The Women in Print Awards: Sheryl McHugh
Design Type's president and founder has taken her shop from typesetting business to full-service print provider.
Design Type, Lawrenceville, Georgia
Philanthropy: Hires and trains interns from local high schools and universities interested in print and design post-graduation
Accomplishments: Has served on the board of the Printing and Imaging Association of Georgia for three years, is a former Women’s Business Enterprise National Council member, and is a current member of both Print Production Professionals and Wholesale Printing Network
Design Type has evolved from a typesetting business to a full-service print shop. Why did you choose to invest in wide-format technology? How has having a diverse product offering benefited your business?
The first transition from graphic design and prepress, serving print distributors, was with wide-format. This was a perfect fit for our business to move into the printing arena. I loved seeing big, beautiful color, and so did our clients. We offered a lot of tradeshow signage and display graphics and soon added wider printers. The return on investment was a great addition, and still is today. We’ve also added digital and offset presses to our services. Customers enjoy working with a single source offering many solutions. Design Type has been built on serving the needs of the customers, so promotional products and apparel round out our full-service approach. Whether it’s a logo design or a full-scale tradeshow booth, we’re ready to go to work creating attention-grabbing graphics.
You hire and train local high school and college students as interns. What made you want to invest in that “next generation”? How has investing in local young people been mutually beneficial to both your business and to the students?
I am a recipient of on-the-job training and have never forgotten what a great opportunity I was given. Having learned my trade from taking a paraprofessional position at the graphic communications department of the vocational high school, I saw the potential of building a business. The job jump-started my career. College isn’t for everyone, but many of the high school interns that we’ve worked with through the years have gone on to college. Working in a real-world environment teaches the students a lot about the business world, and enriches their experience, even as they enter college.
I’ve had the pleasure of seeing these young people develop their interpersonal skills as well as learn a technical skill they can benefit from. As with all of us, we must apply what we learn, and to excel, we have to continue to expand our knowledge, keeping our imaginations keen. The sky truly is the limit, especially in the visual communications field.
Having student interns allows us to fill areas of production with flexible hours. Many high school students are involved in the work-study program, so a 40-hour-per-week position doesn’t need to be maintained. College students fill in during holidays and summers, allowing employees to go on vacation. All in all, the internship program does benefit both the company as well as the student. I’d recommend taking advantage of the enriching experience as your company could certainly stand to find excellent permanent employees in the process.
Meet the rest of our 2017 Women in Print Award winners.