Big Picture - May 2017 - 23
Q. TELL US ABOUT YOUR DAY JOB.
A: My day job is pretty cool. I own a printing company that
has grown over the years to one of the biggest and best shops
in Las Vegas. The folks we work for are all awesome, and the
niches we work in are some of my favorite things: sports,
bands, festivals, casinos, beer. What more could a guy ask for?
My day usually starts at 3 a.m. I work in my home office for
an hour setting up my day, and then hit the gym. I'm at the shop
by 6 a.m. We work two shifts, so I have a full crew in early to get
the printers fired up. I spend the day making sure everything is
sent out at its highest quality, and that all of the customers are
super taken care of. My day never ends, really, and I'm fielding
calls and messages up until bedtime around 8:30.
Q. WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE SCREAMING
IMAGES? HOW DID YOU BECOME INVOLVED IN THE
A: I've been in this industry 30 years now. I started working for
a litho/separation company in downtown LA back in 1987. I
started in the shipping department and worked my way up to
the proofing and print departments before finally landing my
apprenticeship as a 4/C table stripper. I was there as the first
modern computers, made by Scitex, started being used to
create the graphics. I operated a Scitex Assembler, then a
Scitex Star, up until they started bringing in the Mac with
Photoshop, Illustrator, and QuarkXPress.
At that point, I had finished my four-year apprenticeship and
was a journeyman. They were bringing in Mac operators at
lower rates. I saw our union breaking, and decided it was a good
time for me to go into sales, which all of my bosses had been
suggesting to me for a couple of years. Large-format printing
was still in its infancy, and was actually called "Photo" back
then. I saw this as the next big thing, took a leap of faith, and
decided that's what I would start selling. Three years into that I
felt like I had enough knowledge and experience, and started
Screaming Images [screamingimages.net]. That was 2002.
cover]. We're also currently printing and installing a huge
building wrap for the D Casino downtown. We just finished up a
couple of minor-league baseball stadiums, including the LV 51s
here in town, and we also just finished a huge job for Tecate out
at the Long Beach grand prix. This week we have a couple of
building wraps out in LA, and this weekend is the Viva Las Vegas
Rockabilly Festival, which we did the entire signage package for.
We also just finished another phase of a massive project
up at Champions Center in Boulder, Colorado, for the
Colorado Buffaloes. Last week we shipped out some huge
70-foot-high mesh banners for the Pitt Panthers that were
hung up on the exterior of Heinz Field.
Q. WHAT'S THE MOST CHALLENGING PART OF
A: Deadlines, and putting out fires typical of the print industry.
You can invest the best you can in good people and technology,
but, like in baseball, anything can happen. You just have to be
prepared, and hopefully build in cushions prior to deadlines to
allow time to adjust and adapt. As with any business, some
clients are more demanding than others. I try to be a good
manager with them all, however they wish to converse.
Personal communication is very important in this industry and
I pride myself on serving customers well. Nothing feels better
than seeing a gnarly huge graphic backdrop at a big event and
seeing a client smile about it.
Just one of
wraps on The Strip.
Q. WHAT'S IT LIKE WORKING IN, AND FOR, SIN CITY?
A: I moved my business out here in 2005. Nevada is a great
Q. WHAT'S CURRENTLY ON YOUR PLATE? ANY
INTERESTING PROJECTS OF NOTE?
A: We have a ton of cool stuff at the moment. Today, actually,
we're doing a small building wrap for the Cinco de Mayo
weekend boxing fight here in town at T-Mobile Arena [see
state to build a small business. Most of my work at that time
was sports- and venue-related, and McCarran Airport made
travelling super easy. Eventually, one of my sports clients
brought me into the casinos for an event, and it just stuck.
Most of the work we do for casinos now is for events and
short-term. Everything is on a quick turnaround, and you have
to be really prepared not only with your equipment, but also
with your staff and facility.
Another thing we do a lot of in this town is building
wraps. Nevada is one of the toughest states on this type of
application because of the heat, so you have to be really
well-educated about substrates to make sure you're giving
your customers the best products.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Big Picture - May 2017
Big Picture - May 2017
Business + Management
Selling a Story
How I Got the Job: James Swanson
Dialing in on Dye Sub
Big Picture - May 2017 - Big Picture - May 2017
Big Picture - May 2017 - Cover2
Big Picture - May 2017 - Contents
Big Picture - May 2017 - Insight
Big Picture - May 2017 - 3
Big Picture - May 2017 - Wide Angle
Big Picture - May 2017 - 5
Big Picture - May 2017 - Upfront
Big Picture - May 2017 - 7
Big Picture - May 2017 - 8
Big Picture - May 2017 - 9
Big Picture - May 2017 - 10
Big Picture - May 2017 - 11
Big Picture - May 2017 - Business + Management
Big Picture - May 2017 - 13
Big Picture - May 2017 - Selling a Story
Big Picture - May 2017 - 15
Big Picture - May 2017 - 16
Big Picture - May 2017 - 17
Big Picture - May 2017 - 18
Big Picture - May 2017 - 19
Big Picture - May 2017 - 20
Big Picture - May 2017 - 21
Big Picture - May 2017 - How I Got the Job: James Swanson
Big Picture - May 2017 - 23
Big Picture - May 2017 - 24
Big Picture - May 2017 - 25
Big Picture - May 2017 - Dialing in on Dye Sub
Big Picture - May 2017 - 27
Big Picture - May 2017 - R+D
Big Picture - May 2017 - 29
Big Picture - May 2017 - 30
Big Picture - May 2017 - 31
Big Picture - May 2017 - 32
Big Picture - May 2017 - 33
Big Picture - May 2017 - 34
Big Picture - May 2017 - 35
Big Picture - May 2017 - Job Log
Big Picture - May 2017 - Cover3
Big Picture - May 2017 - Cover4