April 25, 2022 / Employee Spotlight

Norton appreciates work “herding digital cats”

Written by Walsworth Staff

For the rest of this year, Walsworth will be featuring an Employee Spotlight series on its websites as part of the company’s celebration of its 85th anniversary. Walsworth’s people are our most important resource and the Employee Spotlights will give you a chance to get to know them better.

Phil Norton

Prepress Department – Ripon, Wisconsin

At Walsworth, I’m a technician in Walsworth – Ripon’s Prepress Department. Our customers can have very different levels of technical ability, so supplied files can range all the way from “print-ready” to “dumpster fire.”

The way I would describe my day-to-day work is, “Like herding digital cats.”

Prepress is the gatekeeper to our production process. No matter how messed up the supplied pages are when they arrive, we push, pull, and cajole them through as much refining as it takes to pass along clean files that will behave themselves nicely on whatever press is called for.

I was originally hired on to Walsworth as a CSR, which gives me a good understanding of how customers relate to the process of getting their books, magazines and catalogs brought to life.

I have worked five years in print production and coming up on my first year at Walsworth.

My first experience with printing was when I was eight or nine years old. I made business cards for my brother and myself. There were dragons and lightning bolts, and I laminated them with cellophane tape.

What I enjoy most about my position are those times when the usual remedies can’t fix the problem. I really like knowing that by “thinking outside the box” we were able to make a press operator’s life a little easier, instead of sending them a potential head-scratcher.

If I had a personalized coffee mug at work, it would say “Hang on. Let me overthink this.”

What makes me want to come to work every day is another opportunity to save the galaxy from short bleeds and missing spot color.

I really appreciate working for a stable, growing company with such a great culture of respect and helping each other out.

A fun fact about me is my DNA reveals that 1.6% of my ancestry hails from Finland. Skoal!

My wife and I have two kids and one grandchild, so far. Our dog Bingo barks furiously at the clothes washer whenever it’s spin-cycling.

When I’m not at work, I enjoy playing tennis, bird watching, drawing, Wordle, watching movies and burning stuff in my back yard. I have also coached a few U8 soccer teams as a volunteer.

A favorite memory I have here was being utterly baffled by arriving for work one day and walking into a completely dark and totally deserted building last spring. Ripon had been hit by a violent windstorm that knocked out the power during the night, but I hadn’t been notified.

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Walsworth Staff

As part of Walsworth's 85th Anniversary celebration, these Employee Spotlight posts were written and submitted by Walsworth Staff from all over the company, in order to give you a look at all the wonderful folks that make our company what it is.