Prepress is a printing industry term for the activities that occur between the creation of a print layout and the final printing, that is, after a commercial printer receives an order and a corresponding graphics file from a client or graphic designer, but before any actual printing takes place. This includes the adjustment of images and text, or the creation of a high-quality print file ready to be printed on the commercial digital press.
Our customers typically deliver their files electronically, either as PDFs, or as application-specific files created from such programs as Adobe InDesign, Adobe Illustrator, Corel Draw, Adobe PhotoShop, or Corel Photo-Paint.
The following items are considered part of "prepress":
- Typesetting involves the presentation of textual material in graphic form on paper or some other medium. Before the advent of desktop publishing, typesetting of printed material was produced in print shops by compositors or typesetters working by hand, and later with machines.
- Copy-editing, is the work that an editor does to improve the formatting, style, and accuracy of a manuscript. Copy-editing is done prior to the work of proofreaders, who handle documents before final publication.
- Markup is an artificial language using a set of annotations to text that give instructions regarding the structure of text or how it is to be displayed. Markup languages have been in use for centuries, and in recent years have also been used in computer typesetting and word-processing systems.
- Proofing involves creating an accurate facsimile of the artwork before beginning production runs. This serves as a bond between the printer and their customer that the final product meets an agreed upon standard. Proofs in general can be done for all parts (images, illustrations, texts and colors) of print product. In this part, three types of proofing should be checked and printed out: the print-ready PDF files, the printer's proof and the imposition proof. Print-ready PDF files should be made after the layout using preflight at the printing house. The printer's proof should be printed out in high-resolution and checked by the customer. The imposition proof, which is usually done by the printers, should also be printed out to check and adjust the printing press.
- Proofreading traditionally means reading a proof copy of a text in order to detect and correct any errors. Modern proofreading often requires reading copy at earlier stages as well.
- Screening and adjustment of a continuous tone of images such as photographs
- Imposition, or the combination of many pages into a single signature form.
- Separation, or specifying images or text to be individually applied using appropriate printing media (inks, varnishes, etc.) to form a common print.
- Manufacturing of a high-quality print (PDF) file, which is used for the final printing.
- Selecting a proper paper or other substrate to print on.
Prepress is a distinct and separate service from the actual printing. To avoid prepress charges, please deliver your content in a high-quality, press-ready (flat, with fonts embedded) PDF format.