A pandemic silver lining? New connections and creativity abound in the print industry.
Have these last few months left you wondering if the mandatory time spent at home was a personal win or a major productivity fail? Did you gain the quarantine 15 or did you increase your exercise regimen and start a new diet? Did you take a break from the digital world or did your screen time rise exponentially? Did you finally read those books on your list or did you binge “Tiger King” in one sitting? I won’t share where I fall on the scale, but I will say being forced to stay home allowed me to tackle some major projects on my to-do list (including watching a “Star Wars” film for the first time, and yes, “Tiger King.”) One of those giant items was “buy a house.” So, during lock down, via FaceTime, my fiancé and I purchased property and moved from one “Bay” to another.
While walking in our new neighborhood I spotted a man in a Cincinnati Reds shirt. This is no surprise as you can find an Ohioan anywhere. (I met a guy on an eight-person boat in Hvar, Croatia, last year who lived in the same neighborhood as I did for six years – we’re everywhere!) We stopped to chat about the Cincy connection, which naturally led to the question “what do you do for work?” He mentioned he’s been in commercial printing for the last 30 years. “Cool! I’m the editor of Big Picture magazine,” I responded. His jaw dropped as he said, “No way! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read Big Picture.”
The next day, we met our neighbors across the street. The conversation continued the same as the previous day. “So, what do you do for a living?” This elicited a much funnier response: “As little as possible,” followed by “I ran a screen printing business for years in Maui and now I sell machines through a distributor.” Now it was my turn for the jaw drop. “No way! I’m the editor of Screen Printing magazine,” I basically shouted. The back-to-back connections to the print world were too cool, but in no way surprising.
The print community is everywhere. We witnessed the need for the industry as soon as COVID-19 hit and PSPs quickly pivoted to creating PPE and safety-related signage. We will continue to see the demand as schools, retail locations, and offices reopen in the coming months. Now is the time to offer your services and creativity to your clients. Be proactive in connecting with them as they navigate this new normal. I know this will be a professional – and personal – win.