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How To Become Expert In Graphic Design And Printing

How did you become such an expert in both graphic design and printing?

After high school I accepted a job at a printing company in Columbus, Georgia and I fell in love with printing. I apprenticed there for six years and I became a graphic artist.

Since it was a small company I helped out in all the departments from the bindery to typesetting, platemaking and I handled all of the silk-screen printing we did as well.

What have been some of the challenges over the years?

In the 1980s, printing was an analog process—everything was done by hand, but with the introduction of Apple’s Macintosh in the late 80s typesetting and artwork for printing became a digital process.

I bought my first Macintosh in 1988 and made the switch to digital art design and production. While there was a learning curve, it was great not having to send out to get typesetting and having to manually cut and paste anymore.

During the 1990s most of the pre-press process in printing companies moved from a manual process to a digital process and digital scanners became common.

By the early 2000s it was possible to make printing plates directly from a pre-press file, which saved a lot of time and reduced printing costs considerably.

How has your background in printing and graphic design helped you with your business?

Since I have so much hands on experience with the printing and pre-press processes, I know from practical experience what can and can’t be done on a printing press, and I can help my client’s save money on printing by creating designs that are cost efficient.

Printers love to work with me because I know how to prepare my files so everything works right the first time.

What advice do you have for businesses who need graphic design and printing services?

Make sure you work with someone who really has experience with pre-press and printing.

Inexperienced designers will often create wonderful designs that look great on the computer screen, but create problems on the printing press.

When working with a designer, have them explain to you their role in the printing process and make sure they show you a lot of printing examples.

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Design-First serves Columbus, La Grange, West Point, Duluth and the Metro Atlanta, Georgia area. Phone: 678-969-0448.