G is for Graphic Arts~

Print Industry terminology states that the Graphic Arts Industry is made up of the industries and professions related to designing and printing on paper and other substrates.

I began my career in flexographic printing, more specifically, pressure sensitive labels. It was different and I told my family about the exciting industry I found. Nobody in my family was familiar with Graphic Arts let alone label manufacturing. My grandpa tried to understand…but he couldn’t get his mind around what I meant. My brother was a computer programmer and my sister a paralegal, professions my grandpa understood. What was this Graphic Arts Industry anyway? Fast forward years later and now I’m selling printing. Grandpa still didn’t understand, but now he was intrigued. Cathy was a sales person?

When I went to visit him later that year I took my portfolio of printed samples.  My portfolio consisted of pieces I had worked on,  and they helped to make my sales calls more interesting. I sat down with him and went through the samples. One by one I explained a little about the process it took to make the piece. He asked who I sold this to and I told him direct clients like small and large companies and advertising agencies. Aha! Something he understood. He stood up and said, “Cathy is in Advertising” that makes sense. He was so satisfied that he understood and could brag about his grand children’s’ jobs….Tim the programmer, Shelia the paralegal and Cathy, of course, she’s in advertising.

I really miss grandpa and in some ways reminiscing about this conversation I realize that I miss the way I sold back then. Maybe it’s my fault…my portfolio sits right next to my desk where it has sat my entire sales career. I’ve been neglectful of its power and its place in what I do for a living. New processes have gotten in the way, like the computer I might be spending too much time behind. The computer has replaced the face to face conversations and hands-on review of my printed samples. I’m actually teary-eyed recalling the excitement I used to feel when a potential client appreciated my approach. So I think I’ll reach down next to my desk and dust it off and begin to use it again. Grandpa would like that.


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