Catching The Technology Wave
AS JASON James Seto sees it, he was born to be a craftsman. Following in a long line of family members that have learned a trade, Seto chose printing as his profession at an early age. He now serves as the administrator at the in-plant for the Hawaii State Department of Education (HDE) in Honolulu, and holds the title of Reprographics Specialist III.
Seto made his first splash into the graphic arts scene while in middle school, taking on bindery and plate making duties at his uncle’s commercial print shop. His high school also had a print shop, where he took graphic arts courses. By the time he graduated from high school, Seto could run every machine in his uncle’s shop.
From there, the native Hawaiian headed to the mainland to attend Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, where he graduated with a degree in Graphic Communications in 1975. He then landed a job with magazine publisher Peterson Publishing in Los Angeles, producing various automotive magazines, including Motor Trend. The self-described “old-time drag racer” recalls getting a thrill by taking the first look at layouts of the car publications.
“I learned a lot, and it was exciting to be in L.A., but it wasn’t home,” Seto admits. So he returned to Hawaii with his college degree and a fresh set of skills and accepted a position back at his uncle’s commercial shop. Later, he took on the challenge of running the in-plant for Kaiser Foundation Hospitals.
But it was in 1992 that Seto made the move to the shop he still calls home. He came to the HDE’s print shop as a Reprographics Specialist II, which was a production supervisor position. The in-plant was housed in a cramped 5,000-square-foot space in a classroom building, and was running a handful of small presses.