Connect with us

Editorial Insights

Back to School




DO YOU REMEMBER your first day of school? Cartoon-themed lunch bag and oversized book bag in tow, sporting a brand-new outfit, with a parental figure guiding you to a daunting yellow school bus filled with kids who just looked like they already belonged.

Replace the Disney packs with a laptop, business-casual dress, and a stack of fresh business cards, flash forward roughly 25 years, and there’s me on the first day of SGIA’s WB/Camp in Sacramento — my first screen printing event.

Unlike my actual first day of kindergarten, in my public school uniform, crying to my dad not to leave me, I was excited – and definitely overdressed – but ready to dive into unfamiliar territory.

The room was filled with industry vets and print service provider powerhouses and we all had one thing in common. We were there to learn. And that’s exactly what we did.

Not only did I receive a full day of water-based ink education, I also learned a plethora of new terms like emulsion, flash mechanic, and donut probe. I’m not going to lie; this last one got me. At a wide-format printing event a couple of years ago I could have sworn I heard “hot dog hour.” You can imagine my level of disappoint when I showed up to “happy hour.” However, donut probes do exist!

I made some friends, too. I finally got to meet Screen Printing columnist Marshall Atkinson, freelance writer and industry expert Mark Coudray, and Rising Stars Award winner Danny Gruninger of Denver Print House. Frank Vacanti, art production manager at Live Nation Merchandise, shared legendary stories from Winterland and what it’s like to print merch for Madonna, Rolling Stones, and Grateful Dead over boxed lunches and chocolate chip cookies (I told you it was like grade school). And Brett Bowden, owner of Printed Threads and the event’s emcee, kept me laughing with some of the best dry humor and comedic timing I’ve witnessed in a while.


When my dad picked me up from school that first day long ago, my tone had changed. With a smile on my face and pep in my step, I told him I had the best first day; I couldn’t wait to go back.

Thanks for the best first day, screen printers. I can’t wait for the next one.

Adrienne Palmer is the editor-in-chief of Big Picture and Screen Printing magazines. She joined Big Picture magazine in 2012 after graduating from Ohio University's E.W. Scripps School of Journalism with a BA in magazine journalism. During her time with Big Picture, she has held the roles of assistant editor, associate editor, and managing editor; she added sister publication Screen Printing magazine to her resume in 2019. She is a 2019 Folio: Top Woman in Media; spearheads Big Picture's annual Women in Wide Format Awards and Best of Wide Format Awards as well as Screen Printing's annual Women in Screen Printing Awards; is on the board of Printing United Alliance's Women in Print Alliance and the U.N.I.T.E. Together diversity and inclusion program; hosts the Screen Saver podcast; and represents the Big Picture and Screen Printing teams at numerous industry events year-round as a speaker, moderator, and panelist.



Let’s Talk About It

Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Screen Printing Industry

LET’S TALK About It: Part 3 discusses how four screen printers have employed people with disabilities, why you should consider doing the same, the resources that are available, and more. Watch the live webinar, held August 16, moderated by Adrienne Palmer, editor-in-chief, Screen Printing magazine, with panelists Ali Banholzer, Amber Massey, Ryan Moor, and Jed Seifert. The multi-part series is hosted exclusively by ROQ.US and U.N.I.T.E Together. Let’s Talk About It: Part 1 focused on Black, female screen printers and can be watched here; Part 2 focused on the LGBTQ+ community and can be watched here.

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular