Printing is a cooperative enterprise. One component depends on another. Since most firms do not have an integrated facility, service companies are essential to contribute to the completion of a product.
Agency, studio An agency or studio is an example of a service company. It will help a larger company with advertisements, packaging, and other printed or media-oriented materials. These are many graphic communications positions available in agencies.
Quick printing/copy services The role of quick printing or copy services is very evident. Speed is very important and varying degrees of quality may be acceptable to the client.
The persons employed in these facilities vary greatly from the standpoint of technical knowledge. The skill required by operators also varies. Many operators are "button pushers" while others have high technical skill and operate systems that are very sophisticated.
The other positions in this area require employees to be very versatile. The job specification might require that they manage, sell services, estimate job costs, or operate equipment. Knowing what is required by the owner or franchise is imperative.
Specialty printing service Specialty printing shops do not have a wide market but provide a service for specialized products. They do engraving, labels, and other similar types of printing. For example, engraving would be needed for high quality business cards, stationery, and special treatment to posters or covers of reports.
Screen process service The screen process area has many specialty type printing facilities. Some applications are for sign printing while others are for placing images on fabrics. Vinyl application is also found as a specialized form of screen printing.
A wide variety of skills are required in screen process printing. One example, the electronics industry is using very sophisticated screen printing systems to manufacture electronic circuits and components.
Composing service Although many firms have composing or typesetting as an integral part of their operation, others rely on outside typographic service companies to supply their typesetting needs. Some typographic processes are very sophisticated. In the last few years, typography has experienced many changes brought about by technological advances in the industry. Research and development is evident and continued changes are expected in this exciting area.
Bindery and finishing service Bindery and finishing operations are often beyond the capability of the facility. The basic requirements of binding and finishing are common to many facilities. However, processes that require a special application are subcontracted. The subcontracted company may have special equipment with rapid capability of folding, trimming, and packaging of the printed product. Many of the positions in binding and finishing do not require extensive training. Therefore, this is one area of the industry ideal for the application of robotics. Once robots are in place in a bindery facility, a higher skill level will be needed by the employees. They must be able to maintain the robots and related equipment.
Manufacturers The graphic communications industry depends on many types of machines to meet all the needs of a manufacturing facility. Someone must manufacture and service the cameras, platemakers, processors, presses, scanners, cutters, folders, inks, and paper. There are many job openings for people to sell and service products manufactured for the graphic communications industry.
One example of an operation which fulfills a great need in the industry is the ink manufacturer. For instance, the chemist has the important job of compounding ink; the ink must be compatible with the press, substrate, and any other requirement of the process. Research and testing are imperative to guarantee the proper results.