Our process and materials class recently took a field trip to the Chattanooga branch of Allegra printing, and we met some of the nicest printing people in town! Sales Manager, Jennifer and General Manager, Dan were our tour guides and gave us the run down of everything and anything printing. Our class was fascinated by their Roland digital cutter. This machine has the ability to cut just about any shape and can easily cut vinyl to make stickers, including car stickers. One tip that Jennifer gave us was as a printer, knowing your limits. “It’s about knowing people who can do what you can’t do. It’s not about being everything to everybody.” Both Jennifer and Dan stressed that printers should be willing to seek the help other printers when there are tasks that are out of the realm of their capabilities. They said not one shop can do everything and if they tell you this, they probably aren’t being honest.
Once we toured the digital area, we moved into the press area where we met press operator, Jim. We could certainly tell the passion that Jim had for his press. Jim told us he had been a press operator for more than 20 years. He was ready with handouts of his s machine when we arrived. He talked at lengths about Pantone colors, crazy client requests, and problems and solutions he’s faced over the years. There is nothing I love more than people who are passionate about their jobs. And it’s even more inspiring when it happens to be related to what I love to do.
All photos used with permission and taken by Laura H. Winn.