Profession prepress operator

Prepress operators create a prepress proof, or sample of what the finished product will look like. In many printing contracts, the client at this stage decides whether the print can go through as planned. Since the printing processes for proofs are different from those used in the final process, proofs are always an approximation.

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Personality Type

  • Artistic / Investigative
  • Realistic / Conventional

Knowledge

  • Graphics editor software

    The field of graphical ICT tools which enable digital editing and composition of graphics, such as GIMP, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator, to develop both 2D raster or 2D vector graphics.

  • Adobe Photoshop

    The computer program Adobe Photoshop is a graphical ICT tool which enables digital editing and composition of graphics to generate both 2D raster or 2D vector graphics. It is developed by the software company Adobe.

  • Types of paper

    The different criteria used to determine differences in paper types such as coarseness and thickness, and the different fabrication methods and wood types from which the types of paper stem.

  • Adobe Illustrator

    The computer program Adobe Illustrator CC is a graphical ICT tool which enables digital editing and composition of graphics to generate both 2D raster or 2D vector graphics. It is developed by the software company Adobe.

  • Proofing methods

    Various proofing methods are needed for certain kinds of products. They range from soft proofing, which presents the result on a monitor, to hard proofing, where an actual printed sample of the product is obtained.

  • SketchBook Pro

    The computer program SketchBook Pro is a graphical ICT tool which enables digital editing and composition of graphics to generate both 2D raster or 2D vector graphics. It is developed by the software company Autodesk.

  • Synfig

    The computer program Synfig is a graphical ICT tool which enables digital editing and composition of graphics to generate both 2D raster or 2D vector graphics. It is developed by Robert Quattlebaum.

  • Prepress processes

    The processes that occur between the creation of a print layout and the final printing, such as copyediting, proofing, proofreading and others.

  • Printing techniques

    The techniques and processes to reproduce text and images using a master form or template such as letterpress printing, gravure, and laser printing.

  • Microsoft Visio

    The computer program Microsoft Visio is a graphical ICT tool which enables digital editing and composition of graphics to generate both 2D raster or 2D vector graphics. It is developed by the software company Microsoft.

  • GIMP

    The computer program GIMP is a graphical ICT tool which enables digital editing and composition of graphics to generate both 2D raster or 2D vector graphics. It is developed by The GIMP Development Team.

Skills

  • Arrange printer sheets

    Fully arrange or separate a printed product's pages on a printer sheet in order to reduce paper waste and printing time by using an imposition proof.

  • Provide customised products

    Make and develop custom-made products and solutions for customer's specific needs.

  • Inspect printing output

    Verify that the printing output is satisfactory using various methods such as visual verification, use of spectrophotometers or densitometers. The problems that might occur include misregisters or colour variation.

  • Operate printing machinery

    Operate machinery for various types of printed documents, adjusting the font, paper size, and weight. This allows ascenders and descenders to be correctly placed.

  • Perform image editing

    Edit various types of images such as analogue and digital photographs or illustrations.

  • Interpret illustration needs

    Communicate with clients, editors and authors in order to interpret and fully understand their professional needs.

  • Use microsoft office

    Possess the ability to work with the standard programs contained in Microsoft Office at a capable level. Create a document and do basic formatting, insert page breaks, create headers or footers, and insert graphics, create automatically generated tables of contents and merge form letters from a database of addresses (usually in Excel). Create auto-calculating spreadsheets, create images, and sort and filter data tables.

  • Follow safety precautions in printing

    Apply safety and health principles, policies and institutional regulations of working in printing production. Protect oneself and others against such hazards as chemicals used in printing, invasive allergens, heat, and disease causing agents.

  • Produce prepress proof

    Make single or multi-coloured test prints to ensure that the product meets the arranged standards. Compare the sample with the template or discuss the result with the customer in order to make the last adjustments before mass production.

  • Lay out digital written content

    Lay out pages by selecting sizes, styles and entering text and graphics into computer systems.

  • Follow a brief

    Interpret and meet requirements and expectations, as discussed and agreed upon with the customers.

Optional knowledge and skills

wear appropriate protective gear perform machine maintenance reprography communicate with customers printing materials screen printing process use markup languages manage offset printing process use colour printing programs maintain lithographic printing plates mix ink troubleshoot proofread text output electronic files cut page edges manage process of flexographic print calibrate electronic instruments maintenance of printing machines