Working in the packaging industry, whether it be in Design, Production or Account Management, having knowledge about the different print processes is pivotal in delivering optimum packaging results for our clients. If there is an appreciation of how a print process can impact a design from the outset, issues can be overcome and expectations can be set early on in the design-to-print process, giving our clients the confidence that we can deliver a design that can be executed well across all packaging formats.




With many of us working from home over the recent months, it gave us the opportunity to focus on some homeschooling of our own. For us, this meant growing the existing print knowledge we have within the teams and also with some of our lovely clients, too.  

Being a Print Technical Manager for Aire I am often visiting print factories across Europe, which makes face-to-face training sessions with the wider team tricky to coordinate. When I found myself officially grounded in March, I saw this as the perfect time to test out some updated virtual learning sessions for the Aire team. Fast forward a few months and they’ve been such a hit, I now provide print training sessions for new team members and client teams, too.

The course content is broken down into weekly thirty-minute sessions focussing on how each print process works, the impact it can have on design and the potential limitations that may need to be considered. Running them via an online video conferencing tool means everyone can take a short break from their work and learn something new! Each session is also recorded and shared with anyone who had missed it, enabling them to catch up at their convenience.  

It can often be assumed that technical knowledge only needs to sit within the technical team, but having an understanding of print specifications, such as a minimum dot in Flexo print, for example, can aid design briefing and ensure printability is considered throughout design adaptation and artwork creation phases.

As part of our on-boarding process with new Aire clients, I’m able to start rolling out the virtual learning sessions early on. It presents a great opportunity to engage with all of their brand teams, along with their NPD (New Product Development) and Procurement colleagues. I found that everyone was keen to build their print knowledge, as this is something they had struggled to obtain previously, unless they had the opportunity to visit a printer.

Numerous members of the Brand and Procurement teams have shared some really positive feedback, from those who had very little print knowledge to begin with to others who had visited printers but hadn’t really understood how each process could impact how the design is realised.

“The first print tutorial was very good for me personally and provided me with an easy to understand explanation of technical terms I have heard in relation to printing, but did not fully understand. Thank you so much Natalie!”
– Wessanen

The recent months have proven that working remotely doesn’t mean training and development have to take a back seat, if anything, our opportunity has been greater. The use of online technology has allowed us to reach a wider audience and often a more engaged one, too. It has given us the opportunity to grow and tailor our print training offering to both our clients and our internal teams, which is something Aire values very highly. 

The virtual sessions continue to be a huge success and I have gained some really positive feedback. It has been lovely to hear how valuable people have found them, particularly to those who work outside of the artwork production environment, on the periphery.

Natalie Oglesby