What Does a Print Specialist Do?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A print specialist produces printed material on high quality copiers, printers, and presses. Specialists meet with clients to discuss their specific goals, handle pre-production, and supervise the printing process. They can work in firms of varying sizes, including corporations with significant in-house printing needs that necessitate a full-time specialist. People typically prepare for careers in this field with on the job training, although some colleges and technical schools may offer classes that can help people develop skills.

Print specialists are in charge of mass producing textbooks for publishers.
Print specialists are in charge of mass producing textbooks for publishers.

Clients approaching a printing firm meet with a print specialist to talk about what they need and discuss the specifications. These include the number of items, colors to be used, and any limitations, like budget concerns. Print specialists can help clients determine color schemes, select papers for projects, evaluate color samples, and perform any other work to prepare for a project.

A print specialist must meet with clients to discuss specific goals of a project.
A print specialist must meet with clients to discuss specific goals of a project.

Some clients have their own digital files, which the print specialist reviews and uses to print proofs. Once the client approves the project, production can start. In other cases, it may be necessary to convert files, or use hard copy material like an old brochure to generate a new product. Clients can also request design services from a print specialist. In this case, the specialist can prepare brochures, flyers, letterhead, and other materials by request.

Part of the job involves determining whether a project should be produced by press, printer, or copier. Some considerations can include the colors used, if any, the paper and weight, and desired finishes like gloss or waterproofing. Print quality can also be an issue, as some equipment can produce crisper, cleaner finished products than others. Size of a project can also be a limiting factor, as very large printing projects may not fit on the beds of conventional printers and copiers.

After a project is finished and the client is satisfied, the print specialist can file the information for future use. Clients may request another print run in the future, and having the necessary files and materials available, including samples of the finished product, can be helpful. Specialists may also engage in outreach and promotions with activities like calling clients to see if they need new print runs of products they often run out of. In addition, they may meet with representatives selling new inks, papers, and other products to determine if they would fit in with a printing business.

A print specialist can design and prepare brochures, flyers, letterhead, and other materials by request.
A print specialist can design and prepare brochures, flyers, letterhead, and other materials by request.
Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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