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Jobs 101: Printing services director

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Find out who works behind the scenes to create those colourful posters and banners you see around town!

During your daily commute to work or school, you might have noticed the variety of graphics, posters and banners plastered on the walls, each serving different purposes.

To find out who works tirelessly behind the scenes to create these striking displays, we had a quick chat with Derrick Wong, a printing services director whose clients range from large corporations to students.

Who: Derrick Wong, 33

Occupation: Printing services director, owner of printing company Asia CES (formerly known as Cutting Edge Sticker)

Studied: Precision Engineering in ITE College West

Derrick-with-printing-maching
DERRICK WITH ONE OF HIS PRINTING MACHINES. 

Tell us more about yourself.

I studied at the former ITE Pasir Panjang before moving to the Bukit Batok campus. I joined this business because my hobby was racing motorcycles in Malaysia and that got me interested in vehicle stickers.

How did you get into the printing business?

I pasted a lot of motorcycle decals on my bike when I was racing. After a while, I realised that paying for new decals was expensive, so I got a small printing press for myself. I printed out decals for myself and my teammates, and started printing for other motorcyclists as well.

Eventually, I started a printing business from home. After I registered my business, we started printing for commercial vehicles and expanded to other services.

standee-of-Fann-and-Christopher
ASIA CES PROVIDES A LARGE VARIETY OF PRINTING SERVICES. A STANDEE DISPLAYED AT FANN WONG AND CHRISTOPHER LEE'S CELEBRITY WEDDING (PICTURED) WAS CREATED AND SPONSORED BY THE COMPANY.
PHOTO CREDIT: DERRICK WONG

Describe a typical day at work.

I start up the machines, clean them and check if they are working smoothly. Then, I check with my staff to see what other business is going on.

What kind of printing services do students and youths usually request?

The requests I get from youths are mostly from polytechnic students who need PVC banners and posters for their projects.

We sponsor these services to help them out. It is a win-win situation because they also advertise for us – our logo is displayed on their posters and banners.

What is the most challenging thing about your job?

Installing stickers. Some stickers have to be installed at heights which can go up to four metres. You need to paste the sticker according to how the client wants it. Wall graphics are especially challenging because you need to align different stickers accurately to make up the whole graphic. The stickers might be damaged if you are not careful.

iceberg-graphics-on-Kallang-ice-world-wall
THE ICEBERG GRAPHICS ON THE WALLS OF KALLANG ICE WORLD WERE CREATED AND INSTALLED BY ASIA CES.
PHOTO CREDIT: DERRICK WONG

Are there any particularly challenging jobs that you remember?

I remember one design which was supposed to give an optical illusion when you looked at it. It was made up of tiny dots of about three to five millimetres each. The width of the whole graphic was 10 meters long, so it required a lot of work to paste all these tiny stickers over the huge area.

How long have you been in this industry and how have you seen it change?

I registered my business in 2005, but worked for about two years from home before that. There are more printing companies now, so business is more competitive. Since our clients like our work, we can keep going and stay in business.

Educational requirements: No requirements, just good business sense.

Qualities: Friendly and easygoing to manage clients' requests.

Working hours: 9am to 6pm on weekdays. You might need to work beyond these hours to complete your clients’ requests on time.

Salary range: Starting pay from $1,000 a month, and it varies after that.

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