English Heritage launches print buying workshops

English historic conservation body English Heritage (EH) is running a series of internal print buying workshops to improve the standards and efficiency of its print materials.

Organised by EH’s publishing production manager and print buyer Elaine Pooke, the full day sessions will be run in partnership with south east London printer The Colour House – one of English Heritage’s five contracted litho print firms.

The full-day sessions, the first of which took place on Thursday (10 January) are being held once a week on site at The Colour House for a period of five weeks.

The workshops are open to all EH staff members whose job responsibility includes any type of print procurement for the organisation and including nine of its regional branches.

The days are intended to inform staff about print processes from pre-press through to finishing, the breadth of services offered by their printers and the options available to them for printed materials.

Pooke said: "We want our print buyers to come and learn about print from every angle all the way from concept through to delivery. They’ll learn everything from technical print terminology and the uses of digital or wide format printing, through to finishing and marketing facilities.

 The aim of the sessions, according to Pooke, was to make sure the organisations print buyers were keeping up with new technology and products and so that they understood the extent of what their printers can offer them.

She added: "In that way we can ensure that staff procure responsibly and that our printed products are the same quality and based on the same standards no matter what regional branch they are being produced for."

As well as learning about print staff who attend the sessions will receive a presentation from Howard Smith Paper on paper type and manufacturing and how EH can minimise their environmental impact.

Through an initiative from Howard Smith Paper, EH now uses ‘carbon balanced papers’ where possible. The scheme ensures that carbon emissions related to the manufacture and distribution of the products have been measured and offset by ecological charity, The World Land Trust, through the preservation of endangered forests.

Pooke said: "It is important for EH staff to understand what impact paper has on the environment and therefore how we should be using it."

If the workshops prove successful English Heritage will consider running more, she added.

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