Under general direction, the Graphic Designer and Production Specialist has a dual role working in the computer room and production room until the center has grown to the point of hiring additional staff and separating the roles.
In the computer room, this position is responsible for creating computer generated vinyl and/or full color graphics output that can be weeded, cut and applied or printed and mounted to a substrate. This may involve various levels of artistic creativity and will ultimately lead to the complete or modified design from customer drawings, files, or exact output of customer-provided design for output to media.
In the production room, this position is responsible for all aspects of the physical construction and assembling of signs from computer cut vinyl and wide format full color printouts. Sign assembly includes preparing substrates and applying vinyl or other media according to written instructions. Also, mounting and/or laminating prints and operating and setting up the laminator for over-laminating, encapsulation, or mounting of digital imaged products is required. Proofreading signs and conducting quality assurance to ensure the accuracy of signs is required.
Computer Room Responsibilities:
- Prioritize each day to efficiently and cost-effectively schedule the workflow.
- Determine the best output method based on the customer’s need.
- Read and interpret a Work Order.
- Work with co-workers and customers with file transfers, FTP access, photo library options, online proofs, etc.
- Determines size and arrangement of illustrative material and copy, select style and size of type, and arrange layout based upon available space, aesthetic design, and production requirements.
- Prepare comprehensive illustrations, sketches, layouts, and copy for print reproduction according to instructions of client or supervisor.
- Allocate appropriate amount of time to each work order.
- Inspect jobs for accuracy before sending them to the plotter or printer. Ensure correct material is used for each job and output devise settings are accurate.
- Customer logo maintenance and sourcing: scanning, editing, using the FASTSIGNS Digital Asset Library, etc.; convert graphic files.
- Image Sourcing: locate photos, understand copyright laws and release/usage requirements, knowledge of resources to buy stock images, work with service bureaus to create output beyond store capability, and understand resolution options and optimal enlargement specifications from image vendors and image originals.
- Provide proofs as necessary, using the FASTSIGNS online proofing system, for customer approval.
- Perform daily/weekly computer back-ups; archive files as necessary.
- Maintain all equipment including computers, plotters and printers (water-soluble printers, thermal transfer printers, solvent ink printers, etc.).
- Maintain accurate electronic and paper record of File Storage and Disks (logs, saving by invoice number, dating) as specified in the FASTSIGNS Operations Manual.
- Minimize waste by efficiently using ink, media, laminates, foils and vinyl; notify manager/owner of low inventory.
- Communicate with other employees, Sales/Service members on job requirements, timing, and special needs; Sign Maker(s) on job input and output; Production Manager/Center Manager on inventory needs for computer supplies.
Production Room Responsibilities:
- Follow a layout to place computer-generated vinyl or full color graphic image(s) on a pre-determined substrate or medium.
- Prepare substrates for application. This may include cutting, painting, laminating, cleaning and maintaining the substrates for application.
- Feed UV flatbed printer with substrate for printing purposes when necessary.
- Weed excess vinyl from computer cut images. Weeding techniques vary with size, type of vinyl and complexity of image. Know how and when to use each technique.
- Perform quality assurance measures pre- and post-construction by accurately reading and interpreting a Work Order and then proofing for errors or unacceptable standards (bubbles, rough edges, loose seams).
- Perform finishing operations such as laminating, encapsulating, and/or mounting of printed pieces.
- Install signs when necessary.
- Operate the laminator while maintaining proper fit and settings. Thread laminating or encapsulating material onto the machine, set temperature, pressure, and side guides for proper feeding of material.
- Help unload raw materials; clean and maintain storage areas.
- Maintain production rate consistency; meet or exceed established minimum rates per hour.
- Work on different projects simultaneously.
- Run proof sheet and secure approval for production run from supervisor.
- Adhere to all company policies, procedures and business ethics codes.
- Communicate with other employees in a calm and professional manner; express self verbally and listen well.
- Report inventory levels and stock to be reordered to the franchise partner.
- Increase knowledge of computer graphic design and sign making through reading trade publications and independent study.
- Keep the areas neat, clean and organized.
Participate in and practice the FASTSIGNS sales mentality of “Everybody Sells”. Constantly be looking for sales opportunities for the center. Serve as a backup for answering the phone if the franchise partner, manager and sales/service employees are busy assisting other customers. Assist at the front counter as needed. Understand the sales process enough to consult with customers to determine project needs and solutions.