The Printing Bizz
Did you know that I was the first female ever in Canada to be trained on a Heidelberg Printing Press?
In the late 80’s I was living in Toronto. I owned and operated an Arts company. We designed and printed marketing material for artists; gallery invitations, posters, business and rack cards...you name it we could make it.
I wanted to become versed in every aspect of the print industry. I felt it was important that I knew the Bizz and how to talk the lingo. I had to be able to explain to my clients who came into the office wanting fluorescent green text (for example) to understand that the text would get converted from RGB to CMYK. There would be no fluorescent green, unless we added a 5th colour. Knowing the process inside and out helped me help my clientele.
I took classes in film developing and film stripping at George Brown College. I eventually would develop my own film (oh I remember the toxic fumes). The film would then get stripped on a light table, making sure everything lined up exact. If not, the text and images would appear fuzzy. We’ve all seen print like that!
I loved the printing business. I would often get a call at 4:30 am from my printer to ask me to come in and proof my job, as it was going on press. And nothing went to press without my written approval.
Somewhere along the line, I registered for a one week training program on the presses. As a male dominated industry (at that time), you can image the look on the other students faces as I walked into the classroom that first morning. But everything went fine and we had a fun week of learning how to disassemble, put back together and print on a 5 colour Heidelberg press. I even had a certificate somewhere to prove it.
Nowadays, most things go directly from a generated pdf file to press. There is no longer any film or plates involved. Now we have eliminated the printing process, going directly to the web.
I am grateful for that experience, as leaning the 'printing bizz' has certainly helped me in my career as a publisher, graphic designer and artist.