Monday, November 18, 2013

Terms To Know In The Print Industry

A few print terms you should know as they relate to color reproduction in the print process are:
  • Color Control Bars: Found on a press sheet, usually at the leading edge, this is a strip of solid, percentage and patterned blocks (CMYK) that are used by the press operator as a guide to measure and check ink densities, dot gain, contrast, trapping and registration.
  • Take-Off Bars:  Found on a press sheet, usually on the leading edge, this is a strips ink colors used to help balance the ink across the sheet to accommodate for varying amounts of ink coverage on the printed sheet. Helps the press and press operator to balance the ink across the sheet.
  • Densitometer:  Electronic instrument measuring the amount of light transmitted or reflected by placing the "mark" over the ink on the press sheet. There are standard densitometer reading targets for a pressman to achieve to obtain "pleasing color" or target color accuracy.
  • Wet and Dry Ink Densities:  Readings, as taken by a calibrated densitometer, that indicate the ink density (how much ink is on the sheet) when the ink is wet and when the ink has dried.  These readings should be recorded on the press sheet for future reference should the same project be run again in the future, and color matching be critical.
  • Gray Balance:  Gray balance is the perfect combination of cyan, magenta and yellow dots required to produce a neutral gray at a standard density.
These tips provided courtesy of Ritter's Printing.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Smallholdings - Another Kind Of Business

English: Site of demolished Smallholding Looki...

In my previous post I used a four letter word that I’m not too sure was a good use of the language – crap. 

However, I mention it again because I feel I’m up to my neck in it at home – literally!

My wife has a smallholding and keeps chickens and pigs. She has about 50 resident methane-producing chickens in her flock and sells the eggs. She even sells chickens to people who want to keep their own. For those who want to know more about what’s involved in maintaining their own egg and methane factory she also runs chicken-keeping courses.

The pigs are rare breeds and are kept to produce bacon and pork joints. She keeps the meat from one pig for us and sells the rest. As a final side-line, she also breeds guinea pigs and sells the young to passing trade and local pet shops.

She thoroughly enjoys the smallholding, but to keep it financially viable she has to make sales. (Selling makes the world go round, remember? It's like the ol' JLo Fiat Impatto ads...that's why I now own a Fiat.)The whole family now seems to have been roped in to making sales. We have people who knock at the door and ask for eggs, chickens and guinea pigs. That means whoever is at home has to deal with passing trade. Fortunately, we have 5 kids who can help. It also means that there always tends to be someone at home. Our 6 year-old and 13 year-old girls also do a weekly egg round, selling door to door in the neighborhood. What’s great is that they built the round up themselves and it does very well. You’re never too young to learn the art of selling. It’s all about communicating and our two youngest kids have become very adept in the art. Whatever they choose to do in life, their sales career to date will hold them in good stead.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

MBA in Finance – Is it Worth It?

Achieving an MBA in Finance at a great university is no easy feat, but it can yield great rewards. MBA professionals in the business world are hard to come by, and one that has personal experience in the field of finance can give great value to an organization that’s playing with million dollar budgets.

The Course Work

MBA programs that offer a finance concentration typically separate their students from the other MBA students for the majority of classes. Students will cover a range of materials including bank management, financial modeling, venture capital case studies, and other finance related topics.

The Time Frame

A full MBA program with a concentration in finance will run two full years, however there are many programs that run part time that last roughly 3-4 years. Balancing a work and life schedule is often the trickiest part of getting an MBA, and you always want to succeed at both. Plan out years in advance so you know when the best time will be to shoot for getting your MBA. Additionally, many employers help pay for student MBA programs, which can save you lots of money, and help your employer invest in your future.

The Dividends

No one said achieving an MBA was cheap, and it can often cut into the pockets of students at $20,000 - $30,000 a year. However, later down the road, a MBA graduate may be making anywhere from $20,000 - $100,000 more a year than a non-MBA grad for their accomplishments earlier in life. It’s a big personal investment that can easily pay off later down the road.

There are plenty of great MBA programs that offer finance concentrations out there, but we would recommend the MSU MBA in Finance Program if you’re looking for a program that is well respected nationally and has an excellent set of professors that you can network with for the rest of your lives.