What is Pre Press?
An Introduction to Prepress
Many people do not understand what Pre Press is. They are oblivious that there was and to a lesser extent now a whole industry based on pre press.
When you produce your artwork, a business card or even a magazine and send it to a printer, even if you are using an online creator, there will be somebody, at some stage, checking that artwork. It may be a person, it may be a program, but never the less your artwork is checked and proofed before sending, in the case of litho – to plate, or in the case of Digital – to print, this is the Pre Press Department. In Essence, Pre Press is the part that links design to print.
Only a couple of decades ago pre-press and reprographic departments were the lynchpin in the printing process, bringing together both design and print. 30 years ago traditional reprographics houses were the norm. Highly skilled production staff manually took artwork from the source and produced film. From the film they then produced plates for printing presses. Today most of this is now an automated process. It still needs a skilled person to spot an error even today. As with most things, many of the reprographics skills have been lost, but of course, a new set of skills have been generated.