I started my journey in the Print Trade a mere 35 years ago as an apprentice for C.W.S Printers, more commonly known as the Co-Op printers, learning the trade from the bottom up beginning with making deep etch plates and moving on to changing carbon rods on the plate makers, mixing and matching inks, and page pagination. After a further 4 years delving into all things paper from how it’s made to how to get the best out of it, mastering the skills of the make-ready (loading up the press, lining up the plates, putting ink into the ducts) and fine tuning the colours for that beautiful crisp print, only THEN I had made it. I was City and Guilds qualified.
I spent my next 20 years on just about every type of printing press you can imagine but always had that buzz whilst watching those sheets tumbling into the delivery at 10,000 sheets per hour, knowing that you had created something good, something someone somewhere would be looking at.
I was talking to a colleague a few days ago about a book I intended to purchase. Her reply rather took me my surprise and made me think, “Why buy a book when you can just download one?”
My reply was that yes, that’s fine, but a printed book is a thing of beauty, a tactile object, a little treasure. I appreciate that in today’s world there is no better or quicker way to access information than using Google or Social Networking. But I will argue that we really do need a world with real print. The joy of relaxing with a Sunday morning paper; the surprise of a birthday card from your brother; the excitement of a postcard from Spain; Rick Stein’s latest cook book in Sardinia: it’s just not the same on the web. There will always room for both media.
I have spent the last 10 years or so in Print Management but still get the same buzz as before as that printed brochure is inserted into a colourfully printed envelope and mailed in the knowledge that a few days later a youngster will be reading their Wildlife Magazine and hunting around the kitchen for the blu-tack to put up their Giant Spider poster.
Yes we do still need printing in today’s world.
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