The Eindhoven School has provided sign training as part of its curriculum for two years. Next year, the third and final year will commence for students who want to add digital data preparation and management, working with formats and standards and the use of profiles to their manual instruction package. As their training progresses students will also increasingly employ Mimaki printers and cutting plotters.
The Eindhoven School gives its students access to a wide range of equipment, including JV33 and JV5 solvent printers. The JV33 tends to be used by students who are new to the course, whereas the JV5 is used by more experienced students. The range also includes cutting plotters and even a Mimaki UV flatbed printer, which is particularly popular because it can also print white and lacquer. Tutor Ronald den Bekker comments: “The machine attracts a lot of interest but, for the time being, it can only be operated by tutors.”
At the start of the first year students are taught how to cut manually in combination with simple bonding techniques. Thereafter the level rises steadily so that, by applying various techniques, students become familiar with more and more applications and gain a deeper understanding of the machines.
The sign training course is extremely popular. Each year the school receives about 50 applications but is only able to accommodate 25 students. This means that it is in the favourable position of being able to select its intake mainly on the basis of psychological factors. Tutor Ronald den Bekker states: “The Eindhoven school is able to offer a high quality training package because it employs experienced tutors, selection and top of the range equipment. The number of sign training packages is currently mushrooming, which is why we focus on quality and the range of options we can offer our students.”
The third and final year, which is currently under development, will comprise 4 days practical training per week and, in the final stage, a so-called ‘master exam’ aimed at demonstrating the qualities of a successful sign maker. The emphasis on practical training means that the Eindhoven school has strong ties with regional sign makers. Ronald den Bekker adds: “We feel that it is of vital importance that we continue to meet the needs of the companies that provide practical training. That’s why we try to develop tailor made programmes and support in conjunction with these companies.”