Help! My supervisor doesn't know anything about printing

Answered by Dick Gorelick

A lot of print buyers have problems because their supervisors don't know anything about printing. Words of wisdom?

Mothers have raised children to be attorneys, physicians, or clergy but it's fair to say that few have raised children to become buyers of printing.

Your frustration is common. The fact is, your management probably believes that good printing, like good gasoline or good drinking water, should just happen. They are more concerned about the business consequences of your print than the mechanics of print buying. Only buyers of art prints and posters truly buy printing. Everyone else is buying help to achieve some organizational objective. That's one of the curses most print buyers have to endure unless they are employed by a publisher, where print is THE product.

Given all of this, it is a fact of life that everyone - beginning with you or your printer's sales rep - needs to selectively educate the rest of the organization about print on a need-to-know basis. Don't expect superiors to read about the graphic arts process or to be interested in the subject. Relate enough to create their confidence that you are the expert on the subject.
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