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Why the Next Generation of Professionals Should Consider a Career in the Print Industry
Despite what some may tell you, print is not dead — in fact, the print industry is very alive, especially as marketers look for communication and customer outreach opportunities that cut through the clutter of digital channels like email or social media marketing.
Brands in the healthcare, finance, and travel and hospitality industries are boosting their investment in print as results show the tactile nature of print communications helps better connect with customers. What’s more, the continued development of digital print technology has made it faster and easier to use digital components in print to create omni-channel marketing campaigns that engage with consumers in a more meaningful way that generates revenue and growth.
Digital inkjet print now makes it possible to print personalized pieces on a wide variety of substrates using new and innovative inks and finishing techniques. The seemingly endless potential of what you can achieve in print is why marketers, graphic designers, press operators and technicians, and a variety of other support roles should consider a career in the print industry.
Here, we’ll look at a couple examples of roles that work with digital print, and why the next generation of professionals should consider the print industry as the place to build an exciting, rewarding career.
Examples of Career Opportunities in the Print Industry
As with almost any other industry, print is a vast and varied space with a wide range of applications and career opportunities. These applications range from print service providers, marketing agencies, and large brands to small, independently-owned businesses. Here are some of the more common career opportunities in or adjacent to the print industry.
Print designers specialize in the creation of visual designs for printing such as brochures, labels, business cards, and a range of other marketing materials. They conceptualize designs, prepare mockups, and create the final designs for printing. They also ensure that the dimensions and technical specifications are suitable for inkjet printing.
Some of the key responsibilities for graphic design professionals include:
- Collaborating and brainstorming with the creative team to define design briefs and requirements
- Researching concepts, designs, reference material, and similar work
- Rendering and presenting design mockups for revision and feedback
- Implementing feedback revision and creating final designs for printing
- Reviewing and proofreading designs to ensure that copy, layout, and dimensions are print-ready
- Overseeing the printing process to ensure color quality and consistency
- Managing the timelines and workflow of print design project
- Communicating updates, feedback, and issues with the clients, managers, and the creative team
- Maintaining the brand's consistency across all designs and printed materials
- Keeping up to date with the latest design trends, techniques, and printing standards
Roles in graphic design usually require at least a two-year degree or four-year degree; however, relevant work experience can be sufficient depending on the size of the company.
Inkjet press operators work on a print shop floor with large inkjet presses controlled with a computer interface. The primary role of a press operator is to print and ensure the quality of production jobs and maintain the press. Some of the key responsibilities of this type of position include:
- Completing print production jobs on production inkjet presses
- Reviewing job specifications and completing setup tasks including filling ink, calibrating machines, and loading stock
- Conducting visual inspections of samples prior to running jobs
- Performing in-process quality inspections utilizing standard testing protocols
- Completing all required production logs and documentation
- Interpreting equipment diagnostics, troubleshooting breakdowns, and making necessary adjustments to complete the job
- Performing regular maintenance, cleaning, and changeovers of presses from one jot to another
- Maintaining a clean and safe workspace
Press operator roles require at least a high school diploma or equivalent work experience in a print shop or related application.
Print Sales Representative
Yes, sales representatives do play an important role in the print industry, particularly when it comes to creating productive business relationships with customers who may not know how effective a print communications program can be in generating business growth and ROI. Print sales representatives must possess exceptional customer service and intrapersonal skills to understand the print challenges and needs of their customer.
Some of the key responsibilities of for print sales representatives include:
- Building and maintaining productive working relationships with current and prospective clients
- Maintaining consistent contact with customers or prospects to actively understand changes in print needs
- Bidding on large-scale and commercial print jobs
- Creating customer contracts or agreements for service
- Maintaining customer accounts and data
- Creating presentations and proposals that outline the scope of print jobs
- Maintaining up-to-date product and service information
- Staying on top of print industry trends
- Assisting with or taking the lead in executing advertising and marketing campaigns to promote products and services
Sales representative roles usually require a four-year degree, though relevant work history can often be a sufficient substitute.
But these roles are just a quick overview of the careers that are available in today’s print industry.
Explore and learn more about the print industry here, and apply for internships and job opportunities at Canon Solutions America production inkjet customer sites.