Meet the Women in Print: Cindy Victor
'Large-format commercial printing is sexy in a way,' says superGraphics' senior director.
Accomplishments: Over 25 years' experience in the graphics industry; involved with the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and works with Art with Heart, American Cancer Society, Greater NW Chapter of MS Society, Special Olympics Washington, Fred Hutch Cancer, and Pete Gross House
Through her supremely positive demeanor and infectious personality, Cindy has the ability to connect multiple departments and unite them behind a common vision. Her energy creates momentum, and team creativity is unleashed cross-functionally from intern to senior vice president.
–Ryan Broderson, director of sales and marketing, superGraphics
Over the years, you’ve worked as a graphic designer, print buyer, salesperson, and now PSP business development manager. How has your work in each of these roles benefited and/or influenced your current position?
Full Speed Ahead, Educate Yourself
Starting my career in the advertising world at the second largest agency in Seattle as a paste-up intern turned out to be the best career starter one could ever wish for. (Yes, it felt like the post-“Mad Men” era.)
There are unique competitive advantages that come from starting at the bottom. I was like a sponge, soaking up all my new graphic design responsibilities, learning advertising lingo, meeting with colleagues, asking a million questions, listening, and being part of our collaborative client meetings, all-night preparations for new client pitches, creating exciting campaigns with my team, and directing commercials.
This, by the way, was my favorite part of my job. I couldn't get enough. This type of education was much different than my four years of college!
Something I had to learn, however, was work-life balance. Agencies may be different today, but as I recall, we worked day and night.
My informative three-to-four year advertising career as intern, designer, and art director taught me well. My respected mentor always said: Show up, be prepared, listen, take on the hard projects, execute well, have fun, laugh, and you will succeed.
I still meet with my ole pals. I owe them a lot for teaching me the ropes! I continue to be the younger intern when I'm with them.
Work Hard, Enjoy Life, and Give Back
As I walked through the doors of my new job in Tukwila, [Washington,] I knew right away this was going to be fun.
Commercial printing took me in a different direction, yet still related. Instead of designing, I was implementing other designers’ works. I took this very seriously, as I knew the path in which these projects came to be.
This was such a great fit. Sales isn't for everyone, but I've always considered it a partnership. This was a perfect combination of design, print, collaboration, and solutions. The variety was refreshing. New projects every day. Faster pace, more clients. (My first cell phone bill was $648, 25 years ago.)
Meeting with clients is vital. You can't beat face-to-face time. This is valuable, so use the time wisely.
Having an excellent boss putting us in a position to succeed was something I'll never forget. I grew up here. We had marriages, babies, parties, funerals, celebrations, contests, and fabulous trips. We treated each other well. My internal support was just as important as my clients. I learned early that respect and understanding go a long way. I couldn't have done what I did without them!
I'm still trying to convince myself that the years of 2 a.m. press checks built character.
We helped communities, we donated, we were encouraged to give back, we took classes, went to speaking engagements and motivational seminars, and joined many organizations. We all became more aware, compassionate, balanced people. And we did great work. Our clients became our friends. Their brands grew like wildfire. As they grew, so did we. They pushed us, we pushed them.
Technology and equipment were changing overnight. We were all trying to keep up with one another. Customer loyalty was always much appreciated; we trusted one another. I will always appreciate the life lessons I learned here.
Share Your Passion and Gratitude
Large-format commercial printing is sexy in a way. When I’m walking through T-Mobile, Microsoft retail, Amazon, or Boeing, or if I’m just standing at the base of CenturyLink Field looking up at the humongous digital graphic of Russell Wilson and team, I feel grateful to be part of this creative industry and live in the Pacific Northwest where we have so many distinctive, quality corporations. Their brands stick out like no other!
We are a design-build manufacturer, providing environmental design, graphics, and signage solutions from concept to completion. I am fortunate enough to work with experienced professionals and inventors. They amaze me every day. They take it to a whole new level of the “wow” factor! We work with small, medium, and Fortune 500 companies. Our team pairs well with complex corporations.
Our projects range from large-scale construction and international events to corporate rebranding and interior graphic décor. Working in tandem with various commercial general contractors, developers, and construction companies solving many of the most technically challenging projects is an exciting process that I thoroughly thrive on.
My job is such a great culmination of my whole career. I still ask questions and am innately curious. I’m truly passionate about what I do and how I can contribute to creating distinctive, targeted branding for our clients.
My early mentors were right, and their advice continues to be on point: Show up, be prepared, listen, take on the hard projects and execute them well, have fun and laugh, and you will succeed.
What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishment?
I would have to say all the extraordinary friends I have made throughout my career is by far my biggest reward.
My most notable accomplishment has been published in papers and trade magazines: The Boeing factory door rebrand. We hold the Guinness World Record. Boeing chose superGraphics to produce and install the world’s largest digital graphic on the world’s largest manufacturing plant hangar doors at Paine Field in Everett, Washington.
The installation and adhesion process took a great deal of planning and precision. More than six football fields long, the graphic spanned over six hangar doors, four that were 300 feet wide and two that were 350 feet wide. If all of the graphics used on the doors were laid flat on the ground, more than 12,000 average-sized adults could lay down on the graphic.
The mural has become an iconic figure in the community. More than a quarter million tourists see the Boeing hangar door graphics every year. Travelers can get an aerial glimpse of the colorful doors as they fly into Washington, and drivers along the highway next to the facility can take it in from their cars.
SuperGraphics has worked with Boeing for many years. We understand their expectations and guidelines when it comes to the design, production, and installation of digital graphics for the aerospace industry. This was a unique opportunity for me to direct this project to say the least. What a spectacular experience! It was a ton of work and immense coordination, of course, but the outcome was amazing as you stand like a small ant next to the gigantic beautiful doors. superGraphics took the airline brand experience to the next level!