A passion discovered

print Something happened to me after 30 years in print: I discovered that I have a passion for it.

Ironically, it took getting laid off after 30 years with the same printing company for me to discover that.  During those 30 years I was primarily in Production, in various capacities. For about a third of that time there I was in account management, but still had a foot in production in some capacity.  Then, after three months of unemployment, I was back in printing, but this time, in sales – something I’d NEVER thought I’d ever do.  And it has been in sales that I found my passion for print.


traditionalWhat I found in this last year since I was let go is that there are many people out there with a true passion for print. Not for the day-to-day tasks of getting quotes to clients, or getting jobs through the shop.  Their passion derives from the value of print, how it can engage, how it can inform – they basically take print up a level from a commodity to a form of communication and even art.  And most of these energetic and vital people are young. They perceive a great value in the printed piece, and have no problem communicating that. But they also enhance that love of print with the understanding of digital marketing, social media, and alternative methods of the print art – even to liking old letterpress methods of print.  Their enthusiasm and passion have influenced me to a new love of print.  I love talking print to this exciting people, and I know they feel the same with me.

But I find that when I sit with a client and we discuss their printed piece, the collaborative effort to not just “work up a price”, but literally come up with ideas to use coatings, or special ink treatments, is VERY exciting.  My client’s eyes light up when I tell them of a process they can use.  And they in turn see their printed piece as more than just a brochure or a booklet, but as a vital and creative means of communicating their brand.


I LOVE talking about brand as well.  Because I understand brand is not just visual, but it isBuilding-a-brand the entire process and culture of a company.  When I’m with a client and their asking about their printed piece, I discuss it not as a stand-alone item, but as part of their full brand message.  Colors, textures, images, copy, and the company culture, are ALL a part of brand.  And how I am able to tie the print into their brand is a fulfilling and exciting conversation for me.

As we approach the end of the year, I am glad that 2014 was the year I found my passion for my occupation – my passion for print.

Connect with John on Google+Twitter and LinkedIn.


About John Prothero

John Prothero is a print professional with over 30 years experience in the print industry. Starting out as a driver delivering jobs, he worked in bindery, proofing, plating, traditional prepress (camera and stripping), scheduling, job planning, job management, account management and digital job production. His skills also run in the area of blog authorship, social media management, and lead generation and qualification of prospective clients. John is also a contributor to Rhode Island Creative Magazine, a digital publication that highlights the creative spirit of the state of Rhode Island. You can read their online issues at www.ricreativemag.com
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