What is Prepress in Printing? - Definition & Equipment

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  • 0:03 Introduction to Prepress
  • 0:50 Definition of Prepress
  • 1:19 Prepress Process
  • 2:44 Prepress Equipment
  • 3:15 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Brianna Whiting
In this lesson we will learn about prepress in printing, including the stages involved and the equipment used. Then we will test your knowledge with a quiz.

Introduction to Prepress

Tess has just decided to start her own nanny agency. Having been a nanny for the last 10 years, she feels that she knows the industry well enough to be successful. Before officially opening for business, she develops a checklist of tasks she needs to accomplish. One of these tasks includes creating new business cards. Tess knows that in order to get the word out about her new agency, she needs to distribute business cards in a variety of places to attract potential customers. She knows exactly what she wants the business cards to say, and also what graphics she wants included. After playing around with a couple of ideas, Tess is finally ready to pass her work off to the printer, who will produce the business cards for her. However, before any real printing actually takes place, there is an important step called prepress that occurs.

Definition of Prepress

Prepress is a term used in printing that describes the process that files go through before printing actually takes place. It's the stage where they're prepared and edited, where graphics are checked, and all proofing is performed to ensure the information is correct and arranged so that it will print just the way the customer desires. For example, if Tess wants the logo in the upper left hand corner, then during the prepress stage, the print company will make sure it's properly arranged so that it doesn't get cut off during printing.

Prepress Process

There are many steps in the prepress process. Let's take a look at them now:

Step 1 is pre-flighting. The file is checked to see that it has all of the supporting elements needed to print correctly, such as the images and fonts. Images are checked for proper format, color space, and resolution, and fonts, too, must be in the right format. The layouts and margins are checked to make sure nothing will be cut off and the text will be readable. In a nutshell, all technical elements are checked for potential errors that could affect the appearance of the printed product.

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