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Printing Evolution - Thirty Years Past to Present

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Alois Senefelder View Post
    Industrialization of Cihina (a land of blue collar workers) and advanced technology in Western Democracy is now idling millions humans.
    Well now you know where to find a job if you decide to come out of retirement to work on your craft some more.


    • #62
      Real or sublime?

      I believe it is REAL, however I believe Zager and Evans just had the time tables off, some half century ago.

      It will happen SOONER, unless we can smarten up. Just my take and thank you for the respect.

      D Ink Man

      Last edited by D Ink Man; 10-06-2017, 07:38 PM. Reason: Typo only!


      • #63
        Now here folks is a very good example of moving forward with new technology that offers innovation and something significantly different than what was available previously. Die cutting to the next level. This achievement has no great impact on the loss of employment for people (likely creates jobs) and produces a starkly different end product for hand held printed material.

        The article was found in Frank Romano's What You Think? page and it found to be enlightening and educational. Take a look when you have a moment.

        D Ink Man

        Kathy Holmes at K&W Finishing offers the traditional die cutting, coating, and other bindery services. But this 2nd-generation binder has taken the company into the 21st Century with laser diecutting.


        • #64
          Thoughts on an early Sunday morning in Vandiver.

          I am one that encourages technological progress in printing, other industries and the world. It is a natural course that we take as intelligent beings. If you look at the progress from the Industrial Revolution to today, you can see the monumental forward movement the world has taken. That revolution was born sometime around 1760 and really took significant foothold in the median year of 1830. It is mind boggling to take the period of time from 1830 to now and come to the realization of the tremendous progress that has been made.

          With that said, if you use your thinking and can begin to imagine what further progress can be done in the next 200 years to the year say 2200, that is the fodder that will provide you with some philosophical view. As much as technology and advancement seem to be wonderful, if one takes the stance on a humanitarian side, the consequence to be regressive seems to be real. Why? All you have to do is take a look around you to see what is happening with the people and the State of the World.

          Is it more concerning than any time in history? This is where you must take distinction and each of us have responsibility to figure it out ourselves. Not to do so, and be curious about the future, is a very selfish gesture not to do so. If you only care about your own skin and the expected time you have on the Earth, then it does not matter to you.

          However, if you are concerned and can put your own being to one of lessened significance, you will then be able to offer thought to yourself and others about the future of the planet and the people. This I feel is a most generous act of kindness one can give to their momentary existence on Earth.

          Enjoy your day of rest.

          D Ink Man


          • #65
            More voice towards the point.

            D Ink Man


            • #66
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              • #67
                Methinks the questions should be: At what point does a job become so easy that it ceases to be a job and is that a way the printing industry is heading?
                I think that most of us here have enjoyed a long career with all the training and dedication the printing industry brings with it, but when I go to a customer these days and start to ask about SID´s and Tonal values and increases or screening and dpi vrs. ppi I get blank looks, very blank looks. It seems that the in-depth apprenticeship I "enjoyed" (and I use that term rather flexible) is no longer required and no longer given. As a prepress guy why he does things in such and such a way and you will get: "Because that is the way it was set up five or six years ago." as an answer, then as a suffix: "Way before my time!" At some point you just say to yourself: "Why bother trying to explain when they don´t even have the basics covered?"


                • #68
                  Interesting topic, I see valid points from all sides. In our organization we look for what I call a “pride and craftsmanship” quality, not just in the pressroom but everywhere throughout. I think the simplest way for me to define pride and craftsmanship: an individual that cares about what they are doing and the method of how the task is done. I’m not defining this person as a craftsman, just craftsmanship like quality.

                  Unfortunately... this type of person is difficult to find, companies not just ours but most of manufacturing are left automating processes to fill voids and the skilled are left managing bodies used to operate the automation.


                  In my world I cannot hire or even find an individual skilled enough to do the job I need them to do, at the rate I’m allowed to hire, based on the margins in the product (in this case…printing) we are producing, all affected by the capital expense of equipment needed to produce product. The individuals I do have on staff only stay because print is all they know. Our answer is to train from within and maybe one out 15 will work out.

                  I ask myself, what is the root cause of this, how does one instill the pride and craftsmanship mindset into a limited skilled work force. There is no one answer, education and the proper tools help, but I have learned you cannot change or teach something when a person simply does not care.
                  And there it is….”don’t care”….Apathy.

