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Finding Skilled Shop Operators and Designers... Business Growth.

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by Christian @ 2CT Media, Jul 30, 2019.

  1. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

    Jun 15, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    Not always, the print operations is easier than design. Many of the designers who have applied are purely web marketing designers with no idea that stuff has to be printed in our shop. The hardest thing for us to translate is vehicle graphics and wrapping their heads around dimension.
  2. WildWestDesigns

    WildWestDesigns Major Contributor

    Sep 27, 2010
    Mid TN
    I have yet to have someone come in that knew any type of production outside of flat print work (biz cards, brochures etc). Just not something that is being taught as much anymore. Doesn't matter how kick *** the design is, if it doesn't work in production, no bueno. Always some type of training involved, at least with me. I haven't found a way around it anyway.
  3. Texas_Signmaker

    Texas_Signmaker Very Active Signmaker

    Oct 21, 2016
    Frisco, TX
    Only way to get someone ready to go is to poach
  4. Christian @ 2CT Media

    Christian @ 2CT Media Major Contributor

    Jun 15, 2009
    Mesa, Arizona
    Which is what we are probably going to end up doing. We are working with our payroll company to build a bene package and increase our salaries to attract gainfully employed talent.
  5. Bobby H

    Bobby H Very Active Member

    Feb 4, 2005
    Lawton, OK
    I'm on an advisory board at our city's local Vo-Tech, since they offer a kind of graphics design training program. And I also talk with some faculty members at our local university concerning the same fields of study. From a standpoint of higher education it's pretty difficult to put together a curriculum (and gather enough qualified instructors to teach it) that's going to position a graduate very well at landing a good paying job somewhere.

    What field can a student study that's going to help him make a decent living after he graduates? Just being blunt, I can't think of a single field in graphic design where the employment situation isn't being undermined in numerous ways. Some of it comes from self-taught types willing to do good enough to get by quality work for dirt cheap. Some of it comes from outsourcing. Other fields get undermined by new technologies (like WordPress templates and database systems eliminating a lot of web design/development jobs).

    I've tried to stress to these schools the importance of getting back to basics. 30+ years ago when the graphic design field of study was primarily an "analog" thing far more stress was put on the idea of developing a conceptual plan and designing with the output medium in mind before any work even started. You had to think about the physical dimensions of the image, or even what type of medium was going to be used to present it. These days students tend to only be thinking about computer screens. It's no surprise they might be lost when presented with the task to design something like a billboard, or a full vehicle wrap or a signage for a store front. There are so many specific, specialized "view ports" for a graphic design or illustration now.

    There was no "undo" button in the analog world. Computers have made people very lazy in many regards. People think that merely owning the related hardware makes them a "professional photographer" or "professional graphic designer" or an "artist." Anyone can go blow a couple grand on a good quality electric guitar but just having the instrument isn't going make them play like Eddie Van Halen. So much "design" these days is just stuff thrown together without much thought, like all the f#$@king squeezing and stretching of default Arial I see on so many garbage quality signs.

    I try to "keep the faith" rather than quitting those boards. The hope is while these kids are in school they'll learn some ways to open their minds and improve their process through study and interaction with other students.
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2020
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  6. ColorCrest

    ColorCrest Active Member

    Dec 11, 2017
    So Cal
    3 different skill sets, talents, and positions. Art directors, graphic designers, production artists make up the front end department team. Traditionally (before the great recession,) designers would turnover about every two years, art directors would stay or go with accounts unless they are a partner which they often are, or startup their own place. Production artists could make a career of a shop, often the most loyal with deep-rooted skills.

    Pressmen made up the back end; master, journeyman, apprentice. The masters usually have the longevity and hard-earned skill of course. Pressmen at sign shops? Who would have thunk?

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