The Curious Kind
Dora Braschi Cardinale credits curiosity, optimism and an appreciation for the creative process with driving her charmed life in publishing.
The publisher-printer relationship is often called "a partnership." But it was in 1980 when Dora Braschi entered into a different kind of publisher-printer partnership, thanks to a moment in time when the worlds of printing and publishing collided. She met her husband of 21 years, Ernest V. Cardinale.
Early in her career, she joined a local graphic arts society and took one of the group's educational tours around Manhattan for visits with graphic arts businesses. "One of the places we visited was Quality Photo Engraving. And [Ernie] gave us the plant tour. He was substituting for the person … listed on our program, so I thought his name was Richard Portugal."
Six months later, she saw him at a vendor party following an industry conference. "He came over and said, 'I know this is going to sound like a stupid line, but do we know each other?' "
"Eventually, we figured it out," Cardinale continues. "I said, 'Wait a minute! You taught the course the night that I went to Quality Photo Engraving. You're Richard Portugal!' And he said, 'No, I'm not!' That's how it all started."
Ernie Cardinale spent more than 50 years in the graphic arts industry himself, in publishing, prepress and printing. "He's the person who taught me the most. … I like to tell people that he's forgotten more about this business than I'll ever know. And it's true. He's been my greatest support and my best critic," she affirms.
When Left Brain Meets Right
It's difficult to imagine there was ever any cause for criticism about Dora Braschi Cardinale's career. In fact, her tenure in publishing has been quite charmed.
"I graduated with a liberal arts degree from SUNY [the State University of New York], with a major in theater," Cardinale recalls. "I got out of school and saw that there were people who were far more talented than I who couldn't get work. Well, I wasn't ready for all that rejection, and I needed a job."