The idea behind this site is to discuss print production as opposed to graphic design. They are not the same despite what many print buyers think. A few analogies of the difference might help: the architect (a designer) as opposed to a carpenter or builder; a furniture designer as opposed to the manufacturer; or getting even more extreme, a movie screenwriter as opposed to the director. Basically, one works at their desk with a computer. Others work with their five–or six–senses, in the tangible and real world.
There’s a clear difference and neither works alone in most cases. They need to work as a unit, with the end product being a creation that takes both parts. That end product might be a magazine, book, newsletter, calendar, direct mail package, or a product catalogue.
Strangely, however, most four-year graphic arts schools don’t devote much time to teaching the “production” part of the graphic arts industry. The schools may have the finest, fastest, computers with the latest software and laser or ink-jet printers. But the graduate is usually forced to learn about the tangible world of “print production” on their own – which usually means in the field. If the student is lucky, they might have had a field trip to a printing company to watch some posters being produced by the printing press. That would not be a very helpful experience, though.