Profession prepress technician

Prepress technicians prepare printing processes by formatting, setting and composing text and graphics into a suitable form. This includes the capture of text and image and processing it electronically. They also prepare, maintain and troubleshoot printing presses.

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Personality Type

  • Artistic / Investigative
  • Realistic / Conventional

Knowledge

  • Printing on large scale machines

    Methods, processes, and restrictions related to printing on machines that produce large quantities and sizes of graphic print materials.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Reprography

    The process of reproducing, reprinting, or copying graphic material especially by mechanical or electronic means such as photography or xerography.

  • 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.

  • Maintenance of printing machines

    Upkeep procedures and technical working of machines that produce printed graphical material.

  • Prepress processes

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

  • Typography

    The art and techniques of arranging type to make written language readable and beautiful. The arrangement of type involves selecting typefaces, point size, line length, line spacing, letter spacing, and adjusting the space within letter pairs.

  • 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.

  • Printing plate making

    The different techniques used to produce the plates that will be mounted on rolls for the flexographic or offset printing process such as laser engraving or the technique consisting in placing a film negative over a plate exposed to ultra-violet light.

Skills

  • Align content with form

    Align form and content to make sure they fit together.

  • Prepare films for printing plates

    Place the photographic materials coated with a light-sensitive substance on the printing plate in such a way that will limit waste and facilitate printing processes. Place the plates in the machine for the different exposure and curing processes.

  • Lay out digital written content

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

  • Operate laser plate maker machine

    Maintain and handle laser plate making equipment, which converts electronic data to plates without the use of photographic film. Use erasers and needles to perform minor deletions, additions or corrections to complete these materials.

  • Set scanner controls

    Use a mouse, keyboard or other controls to set up the scanner precisely.

  • Scale copies

    Use proportion wheels to scale the layout and resolution of images up or down.

  • Scan negatives

    Scan processed negatives so they can be digitally stored, edited, and printed.

  • Set colour profiles

    Maintain consistent colour output in digital colour and inkjet printers by running calibration routines and making sure that the colour profiles for the printers are still accurate.

  • 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.

  • Prepare printing form

    Prepare and inspect plates that are used in printing process to transfer ink on the desired surface and place them in the machines, for example fixing them around printing rollers.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Output electronic files

    Load customer supplied electronic files onto the prepress file server, whilst checking them for completeness and potential problems. Communicate eventual problems with customers and production personnel.

Optional knowledge and skills

graphic design printing materials process printing input handle scanning material safely digitise documents use typesetting software maintain lithographic printing plates offset printing communicate with customers interpret illustration needs printing techniques use colour printing programs prevent paper jams prepare offset printing machine manage offset printing process edit photographs meet deadlines store negatives printed goods processes apply opaque create digital files ink printing plates quality standards printing media scan photos