Monday, August 3, 2015

BIC's An Introduction to Production Training Course

In my role as Reprint Controller for Macmillan Education I work on all production aspects of reprints for backlist titles. This involves preparing print specifications and sourcing cost estimates from suppliers. I was immediately excited about the prospect of 'An Introduction to Production' – the course outline comprehensively covered many aspects of Production I wished to build upon and gain further knowledge of. I have a particular interest in learning about the different print, bind and finishing methods and how to know when to apply these methods in my day to day work. As a Reprint Controller I only ever deal with titles which have gone through many Production concept stages so I was also interested in learning about pre-press processes such as scheduling and how these stages can affect decisions when it comes to the point of reprinting titles. 

Prior to the course, I had not had or attended any formal Production written courses, training or exams – instead, all my Production knowledge was practical based or acquired through working. It was due to this that I thought applying for the BIC bursary would be greatly beneficial – I thought that the course itself and the formal assessment component would allow me to put my practical knowledge to the test and enable me to expand my Production knowledge.

I found that the information provided about the course and what to expect from the course was very informative and allowed me to, not only to book the course with ease, but also to apply for the bursary with ease. I found the communication from and information received from BIC employees to be helpful, particularly when it came to the tube strike on the morning of the course!

I found the subject matter discussed throughout the course of the day to be interesting. As previously mentioned, I went into the course wanting to gain further understanding of pre-press processes and the coverage of paper types, the technicalities of the printing process and, particularly, the colour management process certainly added to my understanding.

I think the seminar format of the day helped information and discussion to flow easily – everyone was able to openly discuss problems they had encountered and any questions they had, and the format meant that problems and questions were answered and also posed to the rest of the group. The use of example binding methods and example proofs also helped to give a visual and hands on perspective alongside the seminar style learning.

As someone with experience in only educational publishing I did find the course weighted towards trade as opposed to educational publishing however I actually found that this helped with my understanding and made me think of situations and scenarios not previously thought about. The trainer’s anecdotes and obvious experience with a multitude of publishers, printers and situations also helped me to think outside of the box.

Overall, I found the course to be very informative and my objectives of learning more about specific production processes were certainly met – I would definitely recommend this course to a friend/colleague.

Posted by Emily Nuttall - Reprint Controller at Macmillan Education and the successful applicant of BIC Bursaries 2015

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