Sign-makers are being offered the opportunity to explore the full profit potential of their software and equipment with a two-for-one deal at the Roland DG Academy. The Academy’s hands-on SignLab and Adobe Photoshop courses are on offer as two-day training sessions and are focused on profit generation and cost reduction — vital as companies diversify and maximise their resources in the current economic situation. While time permits, companies can take advantage of putting two employees on the programme, covering knowledge gaps and ensuring that all staff are trained – particularly important when dealing with holiday cover or even redundancy cover.
“By addressing how the person uses these two key products, and what they achieve with their throughput, the Academy courses improve the company’s output quality and workflow,” explains Marc Jenkin, Academy Manager, who also leads on both of these courses. “Because of the high standard of our trainers, we can ensure that users return with the confidence built to tender for higher margin jobs, armed with an array of knowledge about special processes, vector design and image improvement.”
Jenkin is eager to highlight the importance of the purpose-built production environment where the courses take place. “An interruption-free space means pure hands-on time in the company of experts,” he points out. “Making use of smart boards with video recording equipment means that we can hone in on exactly how to perfect these processes and thereby improve return on investment.”
Escalating the business-client relationship is a vital part of the programmes, which also allow specific files or issues to be brought to the table. “There are some stunning effects that are possible that aren’t widely known or used,” hints Jenkin, who has been training at the Academy since its inception in 2006. “Companies can really get the most out of their existing customers and also move into new grounds by asking, simply, whether they knew that chrome effects or vector design were services that they supplied.”
The SignLab course, which can be split into two individual days, is led by experts who will ensure that the trainee knows menu control and shortcuts, progressing into the creation of vector graphics, cut paths and colour management. Day one will provide the knowledge needed to speed up the user’s workflow and improve co-ordination between the supplier and their customers. Day two progresses that skill base by targeting industry requirements and powerful image techniques, including the enhancement of poor quality bitmap or raster graphics while avoiding pixelation. By the end of the course the trainee student will be confident in using Half Cut to extract print and cuts, the management of badges and serialisation — known as VDP in similar packages — and special effects, such as ripple effects, chrome and borders.
Over the two day Adobe Photoshop course, users can become more rapid through their control of selections, layers and shortcuts. Having nailed down their own method alongside the trainer, students concrete their colour management skills by developing and implementing the use of correct colour processes, depending on the job, and appreciating all aspects of image correction. By reducing error and workflow times they will return with a greater enjoyment of the programme and a number of suggestions for diversifying the company’s chargeable services.
With plenty of time to network during attendance, delegates can share their experience and receive expert advice on any issues they may face regularly. “A person who’s in control and comfortable with the equipment they use will bring more to the company,” Jenkin concludes. “And that’s what these courses really provide — the confidence and ability to use these tools to their full advantage.” Prices, and a complete course offering with detailed contents, are available at www.rolanddg.co.uk/academy/