Job Descriptions and Responsibilities

Digital Print Operator

Digital print operators use computers to create layouts and printed materials that are sent to printing presses for production. Their job is to listen to client specifications and adjust attributes such as size and resolution to create a high-quality finished product. People who have a strong eye for detail and who enjoy working with graphic design and technology can thrive as digital print operators. Every day, they manage multiple projects with varying timelines. Digital print operators can work full or part time and are typically employed in the commercial printing, marketing, and publishing industries.

Digital Print Operator Duties and Responsibilities

No two digital print operators are exactly alike, as specific skills vary from employer to employer. However, after analyzing online job postings, we identified several core duties and responsibilities common to the job:

Process Customer Print Orders

Digital print operators process customer files according to desired specifications. They may receive printing requests in person or through email. On a daily basis, they prioritize work assignments based on deadlines, overall company workload, machine capability, and client needs. Once orders are finished, they complete all necessary paperwork.

Provide Customer Service

It is common for digital print operators to provide customer service. They answer phones, take orders, record customer logs, and interact with clients directly. Digital print operators are also responsible for following up with customers if a desired print job needs to be adjusted.

Operate Digital Printing Equipment

It is common for digital print operators to use digital duplicating machines. They use this equipment to create high-quality print copies from a variety of source files. Digital print operators use large and small document printers, binding equipment, and copiers. They also operate digital color equipment and standard document finishing equipment.

Troubleshoot Printer Issues

Performing minor repairs and routine equipment maintenance is another task digital print operators manage. They also troubleshoot any printer issues that arise. Depending on the problem, a digital print operator may use software or hardware to complete needed repairs.

Restock Printing Supplies

When necessary, digital print operators replace ink, paper, toner, labels, and additional printing materials as they run out. They are responsible for ensuring that all needed supplies are fully stocked. Depending on the type of computer printing programs and equipment used, a print operator orders labels and other components to keep operations going efficiently. They are normally responsible for creating or implementing a supply purchase schedule to make sure all work deadlines are maintained.

Digital Print Operator Skills

Digital print operators should have an aptitude for visual color and print design along with strong attention to detail. Employers typically seek candidates with a high school diploma and a minimum of two years of digital printing experience. The following skills are essential to getting the job done:

  • Print design – digital print operators need to make creative page layouts and process files to send them to a digital press

  • Color management – it’s essential that digital print operators are well-versed in color theory and processing colors for print graphics

  • Computer skills – digital print operators need to be well-versed in various computer programs focused on digital printing

  • Physical fitness – digital print operators routinely lift 25 pounds or more and must occasionally move 50 pounds or more

  • Troubleshooting – when equipment or printing jobs malfunction, digital print operators need to fix them

  • Customer service – clearly presenting print information and interacting with customers, clients, and fellow employees is essential for digital print operators

  • Time management – multitasking and fulfilling print orders in an organized, timely fashion is a critical requirement for digital print operators

  • Cropping - All prints including wall paper, vinyl and banners should be cropped and trimmed before marked as complete

  • Liquid Laminating - All wall papers and canvas are to be liquid laminated in a timely fashion

  • Grommets - All banners should have proper grommets inserted

  • Weeding - All vinyl should be weeded in a timely fashion.

  • Cleaning – Cleaning and Maintenance is an essential part of this position.

    • All media is to be removed from printers daily

    • All printers should be filled with ink every Monday

    • All garbage cans should be empty every day

    • All maintenance tanks should be checked every Monday

    • Vinyl Cutters and Scanners should be cleaned every Monday

    • Vinyl Cutters, trimmers and Scanners should be turned off every day

    • All printed materials should be boxed and racked daily

    • All tables should be free from prints and vinyl daily even jobs that are not complete

    • Desk and floors should be clutter free and free from garbage.

Digital Print Operator Education and Training

The only direct education requirement for becoming a digital print operator is a high school diploma or GED. However, many employers prefer candidates to have some additional training or relevant hands-on experience. Employers look for applicants who have an excellent understanding of color theory. Many colleges and technical schools offer relevant diploma and certificate programs that specialize in traditional and digital print technology. These programs feature coursework in presswork, electronic publishing, and electronic imaging.

Graphic Designers

Creative Graphic Designer Skills

Creative graphic designers have to be artistic and tech-savvy to thrive in this position. They have to come up with solutions to design problems. They need a keen attention to detail—in the world of graphic design, every pixel matters. Creative graphic designers also have to possess technical knowledge, such as how to use photo editing and digital drawing software. In addition, creative graphic designers need the following skills to gain employment:

  • Actively listening to clients to determine design parameters

  • Collaborating with other creative graphic designers in brainstorming sessions

  • Designing graphics for both digital and print using Adobe Creative Suite

  • Constructively using feedback to fine-tune project deliverables

  • Managing time and prioritizing tasks to make sure all project deliverables are finished within deadline

  • Presenting finished project deliverables to clients

Creative Graphic Designer Tools of the Trade

The most common tools used by creative graphic designers include:

  • Adobe Creative Suite – a collection of software that allows creative graphic designers to lay out magazines, edit photos, create graphics, and more

Creative Graphic Designer Education and Training

Most creative graphic designers have their bachelor’s degree in graphic design. Coursework covers subjects such as typography, the principles of design, perspective, and how to use design software programs, such as Adobe Creative Suite. Most classes are project-based to help students build portfolios to help them in the job search.

Website and Social Media

Maintain website presence and Social Media

  • Upload new project visuals daily

  • Update outdated information

  • Maintain Mailing List

    • Upload new client emails

    • Create Monthly News Letters

    • Create Product and Service Based Newsletters

  • Social Media

    • Update Facebook with new ideas and projects

    • Update Linkedin

    • Update Pinterest

Maintain Catalog

  • Update catalog pages with new project visuals and projects

Descriptive Plates

Image Processing

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