My career in print to date – a snapshot
My career in print began in 2010, working as a graphic designer / artworker for a large format print company in Wales. Once I gained experience and a better understanding of print, I started Account Managing as well as being a graphic designer/artworker. In 2013 (at 19 years old) I was offered an amazing opportunity to re-locate to the brand-new London office to manage a team of people, of which I accepted.
From this point onwards I was then headhunted by several London companies over the years, some of which I accepted which then led to gaining more experience in other areas of print (which was all very new to me such as small format, digital and Litho print).
After working for a few print companies and gaining more and more experience, I felt that I wanted to take the next step (which was huge for me) in setting up my own business as a print management company. I was able to utilise not only my knowledge of various printing techniques but also my contacts, that I had already built a relationship with along the way. I want to make print more exciting and more creative for the clients I had worked with across the years that I hadn’t had the flexibility to do so with working for previous organisations.
I did this for nearly 2 years and I did start to miss the print production environment and having full control over production and ensuring I have a quality print management business I used Blackdog mainly because of the service and quality I had received from the Blackdog team. Steve Winn the MD of Blackdog approached me and asked if I wanted to join Blackdog as a Director of the company and to bring my skillset into the growing business, seeing as I was already using Blackdog primarily for all of my managed work, this seemed like a no brainer as I loved the way Blackdog operated.
Nearly 3 years and I am still here at Blackdog Digital driving the business forward, we have invested into brand new printing technology such as an Iridesse, PUR binder, Garment printing equipment and employed a design team taking helping us take the business into new directions, enabling us to offer our clients a wider printing service.
Why I am passionate about my job
I am passionate about my job because firstly, I love helping people which in my opinion is the most important thing about the print industry. If you help someone out when they need to achieve an ‘impossible’ deadline which is pretty much the print industry for you, I feel that this is the most rewarding thing for me – the appreciation we receive from our clients.
I also do love my job because every day is different, there’s always a new client, a new project, a new challenge and no day is ever the same. I absolutely love creating new ideas and solutions to any obstacles we are faced with and making print fun and exciting process. I’m glad that I had the design experience and qualifications because I think this has been an important part needed for my job and where it has led me to be in my career. As well as using new materials, printing processes led by design to make sure that we’re producing the best visual communication possible.
Why should women at the beginning of their careers consider the print industry?
I think women should consider print at the beginning for their career because even if you want to become a designer, for example, it’s absolutely vital to understand how that design or idea can be brought to life visually. Combining both of these assets you will produce the very best product. I think women should also consider this industry as it is very male-dominated, so we need to continue building our presence in the industry (girl power and I do honestly believe things need a ‘women’s touch’ now and again) – ask Steve, he will agree!
The one thing I would do to improve gender diversity in our sector is?
I will keep supporting The Women in Print Group, as before I was nominated, I had not known this group existed, so I would help promote this to encourage younger ladies into the industry. I would also like to visit colleges and universities to share my journey in print and show them how this industry has evolved and try to remove this mindset that only men who operate machines can work in the print industry because this couldn’t be any further from the truth – there is so much more to print!