Joining A&P over 20 years ago, Dave Jones has worked in the print marketing sector through the online and digital revolution. Today we sat down with Dave, who celebrated his 20-year achievement last month, to talk about how those changes have impacted his role and how print integrates with A&P as a whole.
When is it that you started working at A&P?
‘The summer of 1998.’
And what was your job when you started?
‘My initial role was as Production Manager and Print Buyer.’
What were your duties as a Production Manager and Print Buyer?
‘I organised traffic through the studio of artwork and illustration work, coordinating with studio staff as well as Account handlers and suppliers to ensure jobs leaving the studio were correct, and print ready before going off to the separation houses and ultimately to print. I was involved in the whole process, timing and managing each project from start to finish.’
Then how would that contrast to the duties that you oversee now?
‘Now there are no separations, as digital print has largely taken over the mainstream of print projects, with the exception of the larger print runs. Andy (Taylor) runs the studio, which covers more disciplines than ever before, from print through to film editing and animation. I still check print work when it comes out of the studio and time these in with suppliers. I’m in charge of all things print, which is itself more varied than ever before with large format printing, wall graphics, signage and many different forms of point-of-sale material.’
What’s your favorite thing about A&P?
‘There’s a great atmosphere, a sense of community. It’s just like a family really. There are so many people who have been here all those 20 years, it’s quite an achievement.’
Over those 20 years, what was the biggest change that you’ve seen happen?
‘Alongside the digital print revolution, social media definitely. The recession, of course, affected how advertising was done. But social has really changed the way this industry is now. Though I think they work side by side - print and social - they need each other, as opposed to one not needing the other. There’s a harmony to it.’
As somebody who has been here through that change - including print and social, how would you describe it?
‘Regarding print, clients now order smaller quantities, knowing that putting a job back on press is not that inefficient, whereas they used to order 5,000 or 10,000 copies to keep the unit cost down but then sometimes ended up throwing away what’s not needed at the end of the project. They can now buy what they want when they want - and tailor their print requirements. This has made a big impression in the market, through every aspect of print. Our agency has changed so much over the past 20 years. New techniques, new disciplines, new ways of working. It’s great watching change happen before our eyes.’
How has print marketing changed over the past 20 years?
‘It’s changed for the better. Now it’s working with the other media available. I’m a bit of a dinosaur, but it had to change with what’s happening - with the internet, and all the social networks.’
What does the future hold?
‘This industry moves so fast, with the way that people communicate with each other all the time, and there’s always people bringing out new stuff - new ways of communication. Will print even exist?’