Pressman at Press

The People Behind PrintPlace: Pressmen Edition

The pressmen of PrintPlace are a tough lot. They run a tight print shop to meet short deadlines and maintain a top quality product. They work with computers, room-size printing presses, paper, ink, detail, and quick problem solving on a daily basis. We pulled a few of these men in one at a time to ask the hard-hitting questions about what life is like on a press.

If I tell you that two of them hummed “Camptown Races” for us, does that make you question everything I’ve just said?

I should start by explaining that our presses must hang plates for printing before each job. During the process, a familiar song plays loudly to alert all the workers. This lets them know not to touch the machine while it’s moving, much like a forklift beeping when it’s in reverse, but this happens to be a melody instead.

Rick Wilson, a pressroom supervisor, became interested in printing when his high school journalism class took a tour of the local newspaper. He is still embedded in the printing industry 40 years later.

We asked him what his favorite part of his job is and he told us, “It’s really cool when you’re explaining to somebody what you do and how you do it and you see a light bulb go off in their head.”

He isn’t able to just walk away at the end of each day either. The job sticks with him, even at home.

“My wife knows what press I ran by what I’m whistling,” he said. “She thinks it’s really funny.”

When we talk about the people of PrintPlace being passionate about printing, these men exemplify what we mean. Pressman, Charles Esquivel, has been around printing since he was 9 years old because all of his brothers are printers. He told us it was the smell that got him hooked on printing. It’s the smell of the ink, the powder, and the paper that stick with him.

He told us a story about being in a doctor’s office, reading a magazine, and picking up the scent of the ink. It takes him right back to working at that press. He says he can even distinguish the difference between UV coating and gloss coating by the smell. We thought about giving him a test to find out the degree of his nose’s ability, but we decided to take his word for it.

Fredrico Dominguez has been in printing for 17 years and told us he liked printing as soon as he got into it. His favorite part of his job is the moment he gets the color just right on a project. He knows that each time he perfects the color, he is making a customer happy. If that wasn’t enough to convince you that he is dedicated to his work, we have further proof; he told us that he dreams about the press at night.

You’ll have to watch Tim’s video, above, for the rest of the story about the pressmen of PrintPlace.

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