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All About the Prepress

Prepress, which is sometimes known as premedia, is exactly what it sounds like: all of the processes that occur before a job is sent for printing and finishing, including design, preflighting and proofing.

Sometimes prepress processes take place at a single printing company or publisher, or at a variety of places depending on the specifications of the project. Below are the processes that occur during prepress.

1. Design All print projects begin with design. The design process includes:

  • First, input and elements are given to the designer, including copy, product photography, graphics etc.
  • Graphic designers and art directors take all input and given elements to create a design layout using design applications such as Adobe InDesign or Photoshop.
  • Any needed revisions are then made to the art, such as proofreading, image retouching, color changes and more.

2. Preflighting Next, the design is sent to the printer for validation to ensure all the data and specifications meet the necessary production requirements. The job is reviewed for errors, and corrections are made to match the equipment. This involves reviewing things such as color spaces (CMYK or RGB), fonts and transparent elements.

All about the prepress. 

3. Proofing After preflighting has occurred, the printer typically sends a physical proof to the client or designer to ensure it is the desired result. If any changes are needed, the designer makes edits, and the files are sent back to the printer.

4. Output Finally, the piece is sent to a final output device such as a digital press or other required machinery. Pages are then ripped (a process for translating an existing file type such as a PDF, postscript, or something else into a file type that the printer knows and understands) or rendered. This process typically includes transparency flattening, color management and separation, trapping and screening.

Finally, the project is ready to be printed and the job is complete.

In this digital age, prepress processes are typically automated, by either stand-alone applications or prepress workflow systems. The automation also allows for faster production time and more advanced printing projects to be realized.

Looking to get help with the prepress process? Contact Kingston Printing in Kansas City to get started. 

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