11-4-14 Stoner Dalton  Branch Erin GRAPHEvery industry must work hard to keep itself abreast of new advancements in technology related to their field, and the Graphic Communications program is no stranger to adapting to these changes while simultaneously stressing the fundamentals needed to thrive in the field. These are just some of the equipment and processes utilized:

·         Digital Black/White and Digital Color Presses: a staple of the printing process! Without these, your printing company wouldn’t stand a chance.

·         Bindery/Bookmaking Machines: Printed books and bound documents are still very much necessary in today’s world, and students are given instruction on how to operate and maintain these machines.

·         The PDF Workflow Process: This is a standard in the industry, allowing graphic designers to create a file that can be accessed anywhere, even by those without a copy of the design program the file was created in. Creating this type of file allows clients to review proofs that can later be printed easily.

·         The Bulk Mailing Process: Students learn the fundamentals of processing bulk mailings, such as those used by colleges for their event flyers or by a new business for a grand opening announcement.

These are the fundamental processes and pieces of equipment used in the field, but as the industry fluctuates, instructor Ron Atticks works to keep his program in step. The primary method for this is a panel of industry professionals that make suggestions for improving the program; these are just a few of the topics currently being discussed for future implementation:

·         Variable Data: The process by which mailings are tailored to a specific person; you might see this used by your doctor to address you specifically in a check-up or appointment reminder.

·         Augmented Reality (AR): With advances in smart phone technology, it’s possible to turn any print product into interactive media! By adding an AR component to a flyer or poster, anyone can scan an image with their phone and receive an interactive version; for example, a surgeon might have one picture on an advertisement that, when scanned, shows a “before” picture when you tap it on your phone!

·         Large Format Printing: Creating banners, cling-ons, and transfers is becoming a highly-sought after set of skills. Larger print products can be unwieldy and making good-quality, professional items is an important talent for any printer to have.

Combined with Mr. Atticks’ continued training in any changes made to the graphic design software used in his classroom, all of these techniques and tools contribute to a program that can keep up with and implement industry advancements as they come!

This article is a continuation of our Tech at CPAVTS series. Click here for the previous entry!