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Industry legend bows out at 86

Friday, 02 November 2018
By Jake Nelson

A million stories: Norman J. Field (right) with partner Elly Wilson.

Printing industry stalwart Norman J. Field is retiring at the age of 86, after more than 60 years in the industry.

An honour: Dave Chaplin, Eastern Press.

Founder of Norman J. Field Printing, Field has spent the past 18 years consulting for Victoria’s Eastern Press. Colleague Dave Chaplin, senior account manager at Eastern, said Field was a ground-breaker, having been the first printer in Australia to produce 200-line screen print. “He’s always been known for the quality of his work and his high ethical standards,” said Chaplin. “He’s one of these blokes who has a million stories. He’s had a wonderful career and he’s a great gentleman, so it’ll be sad to see him go.

“It’s been an honour and a pleasure to work with him. He’s raised the bar for the industry over the years.”

Field was the recipient of this year’s Industry Legend Award at the National Print Awards, and reflected on the monumental changes he’d seen over the course of his career in his acceptance speech. “Having spent 62 years in this exciting industry, I have witnessed incredible changes from my first introduction to Gestetner machines using typewriters to cut stencils which could only produce typewritten copy with no images,” he said. “I always embraced, and willingly experimented with, any new products which I believed kept the company ahead of the competition.

“After growing from two employees to 168 over 20 years, I am eternally grateful to the wonderful people who gave the company such a great reputation, and I thank them for their expertise and friendship.”

Field will now be able to spend more time with his family, including partner Elly Wilson, his adult children, and his grandchildren.

3 Responses to “Industry legend bows out at 86”

  1. November 02, 2018 at 2:12 pm,

    Neil C Mulveney

    Remember me – Neil Mulveney

  2. November 05, 2018 at 1:06 pm,

    John Shallvey

    lets hope that the Legacy Norman J has left is long remembered?

  3. November 09, 2018 at 1:38 pm,

    David Kiernan

    Norman J.,

    Coming up to 40 years in print and media I can only imagine and marvel at what the next 20 years will bring, and hope to be still tracking at 60 years as you did!

    You were always an innovator and early adopter of technology, not for its own sake but as a means to deliver market differenciation at the highest level of quality.

    200 line screen gave way to 300, and even supporting the many technical issues we had to push the quite experimental boundary to 500 lines.

    The hardware and software was leading edge from pre-press to bindery, from early adoption of plate and press scanning to widespread use of roll top frames, previsualisation scanning and colour correction, CAD, proofing automation, latest presses and high quality finishing, the list is extensive. It was a challenging and even a fun environment to work in!

    And the printed material was always high quality from Art books to government projects, corporate launches and even a foray into Xmas wrapping papers, all produced with the same attention to client detail, satisfaction and finish.

    Thanks for the opportunity to have worked with you and the support you gave to us then young and sometimes crazy guys in perhaps what were the halcyon days of Australian print.

    Enjoy your well earned retirement!

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