His name is Joe Scott, but you can call him...
Many of you have probably met Joe Scott (or at least spoken to him on the phone). He’s the head of our prepress department. Like many employees who start out on the bottom rungs of a company, this isn’t what Joe was originally hired to do. I was in need of a bindery person, and Joe had worked at a local book bindery when he came in for a job interview. In came a nicely dressed guy with long dread-locks. Not the typical look of anyone that my father or uncle had hired in the past, but he seemed like an okay dude. So I made him my first hire ever. Well, I never saw Joe dress as nicely after that, but it didn’t matter. For 17 years now, he has been my right-hand man. (By the way, the dread-locks were cut off shortly after getting sucked into a small printing press!)
Back in 1997, we didn’t have a prepress department. We sent our files out to a service bureau, or put the hard copy artwork in our camera and made film the old-fashioned way. But we were always on the lookout for good, used equipment-usually via a printing auction. During one such auction, we happened to pick up a decent (at the time) Apple Mac computer and a film image-setter. But Mac was like a foreign language to us all. That is, all of us except Joe, who happened to have a Mac at home. By virtue of that, Joe became head of our newly-created prepress department and was given the task of learning all he could about it. Now, when someone starts asking file questions, I usually defer them to Joe, who always has the answer, usually with a joke. For instance, one time a gal called and asked who she was speaking to. Joe said, “My name is Joseph Scott.” She asked, “What do you like to be called?” Joe replied “Captain Awesome!” Hopefully most of you appreciate his sense of humor, which he (of course) combines with a professional work ethic.
Joe married his beautiful wife, Lise, two years after joining Mercurio Brothers Printing. She had just graduated for art school and together they delved headfirst into the world of letterpress. They purchased a Chandler 8 x 12 hand-feed from 1906, and used it to create some pretty amazing works of art- their masterpieces are nothing short of what we produce on our Heidelberg windmill letterpresses.
Having a machine at home has made it easier than ever for Joe and Lise to experiment with new techniques. That is, when he’s not out playing catch with his eight-year-old son, Lucca. And by catch, I mean “kick a football through the kitchen window” Lucca started hyperventilating (as kids are known to do when they think they’re about to be grounded for life), but Joe wasn’t even mad- it was bound to happen eventually. Joe said he looks forward to the day when he can tech Lucca how to letterpress, but in the meantime, “I’ll try to teach him how to kick a football…and miss the windows.
The next time you call Mercurio Brothers, just ask for Captain Awesome. We’ll put you right through.