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World of Printing

Digital printing presses are a game changer in the printing world as they allow completion of small and even single-run jobs.
World of Printing

World of Printing

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Show 1702: World of Printing
Air Date: January 8, 2017



Courtney Maye: In today’s world with so much attention being on the internet and gaming design, you could be forgiven for dismissing paper as a bit old-fashioned. But technology hasn’t ignored this industry either. As Austin Moore shows us, the world of printing is still in high demand.

Austin Moore: It was a red letter day at the CareerTech print shop when the presses stopped rolling. The once state-of-the-art and always enormous two-color and five-color offset presses are now long disassembled and gone, replaced with a digital press – smaller, more flexible and the first of its kind in Oklahoma. It is a game changer.

Tim Hodges: Now everybody is wanting smaller run items. They are wanting more customized items. And you can’t do that with a press.

Austin: Though on a grander scale, this technology works more like the printers you and I have in our homes and offices, allowing every item in a particular job to be tied to a database and customized from addresses and labels to even the photographs included. And without having to retool the machinery for every run, the time involved goes down drastically.

Hodges: You know, if you had to do some of these smaller run jobs on a press like what we have been doing, you know, your time may take you two or three days. Now we can have it done in an afternoon.

Austin: Advances like these have kept the printing and design industries flush with work because while we all talk about online, all the time, the real world is still full of images designed and placed to get our attention.

Austin: Which is exactly what Julie McClennahan is teaching her graphic design students at Southern Oklahoma Technology Center.

Julie McClennahan: Pretty much everything we teach, actually, is geared around advertising and design. We teach everything from building ads to, you know, creating business cards, making signage, advertising signage, you know, all type of things like that.

Nick Marshall: First thing when I came here I was like, “This looks pretty cool.” I mean, it’s like you are messing around with technology.

Austin: Second-year student Nick Marshall found inspiration in the class.

Marshall: There is, like, no place ever I’d rather be. It is just really interesting what you can do with your own mind and actually put it on the computer and bring it, bring it to life.

Austin: Because in this class they are learning not just the design, but the art of printing as well with every machine they can get their hands on, including this new sublimation printer.

Lauren Mauldin: Anything that is 3-D and an object you can print on it with that machine. You can make coffee mugs and plates and all kinds of things. Tile you can print on, phone cases, which, everybody wants a phone case.

Austin: Lauren Mauldin is hoping that the graphic design skills she learns here will help her pay for the education she pursues in college.

Mauldin: It is a good way to make extra money for college. And I want to be a clinical psychologist, and so you are going to need a lot of money for a doctorate.

Austin: And it may save her on other costs as well.

Mauldin: I’ve learned lamination, and I can make binders and binding for notebooks, and I can actually make half of my own school supplies.

Austin: But for those who want to pursue a career in graphic design and printing, the avenues are wide open as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics expects the industry to hold steady over the next 10 years.

McClennahan: Some of those involve ad design, you know, whether it be working for a marketing firm or maybe a large company that has their own in-house graphic department. Um, there is photography, there is screen printing. You know, it just, the list goes on.

Marshall: Everything that you see is made by us. So anything like logos, banners, anything, even on mugs, like, it is made by people like us printing these logos.

Austin: Meaning these students will quite literally leave their mark.

McClennahan: The thing I like best is probably getting to know the kids really well. I mean, you are with them three hours a day. And you really build those relationships. So you can help them in the future, you know, with job placement and in kinda seeing that, the reward of that. But the one thing I think I enjoy most about this program is knowing that everything we do in here, no matter where they go or what they do, this technology that they are learning now is going to benefit them greatly.

Austin: Because technology, well, that changes. What is new today will be gone tomorrow. But principals, techniques, communication, problem-solving, teamwork, self-determination, those are things that are printed in permanent ink.