Friday, November 05, 2010

Teamwork: Build Physical Networks

Some time ago I wrote about the importance of building physical networks as opposed to relying just on virtual help. I want to make this point again: whatever your project, find real people to meet and talk to - and avoid those who say 'you can't do this' rather than looking for a solution.

I myself come from the hot type generation – just. I was trained to do layouts with crayons, scissors and glue, and graphics was a black-and-white print you take to the girls in zincography.

In the age of computers many of us get isolated and look into screens rather than into faces. I know a couple, man and wife, who live together, but, having studies in the opposite ends of the house, talk to each other via Scype.

I have a friend in Colorado, also from a hot type generation, but older than me, with whom we worked on a newspaper project in the early 90-s. After our work was finished and handed over to printers we used to go to the shop floor and spend some time with the web off-set press boys to run through the pages and point out various features in the paper which we thought could be difficult or needed special attention, both technically and editorially. 

My printers here invited me once for a cup of coffee in the back-room. A poster was hanging on the wall there: "Tout le monde apporte de la joie dans cette enterprise, certains quand ils entrent d'autres quand ils sortent". (Everybody brings happiness to this enterprise, some when they come, others when they leave).  Nobody likes it when a client or a supervisor watches over your shoulder, but when it's done in such a way that people feel you came to show respect and appreciation, – it always helps. 

I think I'd never been able to achieve good results with Pages if I didn't invest in running through the whole production process with printers, graphic designers and photographers who work with me.

Tips and suggestions on working with professional printers and computer support shops are in this earlier article: Networking: Physical vs Virtual (same post as linked above).

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