The Cal Poly Graphic Communication (GrC) Department will honor the Dow Jones & Company, among others, during its annual International Printing Week, which runs from Jan. 25 to 28. The event is meant to host and honor various industry members as well as provide networking for students.
“(Printing Week) is celebrated in a big way here at Cal Poly,” head of the GrC department Harvey Levenson said. “We have well-known speakers come from all over the country and honor supporters who have made dedications to the department”
Levenson said the Dow Jones & Company will receive a dedication to honor its $110,000 donation to aid with printing technology and education within the department.
“The lab, where the Mustang Daily is produced, will now be the Dow Jones & Company Web Printing Laboratory,” Levenson said. “The (printing press) capacity has been doubled, and the reason we were able to was the donation from Dow Jones & Company to upgrade the press.”
The printing press, currently located in 26-A and named Printing Press underwent the upgrades which improved both its capacity and color printing technology, all of which was possible because of the donation.
Professor emeritus of the department Frank Romano, who is teaching at Cal Poly for the Winter 2011 quarter only, said, GrC departments generally depend on industry support and the dedication reflects this.
“Cal Poly, like most graphic communication schools in America, are dependent on people in the industry,” he said. “Dow Jones & Company has done a lot for education and support for graphic communication in the United States.”
Printing Week is a way for the department to celebrate both the industry and give various dedications such as this one. Other planned events include lectures, demonstrations, banquet and career fair.
At the events, students will be able to network with representatives from companies such as Kodak, Dow Jones & Company, EskoArtwork, Hewlett Packard, FujiFilm and RR Donnelley.
This year’s theme is, “Graphic Communication = The Production of Knowledge,” which Levenson said he thought of because GrC leads directly to the dissemination of knowledge.
“(GrC) is the production of information, and information leads to knowledge,” he said. “It is the production of knowledge.”
Levenson said he started as department head 28 years ago, and has hosted International Printing Week at Cal Poly every year since — the first one was in 1984.
Printing Week is celebrated throughout the United States and falls closely to Benjamin Franklin’s birthday on Jan. 17. This is because it serves as a way for all those involved to celebrate and commemorate Benjamin Franklin’s contributions to the printing industry.
Printing institutions wouldn’t be what they are today without Franklin’s influences, Levenson said.
Romano also said Printing Week is largely influence by Benjamin Franklin because, after he became involved with the printing and publishing industries, he was able to become the historical figure he is recognized as today.
“It is good (the GrC industry) celebrates Benjamin Franklin and printing,” Romano said. “It was printing and publishing which helped him get involved and help create America, and for that, we should celebrate.”
GrC senior Tessa Libby said she has participated in Printing Week in the past and plans to attend again this year.
“This year I’m especially excited for the banquet for networking and Career Day, because I’m looking for a job so that definitely helps,” Libby said.
Romano will be the keynote speaker at the banquet on Jan. 13. During the event, three GrC students will receive scholarships — the Terry Bell Memorial Endowment Scholarship, the George Prue Endowment Scholarship and the Paul B. Kissel “Philosopher of Printing” Endowment Scholarship, Levenson said.
Chelsea Knighton, who is also a GrC senior, said the GrC department really helps encourage students to attend. In the past, her GrC classes have been canceled when the lectures and demonstrations have coincided so students can attend the lectures instead.
“I think (Printing Week) is a great opportunity for students to network with industry professionals and get more involved with the graphic communication community,” Knighton said.
Levenson said Printing Week is just one way for the department to honor the supporters and help students get involved as well as reflect on GrC in a larger sense as well.
“Graphic communication relates to production and distribution of print media,” Levenson said. “If it wasn’t for graphic communication, law, education, religion and other great institutions wouldn’t be what they are today.”
This attitude centered around institutions sharing knowledge through GrC is why the department has opened up its Graphic Communication Institute (GrCI) at Cal Poly to the general public in San Luis Obispo.
The GrCI program is an institute for the GrC industry that specializes in research, testing, training, publishing and product evaluations, Levenson said.
Established in July 2001, GrCI was originally a program only available to companies paying for their professional skills services, GrCI Manager Lyndee Sing said.
“(GrCI) is an arm of the department that works with people in the industry and hosts technical workshops paid for by their companies,” Sing said.
However, GrCI has recently opened its resources up to the San Luis Obispo community. Classes are taught in the GrC labs on campus about application specific programs such as Adobe Photoshop and InDesign as well as web design, e-books and digital publishing.
“This is a new thing we are trying to target the local community,” Sing said. “It might just be someone interested with a hobby or doing something personal.”
Workshops are $195 each and last for about one and a half to two days. Registration for workshops is available online.