigued me, so I joined up!
And this is what we need to do is to intrigue people to come into print. I loved the points in the video about multi channel. I loved the acknowledgment to embellishment. I loved the realization that offset (and gravure and flexo) are not going away, but digital is slowly edging out more conventional methods. I loved enhanced gamut. Let's find cooler ways of talking about these, though. Our industry is still a green field in terms of finding new and innovative solutions.
Our heritage is a craft industry, and with crafts come the protective jargon and "print geekiness" that frightens neophytes (why do we insist on using simplex and duplex instead of "print on one side and print on both sides?). Time was there were things like apprenticeships. When I worked at Quad, there was a management training program that took graduates and put them through all the departments in the company and let them find their sweet spots. However, it's not just about training people within the industry, it is getting the word out to the folks that have the money - the brands and the people who service the brands!
There is also a point that needs to be added that may contribute to attracting talent.
I am currently working with clients whose play is taking the mystery out of things like direct mail campaigns. Print takes a back seat to marketing performance measurement, but, to take advantage of this, we are working with next day and two day SLAs - challenging engineering problems that one cannot afford to just throw a couple of extra million plus dollar presses at!
How do we relay the pleasure one gets from solving these issues by something other than brute force? Problem solving has to be peek peoples' interest, but how do we drum up this interest?
Last, but by no means least, I have ventured outside of print (digital file delivery, web ad design technology and cable TV ad technology). However, I keep coming back to print because in our industry we touch so many other businesses. That is another component that should attract young people into this industry - variety, and having to work out the business rules that make your clients tick. It's not just about smearing petroleum products onto crushed trees and selling it at the lowest cost per thousand!! And I guess that hints at Mark's point about the education of sales!
To a great extent, the problem comes back to, "Where do we get the money to do this?".
As a final thought – thanks for giving George Leyda the credit he so richly deserves, Mark. I had the distinct pleasure of knowing Goeorge and, through him, working with some of the best minds in our industry.
Alan Daring – VP Information Systems at Quantum Group
By Jim Raffel on Jul 23, 2021
Alan - Thanks so much for you comments!
Mark is always a fun guy to talk with and George coming up was no surprise and he and Mark were very close over the years.
I too love this industry. Even with an education from RIT a couple times I thought about leaving the industry but am glad I stuck around long enough to find the part I really love with is Color Management consulting.
Thanks again for tuning in and taking the time to comment.
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