                  Apathy is what I see, at least here. Is there a relationship between apathy in our workforce and the evolution of our technology (cell phone)? Are we being taught…trained…. to respond with happiness to instant social gratification and escape vs. the gratification from doing a job….any job… well done? I know… I’m on the deep end and way off topic but I see a correlation at least with the people I deal with on a day to day basis.

                  What does the print industry do? How does our industry bring in new talent? How’s the work life balance? What does the print factory offer to bring in the new talent that a decent manufacturing conglomerate does not? I can tell you first hand, not much! Go to a local career fair and see for yourself, you’ll be amazed ( I was).

                  For me, I started in pressrooms at 16 years old. Growing up, my best friend’s dad was a pressman running a Miller. Over the years I moved on and up to running the show. That brings me to almost 30 years in this industry, print is all I know.

                  6 years ago, inspired by a brow beating boss and 60 to 70+ hour work weeks, I realized I need to know more and enrolled in an undergraduate Mechanical Engineering program, VCU. I finish up next year and will be moving on, will I stay in print? Not sure.

                  The world has changed, the print industry is in commoditization and continues to do so. I don’t like it, but I cannot stop it. This will not change and explains why successful operations diversify to offer other services: large format, digital etc. and streamline their operations to where a worker and its product will be ok as long as we take the skill out of the process.

                  Anyway… Great comments from all, Erik as someone who is obsessed with engineering I have enjoyed your posts for years. Gordo, thank you I have used your blog to settle many an argument regarding screen angles! D Ink Man hope you are well, glad to see you're still posting.


                  Last edited by Mike Herndon; 10-25-2017, 01:57 PM.


                  • #69
                    I cried, almost profusely after reading Michael's writing. The short time I had the pleasure of being an acquaintance with him, in service, is now appreciated more than ever. Our understanding of that verve engraved in us and that is hard to find in most of the populous. The love of the game, the trade, the profession of printing is what it is all about. If you have it, you have it. If you don't, it is understandable. To try to breed absolute longevity into it is also very much alright. Please understand that. Everyone must do what they must do, but please do not tread upon those with the undying pursuit ant cause. I realize, as Mike does the maturity of the passion, and so be it. Live and let live. Thank you Michael, as always to the end, my respect for you is pinnacle.

                    D Ink Man


                    • #70
                      Mike, Ink - I will never be able to communicate as eloquently as you both have done above, but you guys are on point, IMHO. I have been at it for 31+ years myself, and have shared your journey with the same perspective. Thanks for putting it in writing.


                      • #71
                        I have worked in commercial printing since I was 12, I am 55 now. This industry will collapse when the "old folks' are gone. The designers don't know how to prepare files properly (Bleeds, embed fonts and art). I asked one the other day to send a die-line for a pocket folder and got-What's that?. I did a quick thing in word and sent her a PDF (I am not a designer just an Estimator/CSR) gave her all the dimensions etc. I spoke with her at length about how to prepare it properly and what I needed back. She took what I did (the PDF I sent), added BC slits and sent it back to me. Really? We ended up charging her client to make the die line. The schools are not training the kids to create for print. We spend more time in prepress fixing "Camera ready" art than we ever did. The same holds true throughout all the departments. There are not many journeymen left. A lot of the pressmen and bindery workers I know now couldn't figure out how to turn on the machine without a lesson. Sad state of affairs.


                        • #72
                          Hello I am not one to write things but I want to chime in. I too are like Dying Breed. When I was 11 years old my father had a small print shop in his backyard, That is when I started my life's journey of printing. I began running a Multi 1250 with a t-head and ran about 100,000 envelopes every month, 4 spot colors. Yes that's 2 times through the press for the youngsters. Now at 53 years I have taken the business over and have 2, 4 color presses and 2, 2 color presses. My father who is 75 only runs the 2 color smaller presses because that's his thing, I am the pressman on the 4 colors. The reason for this is just like Dying Breed said. The schools that teach Graphics, from my knowledge are only teaching the design element along with a little press knowledge. I have had 20 different employees over the years from 4 yr college grads to just graduating high school and most of you will not believe this but only 3 could read a ruler. Of the 8 designers I have had, only 2 knew the size of a business card. My daughter went college for graphic arts and I was amazed when she told me that "Daddy you taught me more about the Adobe programs in 6 months than I was taught in 4 years". To me this sad. As a OLD SCHOOL Craftsman which I consider myself, we have failed as a society in teaching the younger generation the basics, not of just math and science but also the basics of not taking short cuts and just accepting it the way it is. I am very fortunate in having clients that still consider my craftsmanship as a vital part of their business to give them a product they can be proud of. As the decline of Offset printing continues I for one will strive to do my best to not only to help future clients understand that sometimes Offset is needed to produce their product but also educate them in the differences of each kind of application of printing. Also I find it necessary to teach the younger generation the art of printing, instead of just pressing a button. In closing I ask that when a younger designer designs it wrong or forgets something, meet with them and go in detail as to why it has to be a certain way. If you have the chance to take them to the press-room, and explain how the process works then do it. You will find that most of them had no idea what it took and want to learn more. Finally I say to my OLD SCHOOL Comrades, INK IS THICKER THAN WATER!!!!


