This is a blog focused on the printing industry to help share information with our clients.
The printing industry is confusing. It is full of jargon and seemingly conflicting information and standards (think paper weights for example). To help educate our clients, and keep from having to repeat the same conversations over and over, I’ve decided to put some of the information I’ve gained in the last 24 years in the industry into this blog.
The Evolution of Print
I got my start in the Printing industry in 1996 at Kinko’s, my first non-food-service job out of high school. In the late 90’s, most of the printing we did involved our clients typing up something in Microsoft Word (or WordPerfect, remember that?), and bringing us a printed out “hard copy” to be photocopied on to colored paper. We printed using massive toner based Xerox copiers (black ink only). If you had a multiple page document, you had to use a rotating document feeder to re-photograph each original every time to make a copy, due to the printer’s lack of internal memory.
Fast forward to 2020, and at Graphic Sky Printing, nearly all our work is submitted online through our website. Our design work is done remotely, proofs are sent back and forth electronically, and files are printed digitally. As an industry, we’ve make a complete flip from analog to digital in the past 20 years. Even though our printers still have document feeders, they just collect dust, because almost no copying is done.
With this massive shift to digital printing, the technology as gotten incredibly powerful, but also more and more complicated to use. We see more and more that companies are leaning on their front desk and administrative folks to be their go to people for creating documents, handling electronic communications, and printing. Even graphic designers straight out of school are not taught the nuts and bolts of preparing files for print. How can we expect the average person to understand this complex industry? That’s what I’m hoping to accomplish with this blog.