What is Prepress?

What is Prepress?


Two prepress workers checking the print quality of a piece in a print shop.

Prepress technicians play an important role at every printing company, and ours is no different! Over the years, as Colortech has grown, we have expanded their capabilities, and the team is slowly growing. We have had several local high school students studying graphic arts hear about it and ask us, “What is prepress?”.

Here’s a simple explanation. To start, it is a great option for design students who aren’t as interested in creative work and would rather focus on production. Creative work is much more open-ended; our designers interpret clients’ ideas into a communicable, visual message. On the other hand, prepress work ensures that these pieces are going to print in the way the client wants. In other words, they are more focused on making a tangible piece print as well as it can. These technicians do not worry about how the content on the page is being communicated; that is the designer’s job.

More or less, a prepress technician checks proofs of all of our print materials to make sure the formatting, text, and color are correct before printing commences. For example, our clients often have specific brand colors that must match exactly what we have printed for them before. Before the job prints, a prepress technician will go into the design file to be sure these colors are what they should be.

Other duties that they perform simultaneously are to set up bleed, outline text for typesetting, and reformat the files. For instance, when printing a magazine, we must place the pages in a specific order for printing due to the way we stitch them together. Prepress technicians are knowledgeable on all of these more technical aspects. In addition, they may help set up press equipment and perform any necessary maintenance.

Quality control is one of the most important aspects of printing and something we take pride in. Because of that, our prepress technicians undoubtedly have one of the most important jobs in the building!

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June 7, 2024

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