Power of Print: Why printers should have a seat at the creative table

Sam Dobie, co-director and creative director, at Inclusive Creatives in Tasmania has explained in the latest TRMC Power of Print webinar why printers should be at the table when it comes to producing impactful and thought provoking creative products.

Dobie has 15 years experience in the creative industries and is also heavily involved in Tasmania’s Diemen Awards, which celebrates Tasmania’s creative industries with printers, designers, photographers and copywriters among those recognised in this award.

She used her presentation to dispel a ‘Mad Men’ myth that creative types have all the answers but instead need input from all parts of the production process – including printers – to get the best results.

“We (creatives) don’t know everything but the reality is we are overworked, underpaid, desperate for a nap and looking for any input we can possibly get, so if you find the right agencies and the right people they should be asking for you to be a part of the team,” Dobie said.

“So if you have invested in creativity and proven your worth, they will want you at the table.”

Dobie commended paper companies, including Ball & Doggett and Spicers, for sending representatives out with beautifully put together samples and unique ideas that designers just can’t wait to get their hands on.

She suggested printers could so something similar to show creative agencies what they have the capability of producing.

She also commended Taylor’d Press for a fine Instagram page that highlights the beautiful and unique work being done by this bespoke printer in Melbourne.

Power of Print
Samples like these are the types of work examples that creatives love to see to spark ideas.

As a starting point, Dobie suggested “removing the silos” in creative process so no one is restricted by a label as to what they can put into the creative process.

Another key point was printers being part of the problem solving process.

“At our heart we love challenges, so we need like minded problem solvers,” Dobie said.

“We can only think so far so the people that come towards our problems, we are going to hold on to those guys because it is so important to have those kinds of relationships.”

Don’t let limitations get in the way

Dobie showed some innovative projects that designers have created and then looked to turn to reality. One included a Demelza Rafferty whiskey which included a collage of ingredients on the bottle.

She said this print-ability wasn’t available in Australia so the job was sent overseas and was therefore unable to be entered for the Diemen Awards.

Power of Print
Dobie said this label was unable to be printed in Australia.

“Great work but it would have been wonderful to see it printed and awarded here in Australia,” Dobie said.

“There is a hunger and a need for the real artisan stuff to be produced so this is a conversation that needs to stay alive.

“Printers need to be rediscovered as part of the creative journey, you guys have made so much progress and there has been so much change and it needs to be brought to the fore and showed like the paper companies do with their samples so please come, tell us we, want to know what you know.”

How do we find you?

Dobie suggested printers “get hungry” and find out what is possible or impossible with print.

“If you are doing something everyday that you are not truly passionate about, we can smell that a mile away. Good designers are so busy pouring their heart and and soul into what it is they are making that we want the people around us to be pouring their heart and soul into into it to so get hungry, get excited about what you do.”

Get the right people

Dobie advised to not be too comfortable with the people in your team and don’t be afraid to let them explore their creative ideas.

She also referred to the ‘apprentice desert’ and offered to put up her hand to design an attractive communication piece that could lure school leavers into the printing industry.

“When you get the people in the room, empower them,” she said.

“Creativity is like a fire, if you don’t stoke it is just going to go out. Give them the ability to flex and explore. It is just the best thing you can do for anybody on your team.”

She also said invest in creativity and most of all ask for a seat at the creative table.

Next week’s session is about improving your business and is directed at those looking to prepare their business for sale or for those looking at buying a business. This Power of Print webinar will feature Graham Morgan, managing director, Morgan Shaw Advisory (MSA). Don’t miss out – click here to register.

The Power of Print series runs over 10 weeks and will finish on August 25. For all recordings and Class Notes for each session, please click here.

As the media partner for the TRMC Power of Print series, each week Sprinter has provided a summary of each session, so far these include: TRMC GM IR, Policy and Governance, Charles Watson, on the A/NZ Budgets; Revolution Print owner Leon Wilson on why building a brand that sticks as a printer is key; Gordon Loch of The List Factory on why data is so important.

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