One of the most exciting things about working in the print industry is the sheer diversity of expertise we encounter on a daily basis. Our industry is built on innovation and therefore it never stands still – there is always something new to learn or discover, and always an interesting conversation to be had with colleagues working in all different areas of this very broad arena.
We’re delighted to have one of those colleagues featured in this week’s blog – Enzo Iannuzzi has almost two decades of experience working across various aspect of the wide format print industry, and has many fascinating insights to share. We caught up with him to find out more…
Hi Enzo! Can you tell us a little about your professional background – how did you end up working in the print industry?
I started working in the print industry over 18 years ago. I’ve been through a lot of roles including purchasing, controller, Wide Format Specialist and sales support. My first job was as a controller for a print company in Concord. It was my first exposure to the wide format print industry, and I remember one of my first questions during my interview was “This is a viable business?” You don’t realize how much print there is around you until you work in the industry. As my career and interest in the industry grew, so did my knowledge of the work we do as well as how we do it. Creating and growing relationships with the people who make up the industry was an unexpected bonus.
What’s your current role, and what does it involve?
I am currently a Graphic Film Specialist in Eastern Canada for Laird Plastics. My role is to continue to develop and grow the graphic film business for Laird Plastics. I work with our staff and customers to educate and promote substrates for the industries we support. We assist customers in sourcing materials needed for their projects as well as offer new and innovate materials they may not have been exposed to before.
What would you say drives or inspires you the most in a professional sense – is it creativity, customer service, tech innovation etc?
All of the above play a large role in our industry. The creativity of our customers goes beyond unbelievable. It is truly amazing to witness the ideas and concepts our customers and end users come up with and how our industry brings those ideas to fruition. Walt Disney used to say “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.” Our industry always seems to have a solution to bring these ideas and brilliant concepts into reality, even the ‘impossible’ ones. I always love to see what the outcome is.
Our customer service and sales team is top notch and has a lot of information and knowledge at their disposal. We know that this business is very time sensitive and any delay in getting responses back in a timely manner, or not having stock on our floor, could cost us the business.
Innovation for both equipment and substrates in our industry is truly amazing. We have come a long way in this industry in both areas. The market continues to change in response to what customers are demanding. And I find a lot of manufacturers as well as printers continue to pivot and adapt with these changes at a phenomenal pace.
It’s been a strange year for the industry – a tough one for many, but also encouraging to see how so many businesses have adapted in response. What do you think the print industry will take away from the past 12 months?
I think the fact our industry was able to pivot is amazing. I think the past year has shown how innovative and creative people can get. And how our industry has adapted and helped our end users and customers was truly great. I think if anything, the last year has shown us how innovative and strong our industry can be under pressure. In a time where a lot of our mainstream business took a large downturn, we were able to still assist our customers and end users by using our current technologies and substrates to create and improve on new and innovative applications. We were able to fill voids and shortages of things like beds, tents, dividers, wayfinding and directional communications. Our manufacturers came up with antimicrobial and cleanable surfaces that will continue to be used long after the pandemic is over. It is/was a truly inspiring time.
How important do you think environment and climate change will be in the print industry over the next decade? What major changes do you think we will see as a result?
I believe climate change has and will have a huge effect on our industry. I also believe we have been seeing these changes already take effect and we have been adapting and changing over the last 10 years. Changes like more environmentally friendly print technologies and substrates have been evolving over the last decade. These technologies and substrates have not only been getting better and more efficient, the cost of these has been coming more into line with their conventional equivalents as well. People want to be a part of the solution, and not the problem.
What innovation are you most excited to see within the print industry in the short to medium term?
I’m most excited to see where the 3D market and augmented reality print takes the market. It is like seeing the old world and new world collide to make something even better than the two individuals would ever have been by themselves.
What are the biggest challenges the industry faces? Do you think it will have to adapt further for a post-pandemic world?
The world will definitely never be the same. There are businesses and whole industries that will never bounce back from this. But on a more positive note, there are a lot of emerging and new ideas that probably never would have come about because of the pandemic. Pricing and market demand will continue to be a challenge as it always has. Shortages of raw materials and factories being closed have a large effect not only on our direct markets, but all of the indirect markets as well. Our industry continues to adapt under difficult circumstances. But those with the innovation and drive to continue to help make our industry better will take the market to the next level.
What do you love most about working in print?
I am truly blessed to be working in such a great industry. For as large an industry as we are, everyone knows everyone. I can honestly say I have made a lot of friends along the way in my career. While we all compete for work and business, we also support and inspire each other. And at the end of the day, we all end up breaking bread together, swapping stories, talking about family life, and creating, for some, lifelong friendships that will last long past our working years.
Thanks to Enzo for participating in this interview! To connect with him on LinkedIn click here.