Women in Manufacturing
Spotlight: Chloé Lépine, account manager and marketing co-ordinator at Paragraph
By PrintAction Staff
By PrintAction Staff
Chloé Lépine is an account manager and marketing co-ordinator at Paragraph, Montreal. At a time when the industry is struggling to recruit young talent, it is reassuring to discover emerging leaders like Lépine who are optimistic about the industry’s future.
What is the state of the print industry today, in your opinion?
CL: Throughout history, the print industry has steadily grown. It has changed constantly, but I think it has evolved more in the past 10 to 15 years. The introduction and continuous improvement of digital technologies have made this even more true, as new opportunities are now at our disposal. The exciting part is that technology and equipment are evolving. This makes the print industry a very fast paced and dynamic one. There was a point when people thought the print industry would slowly die, and make way for everything digital. Of course, this theory has been proven wrong. It isn’t a matter of print vs. electronic media. A combination of both can be a powerful communication tool.
What attracted you to the print industry?
CL: I was around my father’s business since a young age. He built Paragraph in 1989, working with his associate and two pressmen. Today, the company employs more than 200 people and is constantly growing. When I was 14 years old, I started working summer jobs in the bindery and I filed dockets for a couple of years. While there, I became curious about the work, clients and the beautiful products we were making. From that moment, whenever I walked into a store, I would try to locate the work we had done. It made me proud, and also made me realize print is everywhere! I understood quickly there are many opportunities in this industry, but no one is really aware of it, yet.
How can the industry attract more young people?
CL: Young people don’t consider printing because the industry isn’t well known. Further, a lot of youngsters are focused on ‘new media’. They don’t realize print goes hand in hand with new media. It isn’t about just printing. It’s the whole process of creating displays or marketing materials that will help companies reach their clients better and faster.
In such a competitive landscape, how can printers win more sales?
CL: I think printers who understand their job goes beyond “putting ink on paper” will win more sales. The goal of printers is to produce pieces that drive our customers’ sales. Print buyers are not experts, so they will appreciate someone guiding them and proposing original and creative concepts to help them reach their clients.
What are some of the biggest opportunities in the print industry?
CL: Digital printing! It allows for flexibility and agility. Both are important in today’s market conditions. Digital printing allows customers to test multiple offers and to use personalization tools with variable images or text. They can produce personalized printed pieces suited for each audience segment, at full production speed, without sacrificing quality or spending more once the variable data has been programmed. Digital printing for packaging is also a big opportunity. In the cosmetics or consumer goods industries, for example, packaging is a major area of focus because it often plays a big part in product selection by consumers. Digital short run packaging testing can help companies understand what types of shapes, colours and adornments impact buying decisions. Whether it’s for evaluating alternative ideas or simply trying to maximize impact through a highly personalized approach, the possibilities with digital printing are endless.
What do you think is the most exciting thing about print today?
CL: Most people are realizing print is an important part of the communication mix, and it is definitely here to stay. Another exciting aspect is the continuous improvement in equipment and technology. As mentioned earlier, digital printing offers a lot of flexibility. Ten years ago, digital printing was still considered ‘less than’ for many. Look at all the opportunities available today. Imagine where technology could take us in 10 years.
Lépine’s responses were edited for length. For more Q&A Spotlight interviews, please visit www.printaction.com/profile.
This article originally appeared in the November 2021 issue of PrintAction.