Ken Lantz believes that if you share your knowledge, you just may get some in return.
It was well into his pursuit of an associate's degree in graphic arts when Ken Lantz had a revelation. "I'd learned how to make plates, to set type and run a press," he recalls. "One day, it dawned on me. I said, 'Yeah! This is good. This is for me!' I decided to go for a bachelor's degree, and since [Rochester Institute of Technology] was the best printing school in the country, I applied there. [But] I still had some interest in being an art director," Lantz explains.
Then, with the RIT diploma in hand, he embarked on his career—landing his first job as a mechanical artist for a print supplier in New Jersey. "It was one of those high-volume, low-quality sell-sheet places," he recalls.
A year into the job, Lantz was promoted to the role of production manager, and took charge of the photo studio, and the production and prepress teams.
"The best thing that happened to me there," he says, "was having to look at about 2,000 chromes a day. You acquire an eye for color. I learned more about film than I ever wanted to know."
Joining the Ad Community
Evaluating color would come in handy when Lantz was introduced to the bright and colorful world of advertising. For more than four years, he worked for a business-to-business agency as a production manager.
Lantz held production posts for two more agencies before joining Foote Cone & Belding (FCB) New York in 1992, where he started as director of production and traffic services for the agency's FCB HealthCare division.
Within three years he was promoted to director of the division's Print Support Group. His responsibilities broadened, encompassing production, traffic, proofreading, word processing, IT, art and the print studios.