Print Design & Mental Health

There are many people who overlook the role of the print designer.

Our work might not be seen as ‘therapeutic’ or as liberating as traditional art, but it nonetheless serves an important purpose in delivering a message to those who need it.

My work as a print designer in the heart of London has led me to come into contact with plenty of different kinds of people, it’s part of the joy of working in the capital in an industry that demands perfection in an ultra-competitive time-frame. To say that my work isn’t stressful would be a lie, yet there are always enough intriguing ideas that I’m presented with on a day-to-day basis that make me stop and appreciate how lucky I am to work in such a creative, yet demanding industry.

The print shop that I work in is a product of the 21st century city, it opens for 24 hours a day during the week, as well as during the weekend. We have several massive industrial printers that are capable of printing on all kinds of materials. On any given day we could be printing off huge vinyl stickers to plaster on a shopping centre, then laser printing a memorial note onto a park bench in the afternoon, followed by a last-minute order of a dozen step-and-repeat press boards for a movie premiere or awards show.

Dealing in such short time-frames can often induce micro-moments of stress which can stop you in your tracks, but these are only felt for a short time before the head-rush of work continues once more. There are rarely any moments to take a rest when you’re in the print-design business and in some ways that’s a good thing. Our business is very much dictated by time; whether it’s the limited time that we have to produce a certain piece of work before getting it out to the client, or the short spaces of time that we are given between each job to reset the machines and ensure that we can run them for the next job in the day.

Short time-frames often mean late nights and early morning, and the high demands of the industries that we work with often means that we’re forced into working through weekends, making mental well-being an important factor to keep in mind. Just like the machines that we work with, we all have the capacity to break down, especially if we’re pushed hard for a long time without a chance to take time for a break. This is why having a rotating team of staff is imperative in our case.

Having a large pool of highly trained staff is imperative when dealing with the gruelling work hours and attention to detail that is expected of our industry, but there are also other benefits to having a team behind our company. More people means that we’re able to diversify the company’s skill-set to the max, whilst we are all trained in the requisite skills to use all of our machines, we ensure that we’re all given the chance to specialise within our industry, so that we can grow progress ourselves whilst we’re also running break-neck into tomorrow’s job.