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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 on large scale machines

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

  • Reprography

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

  • Maintenance of printing machines

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Scan negatives

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Lay out digital written content

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

  • Scale copies

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

  • 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.

  • Set scanner controls

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • Troubleshoot

    Identify operating problems, decide what to do about it and report accordingly.

  • 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.

  • Align content with form

    Align form and content to make sure they fit together.

Optional knowledge and skills

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

Common job titles

  • Prelim/prepress operator 1 - (cylinder tech 1)
  • Prepress technician
  • Prepress technician/variable data
  • Graphics - prepress technician berlin, wi
  • Graphics desktop technician
  • Large format printing - digital production technician