We sat down with our Managing Director, Nathan Swinson-Bullough to see what he had to say about his illustrious career within the wide format print industry.
He let us know all about his past, his future, and why he thinks that qualifications should not define those working within the manufacturing sector.
Hi, my name’s Nathan Swinson-Bullough and I am the Managing Director of Imageco.
Here’s some quick-fire facts about me:
I first started at Imageco in March 2003, back when it was still in the Warner Village Complex in Kirkstall, with the hopes of being a Mac Operator. Safe to say I didn’t expect to get to where I am now!
My first role at Imageco was running the Zünd cutting machine as well as doing some CAD vinyl and Mac work. As the business grew and expanded, I then moved to the print department for several years. So, I got to experience a wide variety of areas within the business very early on. I think this ultimately helped me to understand what really went into running a large print team on a wider scale.
These skills were essential when I became Imageco’s Head of Print in 2009, and then the Managing Director in 2015. I’m extremely lucky to have worked with such an amazing team over the past 20 years who have persevered through some really tough times and helped me to achieve things I could have only dreamed of.
I kind of fell in to the wide format print industry after I graduated University with a BA in Industrial and Product Design. I knew I wanted to do something cool and creative but wasn’t sure a career as a professional artist was the right way to go. I also could never see myself working in a stuffy office full-time! So wide format print fit the bill. I was given work experience at Sky Sports in London by a friend who helped me build a portfolio, and from then I came back to Leeds seeking out Mac design work in print or similar.
I landed a job a Nova Display where I was for 3 years before getting lucky with a position at Imageco.
There is so much more to the print industry than meets the eye, something that I don’t think many young people are aware of. From accounting to 3D design the careers at Imageco alone are incredibly varied and give you the chance to work with some world-class brands such as Dr Martens and the other big names.
Moreover, you don’t need specific qualifications to get your foot in the door of the wide format print industry. There are so many apprenticeships on offer, including studio and print finishing. As a company, we see the print industry as a great avenue for young people to learn a modern trade that rewards hard work. As long as your polite, interested, and have a good work ethic, you can go far.
My biggest piece of advice is to anyone looking for career in the print industry is- DO IT! Don’t worry about your qualifications, instead focus on your skill set. Commitment goes along way, just look at me. From being a council estate kid blasting around on a scooter to the Managing Director of an award-winning company, if you work persist, you can achieve anything.
Are you looking to pursue a career in the wide-format print industry? Head over to our careers page to see what skills and qualifications you could achieve as part of the Imageco team, or get in contact with our team.