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Story by Eric Rosenbaum | Photos by HarderLee Photography
As Senior Account Manager with CBN Commercial Solutions, Craig Blumhagen (PMT ’99) spends as much time in the pressroom as working with clients. His detailed knowledge of its powerful technology — including this Heidelberg Speedmaster® XL106-10P+UV offset press, which can handle everything from fine onionskin paper to cardboard — helps clients get the most impact, even with complex projects where special security components are part of the print process.
CBN is a secure shop, and that’s one of the things that makes us unique. In the course of a typical day, I might be working with clients who need to print sophisticated and sensitive documents including stock certificates, lottery tickets, or tickets for NFL and Major League Baseball teams.
“There are places in this plant I can’t let you see, even in a photograph.”
Essentially my job is to help turn our customers’ ideas into reality. For some commercial customers this means using our wide range of equipment for techniques such as varnishes, foil and embossing. Some customers have projects needing special security measures like invisible inks you can only see under black light. And, since we print stamps, the entire plant has strict climate controls so there’s enough moisture in the air.
I’ve always been drawn to print. As a young boy I remember flipping through my uncle’s comic book collection. That started me thinking how people save comics to pass on to their children. Unlike digital images, you can hold a printed piece in your hand and pass it along to be enjoyed for generations.
Craig Blumhagen (PMT ’99) and the Heidelberg Speedmaster® XL106-10P+UV offset press. Photo by HarderLee Photography.
I also like the creative side of printing and, when my high school counsellor suggested it as a career, I took her advice and enrolled in the Print Management Technology program at SAIT.
My first job was customer service rep, where I stickhandled orders through the production process, checking proofs and working with the staff to meet customers’ deadlines. I eventually made the jump to sales, but I still spend time working with the people in our print shop because I know the processes and I like to make sure my clients are getting what they’re expecting.
In the two decades I’ve been in the industry there have been big changes. While it’s true that people rely increasingly on computers, printing isn’t going away. People still like reading books and magazines, and I jumped at the chance to be included in this edition of LINK.