                          • #73
                            I've got to jump in and reply to this issue of designers not knowing how to prepare files properly and the poor, or lack of, graphic arts education they receive.

                            Below is a short letter to the editor that appeared nearly 100 years ago on the topic of graphic arts training - it could have been written yesterday.

                            "Because I have recently declared in one of our daily papers that our system of art and graphic art education is wrong, I have been plunged, immersed, turned over and over, in hot water.
                            It is essential that the school of art must give the commercial artist the right preliminary training. And what should that be?
                            The first step is a change of outlook. It is critical that the student artist be taught that his skills must first of all serve the needs of commerce.
                            The next step towards making the complete commercial artist is to enable him to become thoroughly acquainted with the methods of production. One of the most serious defects in the present system is that students are pouring from the schools to join the army of work seekers and find themselves but ill-equipped to do the work they seek. Young artists who know nothing of the means by which their ideas have to be produced. It is not just now easy for them to obtain inside knowledge. Manufacturers are secretive -- and often look on the creative artist with suspicion and even contempt.
                            The art masters, the students, the printers, and manufacturers must learn to understand each other and work together.
                            Equip the student with the right point of view towards commerce, the right perspective, and the right technical training, and commercial art will attain new heights of achievement. And print manufacturers themselves will profit by this new relationship with the creative artist through more efficient production methods and happier results for all."

                            - Charles A. Farmer
                            - Published in Commercial Art First Series - 1923

                            After nearly 100 years, it appears that the old adage that "the more things change - the more they stay the same" still applies.


                            • #74
                              Originally posted by gordo View Post

                              After nearly 100 years, it appears that the old adage that "the more things change - the more they stay the same" still applies.
                              I suspect that the graphic arts schools will always be behind the curve and they don't really want to work at leading the curve in any specific areas. This is understandable since those who teach there tend to come out of the same system or are practitioners of past practice. Technologists and not thinkers. If a student asks are question that requires some deeper insight to what is possible, I am pretty sure they will not get a clear answer.

                              As an example of a different view of education, in the engineering program at the University of Toronto ( my school), we got four years of theory. There was hardly any courses in practical skills. The more practical approach to engineering was done at Ryerson University here in Toronto. :-) The view at the engineering school at UofT was that they were educating future engineers to solve problems at fundamental levels, because technology changes but basic physics does not. It was viewed then that having a good foundation in theory would always going to be of service in the long run for solving complicated problems by using "first principles". I believe this has shown to be true for me, even after about 45 years out of university.

                              Ryerson on the other hand, always produced some amazing engineers who always seemed to have the work skills needed by the industry soon after graduation. It usually took UofT engineers longer to hit their stride in a specific field. Of course, education and skills are both needed.

                              Training or education? Most employers in the graphic arts really seem to only want trained people. When technology changes it seems that they sometimes get rid of one set of trained people for a new batch of trained people. I don't think the graphic arts schools have ever really educated their students.
                              Last edited by Erik Nikkanen; 12-08-2017, 03:41 PM.


                              • #75
                                I can only comment on what the status quo is in NZ but i found tertiary training institutions to be focused on revenue where the graduates are churned without trade specific knowledge and potentially into an already saturated job market but there are bright eyed kids full of aspirations and i for one will not bludgeon their confidence so for the last 2 years in my role as GM i offer free hands on experience (offset & digital) if they want it in our company under the tutelage of my tradesman, the only thing i ask for is punctuality and to stay off their cellular device so far we had one kid last more then 2 days most leave as the work is deemed monotonous, boring or "smelly".

                                edit: There is a very strong impetus by the trade to encourage Apprenticeships again.
                                Last edited by maas; 12-10-2017, 05:42 PM.


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