I am editorial director and publisher at Earth Island Publishing.

Susan Wright

My career in print to date – a snapshot

I am the editorial director and publisher at Earth Island Publishing. I have worked as a journalist, writer, and editor across a variety of printed and online media including newspapers and magazines, both nationally and internationally, and have specialised in magazines, initiatives, and events for the graphic arts for more than 20 years.

At the beginning of 2013, we set up Earth Island Publishing to enable the publication of very ‘different’ magazines for the graphic arts industry, which bring together the many links in the graphic arts chain – from the brand owners who buy print to designers, printers, finishers and more.

It also allows us to support the industry in many other ways, and to be really part of it.

Why I am passionate about my job

I love what I do! I see so many positive things about this industry that I would find it hard not be passionate about it – everything from the exciting technology and what it can do to the people who work within this industry.

Print on paper is everywhere. It is integrated into our daily lives and it helps us economically, socially, and even environmentally.

Just think of all the wonderful applications – magical books with all the knowledge contained within them, gloriously luxurious packaging, a beautiful magazine (like Print Solutions), a useful bill (well, okay, maybe not that but you can’t beat its security and trustworthiness), a cherished printed picture, a tactile birthday card from a loved one, or a surprise letter from a long lost friend – and my all-time favourite, a paper label on a bottle of icy cold beer or wine!

Print is exciting, it is sexy, it is stimulating, it is engaging, it is dependable, it is inspiring. Without it, we would be lesser beings.

Nothing can come close to the intimate visual experience, tantalising touch and emotional engagement that you get through good quality print on paper. You can’t do better – and who wouldn’t be passionate about that?

Why should women at the beginning of their careers consider the print industry?

The fact that ‘print’ and the further graphic arts are a dynamic industry, often gets forgotten. It is an exciting and upbeat industry in which to work – and it is not just about being a ‘printer’. You can get into graphic design, software writing, animation, AR and visualisation, conservation, chemistry, research, packaging technology, 3D design, textile design, and so much more.

As part of what we do to support the industry, we run Print iT. This is an initiative that encourages young people to think about the print and paper industries as a possible career path. To date, the initiative has worked with more than 2500 schools and engaged with more than 150,000 students, to show them how great print is and why they should consider it as a serious career choice.

We are also media supporters for the incredible Brief Cases initiative, brainchild of a wonderful Woman in Print, Veronica Heaven. Brief Cases takes the work of enthusing young people about our industry one step further and works with universities across the UK.

The one thing I would do to improve gender diversity in our sector is?

I think it is about encouraging young people and showing them not only how diverse our industry is, but how high tech and forward-looking it is.

And, it is not just about encouraging them to join the industry but helping to support young people once they are part of it. I think that is crucial.