Prepress Information and Glossary Terms



Prepress, established in the 1950’s, is the process that occurs before printing, and finishing. Finishing is when procedures are performed on printed material after printing. Prepress can take place at any location or a variety of times. Most of the time, it is done where the printing is, or is outsourced by a prepressing company who does the work.  Prepress work will continue to employ people because it is needed for printing. Unfortunately with the increase in online material, the trend will decrease with technology on the rise.  Prepress operations can occur at any time in any type of mix, when creating a manuscript.


  1. Design: creation of manuscript to be published
    • Typesetting– staging of textual material in graphic from on a medium
    • Preparing Datacopy editing – editor improves formatting, style, accuracy of manuscript,
    • Creating a lay out– using graphics to enhance the writings
    • Proof Reading/Image Retouching– making sure the text/photos are correct and free of errors
  1. Preflighting : validation of data to meet production requirements
    • Photos- making sure have a minimum resolution, avoid images that disappearing, thin lines that have minimum line weight, colors are greyscale or multicolored
    • Texts- no smaller than 12 point, legible, black, fonts should be able to be seen clearly, page scaling, page orientation, page size should be correct depending upon project
  1. Proofing: creating an accurate markup of text and graphics
    • Softproof occurs on a monitor
    • Hardcopyoccurs as a physical print of manuscript
    • Screening- adjustment of tone of photos and images
  1. Imposition- Combination of many pages into a single signature
  1. Output- Final Output- final process before printing  
  • Separation- images and text are put on plates applying separation applications of inks, varnishes ect
  • Manufacturing of plates- understanding what type of plates will be used for manuscript (metal, rubber, plastic, ect)
  • Paper Select- choosing proper paper for each part of the manuscript