One of the first topics covered during Deborah’s conversation with Dawn is the recent Project Peacock Print Fair in New York, described by Dawn as an ‘education’ – “I come to events and I’m used to talking to printers, packagers, binders; at Project Peacock Print Fair, you’re talking to agencies and designers, so I learned about the market segment.”
Dawn explains that the agencies weren’t interested in how the technology works, they just wanted to know where they could get that service. “Next time, every printer in that area should be there.”
The need for stronger communication between manufacturers and designers/agencies is something Dawn knows all about. “We spent a lot of time creating kits that speak to the designers on how to create a look or feel that might not have been possible in the past.”
The company also developed a booklet for Printing Industries of America that speaks to designers – “PIA also recognise the need to make that bridge.”
Another key line of communication that Dawn is passionate about is between the industry and students. She takes the lead on reaching out to colleges to help place equipment.
“We are as supportive in education as possible. And that’s not an easy road; executives don’t like it when you walk in and want money, it’s not a cheap endeavour, but you have to be the leader. You have to invest.”
The podcast was recorded shortly after Deborah delivered a talk at WomenConnect Networking Breakfast at #OdysseyExpo about ‘finding your voice’ – so how did Dawn find her voice in print?
“Guts and stubbornness. Even in the last ten years there have been so many changes in terms of how many women are involved. It is a man’s club, you need to fit in and be smarter and brighter. Women’s networking and mentoring programmes are so important.”
As the podcast is recorded at FSEA #OdysseyExpo, Dawn talks through what Konica Minolta are doing at the event, bringing the MGI JETvarnish 3DS and iFOIL and demonstrating the applications possible, such as fabulously embellished martini glasses and even peacock feathers in honour of #ProjectPeacock.
So how does Dawn see traditional finishers embracing the opportunities available through digital finishing technology?
“Slowly” is her answer. Dawn sees younger industry professionals seeing the vision better, looking to the future and the possibilities digital print and finishing provides. But, like any other industry, change is gonna come, and those that don’t keep up with it are in danger of being left behind.
Karis Copp is a UK-based writer, journalist and communications expert. With a background as an editor and public relations specialist in the print industry, she now works on a freelance basis covering events, writing on industry news and trends, and working with businesses to help them tell their stories and connect with their customers. Follow her on Twitter @KarisCoppWrites.