In this column Digital Printer learns more about the men and women working behind the scenes to make digital print great. We find out about them, their careers and their thoughts on the industry. This time it’s the turn of Warren Werbitt, who’s been involved in the print industry for over 25 years and is never short of an opinion.

People in Print: Warren Werbitt

Name:  Warren Werbitt
Job title: Founder and fisherman
Location:  Worldwide (Montreal)

How did you end up working in the paper/print industry?

Right out of school I went to work for a textile company when I was suddenly let go.  After sitting on the couch for a while trying to decide next steps, my father suggested that I get off my ass and do something. I went to help at his small duplicating company. Funnily enough the first call I made from the yellow pages landed me my first print order. It was six months before my next order. The rest is history.

What was your first job in the sector?

My first job didn’t really have a title as I was helping in production whenever needed (I was not very good, by the way) as well as selling and making deliveries by day.  I remember our first mailing job, I licked 5000 envelopes after inserting flyers by hand, my tongue was swollen for three days and had no taste. That was 1992, before I learned about the sponge with water.

What are your future goals?

I have three basic life goals

  1. From a personal perspective, to continue growing a person, give back and to keep the family together
  2. From a work perspective, to embrace whatever lies in front of me and to be able to offer my clients value
  3. From a fishing perspective, to fish the world over

What innovation/technology in paper/print is making you most excited?

Personally, I have always liked bright white paper stocks where you can slap down some awesome looking colours and designs.  But what is super exciting today is all the options available when it comes to finishing, like laser die-cutting, foils, stamping, and many UV applications.

What is the biggest issue/challenge facing the industry?

I think one of the biggest challenges we have is finding and retaining young talent. I am not sure where / when it went wrong, but print is not dead – anything but – nor is it boring. It’s colourful and fun. We need to promote print and stop the haters from spreading the wrong messages.

What advice would you give to someone just entering the industry?

Great choice! If you want to learn and meet people from all industry, you made the right choice. Because we serve ALL industries. Then I would suggest finding someone in the company that can help mentor you. Finally, find all the trade associations and magazines so that you can read and keep yourself updated with what’s going on. (Hint: most people don’t!)

What has been the biggest change since you entered print?

I would have to say the technology.

If you could go back and seize one opportunity you missed, what would it be?

Great question. If I could go back I would have been one of the early adopters of web-to-print. I was late to the game.

What one thing should the industry do to ensure its continued success?

To succeed we need new talent. 

Do you belong to any industry bodies or trade organisations? Why?

At the present time I am a member and a board member at Aptech, as well a member of SIGA. I have always been part of industry associations and would recommend it to everyone – there is nothing better than learning from your peers or helping your peers learn something.

What do you enjoy most about working in print?

There are a couple of things that come to mind. For starters, the world needs us. Without our industry the world can’t function. A perfect example would be right now as we live through this virus. Signage is popping up overnight everywhere advising people what to do, for example.  Another example would be medications. But the best part of working and selling print is everyone is a potential client. And as a guy who likes to talk, this industry certainly has enough to offer to allow me that…