When stepping back and reflecting on different aspects of your business, not only should you be planning for future investments in technology but also qualified personnel to correctly manage print jobs. It’s one thing to evaluate printing technology for suitability, but assessing competency for managing print is something quite different. So how do you assess your personnel's skill set for today’s current and emerging printing technology?
With little exception, every industry has a program to qualify or certify personnel for employment. For example, a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert designation communicates your proficiency in the technology necessary for employment in the information technology industry. Similarly, an Automotive Service Excellence certification validates the proficiency desired for employment in automotive repair shops.
But what about the printing industry? There are qualification programs for printing companies, but what about their personnel? How does one assess they are processing jobs efficiently and correctly?
SGIA Digital Color Professional Certification
SGIA's Digital Color Professional program is in its third year and has certified over 350-plus individuals as of the end of 2019. The certification program helps professionals in the grand-format and specialty printing industries understand the fundamentals and advanced principles of how color is rendered in printing. The first step is attending one of several SGIA Color Management Boot Camps held throughout the year. The two-and-a-half-day class starts with the basics of why to design in RGB or CMYK, spot color matching, lighting, and press maintenance, ultimately leading to hands-on color profiling.
There are two levels to the SGIA Digital Color Professional program. The first involves passing an online test. It's open book, so you can use your boot camp notes. Passing earns you an SGIA Qualified Digital Color Professional status. You receive a web logo from credly.com to communicate you understand the core principles of color management in grand-format and specialty printing markets.
The second certification level is then available. A PDF document is provided for you to print and mail back to an SGIA affiliate for evaluation and measurement. The second level tests your ability to apply the principles learned during the boot camp at your shop. If you can match spot colors and the RGB and CMYK reference targets of the PDF document within SGIA’s tolerance, you’ll earn the SGIA Certified Digital Color Professional designation.
Although the curriculum is the same at each boot camp, the different instructors have flexibility in how the material is presented. In my boot camps, I offer real-world anecdotes of how my clients use these techniques and principles in production. You’ll learn tips and tricks that reduce ink usage dramatically while improving color not taught in other boot camps. You also learn how applying G7 calibration metrics affects color matching across different grand-format printing technologies.
SGIA Color Management Boot Camps are held all across the U.S. However, in accordance with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization's recommended guidelines for the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person boot camps have been temporarily postponed. In the interim, SGIA is offering online training courses — find an upcoming opportunity!
If you have questions about the boot camp and would like to talk about the program, you may reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-RGB-CMYK. I look forward to seeing you online or in-person for your first step toward certification!