Want to be a valuable graphic designer? Know your way around a printing press - Technical.ly Delaware


Jun. 7, 2017 8:32 am

Want to be a valuable graphic designer? Know your way around a printing press

Alphagraphics designer Megan Fontana shares advice on how to do well in a competitive job market.

A printing press for food packaging.

(GIF via YouTube)

Alphagraphics could be thought of as a design company that has embraced tech while focusing on the foundations of the graphic design industry.

Founded in 1970, the Utah-based company with presence in Newark, Del. built a strong business model and went into franchising in 1979. By 1984, Alphagraphics became the first desktop publishing retailer, at a time when most people didn’t know what the words meant (and why would they? Both the Apple MacIntosh and the first desktop publishing program came out that very year).

At the same time, the company didn’t lose sight of its origins as a printing company and, to date, it remains one of its key offerings. According to Alphagraphics designer Megan Fontana, while many young designers know how to create most don’t necessarily have the skills to set those designs up for print. We spoke to Fontana on what it takes to make it in the industry.

“I went to Millersville University,” said Fontana. “My major was Industrial Technology with a concentration in Graphic Communications, which actually helped me out because I learned about the printing process as well.”

After college, a valuable connection helped her get her first break. “I started out doing freelance; but I got in with the first company because I knew the marketing manager. I still work with them to this day.” Having the right connections is always helpful, as any freelancer or entrepreneur will tell you, but skill development is vital, too: “After doing two years of freelance, I applied to Alphagraphics and was hired the next day.”

Fontana has a hot tip for graphic designers just starting out in their careers: “Develop an understanding of the print industry,” said the designer and account manager. “In my experience, about 50 percent of the designers I come across do not know how to set up files for printing purposes. To me, graphic designer is a broad title.”

Already a member? Sign in here
Connect with companies from the Technical.ly community
New call-to-action


House Industries’ hand-lettering workshop teaches sought-after skill

Tender Hearts is seeking a volunteer graphic designer

How an art-school kid ended up at an aerospace company



Hear from the privacy pros at Security by the Schuylkill



7+ Years Data Scientist for next-generation authentication

Apply Now


Director of Sales

Apply Now

CBI Group

Project Manager

Apply Now

The Barn lands ‘dream contract’ with pro hockey team

This Newark graphic designer is co-organizing TEDxWilmington

The Barn won 9 Graphic Design USA awards this year



Learn to lead digital transformation at Phorum 2019


netCore Solutions

SaaS Account Executive – Email Marketing

Apply Now
Malvern, PA


Senior Front End Engineer – CX Journey Lab

Apply Now
Baltimore, MD 21201

14 West

Senior Software Engineer (Java + Apache Spark)

Apply Now

Sign-up for daily news updates from Technical.ly Delaware

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!