As we introduce our new Color Coach Program, I wanted to give you a look at the Color Coach himself: Randy Norian. Randy is an incredibly valuable asset to all customers of Laser Resources, and we are fortunate to have him right here on our local team. As you will see, Randy has an extensive background not only in the printing industry, but in color management and design as well. Below is an interview with Randy, explaining the origin of the Color Coach program and what it means for customers.
How did you get the idea for the Color Coach program?
Randy: My role at LRI is to find ways to make our customers happier, more productive, and more profitable, while hopefully doing the same for our LRI team. As I met more and more digital print customers, I saw a pattern of the same basic issues and challenges in shop after shop. The Color Coach program is a way of addressing the most common challenges faced by printers, whether digital, offset, inket, etc. If an analyst can come into a shop and address a color issue by using the tools that the client already has at their disposal, then the operator can learn those same tricks, as well. Color Coach aims to raise the level of expertise within the shop — not to just provide a temporary fix.
What is your experience in the color print arena?
Randy: I have always had an artistic background; photography, painting, drawing. At Iowa State University I was in the Graphic Design program for 4 years. I freelanced as a designer for a year after college, and I’ve worked at web, flexographic, and offset print shops. At ACME Printing I was a one-man shift for electronic prepress and also handled drum scanning, color correction and compositing. Later I moved into a more focused role of scanning , color correction, photo compositing, and managing the color and proofing systems. Managing color from end-to-end was vital for my role. After ten years at ACME, I spent 8 years with Xerox as the iGen analyst for Iowa, and have been with Laser resources since last August!
What is your favorite part of the program?
Randy: I get a great deal of satisfaction from helping clients get past roadblocks in their path. Whether improving color accuracy, showing them new techniques, or just teaching someone how to get the most from the tools they already have… if I can make their life a little easier, then that’s very rewarding. If I can show them how to solve or minimize a BIG problem, then that’s even better!
What is the biggest problem you see operators having with their color print operations?
Randy: Inconsistent output is the number one issue I see, but that is usually a byproduct of too little attention paid to managing the color on a day-to-day basis. There are definitely ways to minimize variations in color output from a digital device, depending on how much work you want to put into it. I liken it to shooting a bow at a target… if you are very serious about putting the arrow in the center on every shot, it can take a lot of work, effort, and practice. If you just want to get the arrow somewhere on the target, you can get by with much less effort. Managing color is the same way.
What is the biggest advantage a customer gains through this program?
Randy: Good color, quality, and consistency will keep allow them to keep their customers happy, and happy customers tend to be loyal customers. Excellent, accurate color and the ability to demonstrate that you have processes in place to keep things that way will allow you to compete for a higher end of the print market. This can be a key differentiator, as low end digital printing is a real commodity. Quality is always a great way to set yourself apart from the crowd.