2 August 2012
IDP Group Renfrew invites high-school students to print
OTTAWA—Rather than simply talking about printing technologies, the senior design class at Ottawa’s Merivale High School recently put theory into practice at IDP Group Renfrew (formerly Custom Printers of Renfrew).

Each year, Renfrew's general manager Kerry Thompson sets aside a morning to demonstrate printing to Merivale students.

Merivale students watching printing in action at Custom Printers of Renfrew

"Students are able to see high-fidelity offset lithography, a little bit of older letterpress equipment still retained for diecutting and numbering, as well as state-of-the-art platemaking, digital technology and inkjet printing," noted Irv Osterer, Merivale's department head of fine arts, library, communications technology.

This year, the challenge for the 38 students was to design original artwork for a frisbee. The class was given two weeks to take the ideas from preliminary drawings to finished artwork. "While some students totally embrace computer rendering programs, others prefer to use traditional media and the scanning process," he noted.

At the printing plant, technology architect Ken Charron carefully explained the inkjet process to the students, and was able to fit the large plotter with a special jig to print five frisbees at one time.

"In a little more than an hour, each student was holding his or her own customized frisbee," noted Osterer. "We were also able to use the same circular patterns to create a very impressive poster that was printed in four-colour process on Custom Printer’s Heidelberg Press."

Students with their printed frisbees

The teacher explained, "These kinds of experiences are invaluable to students for a number of reasons. For those interested in careers as graphic designers, exposure to manufacturing technology and the people who operate these machines is vital as it fosters a healthy respect for the trade. There are also students who will be fascinated by the production process and well-suited to working in the graphic arts industry."
1. Wondering says:
13 August 2012 at 2:57 PM
Run !!!! Get a trade that will pay the bills in 20 years. Sorry it's the sad truth.
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