An electronic prepress operator is a digital design specialist who ensures their organization's digital images and files are of the highest quality. At the beginning of the electronic prepress process, the operator frequently travels with a sales representative to the client's office for training and information gathering; they also try to learn about how the client wishes to express itself, the images it is trying to evoke, the client's branding, and their expectations for the final digital product. For example, the client may be looking to create an image-focused advertisement that evokes certain messages and images associated with the client's brand image.
After returning from the client's offices, the electronic prepress operator uses digital imaging software to start creating the final digital image. To effectively generate the final product, the prepress operator must have knowledge of industry best practices such as layering. They also must ensure that the final product is of highest quality by monitoring proportions and perspectives. The electronic prepress operator must also alter their draft of the image in response to any feedback from their supervisor and/or the client.
Often, electronic prepress operators hold a high school diploma or equivalent; postesecondary training may be preferred. Electronic prepress operators must be experience with relevant editing software and be effective communicators to work well with colleagues, supervisors, and clients.
Electronic Prepress Operator Tasks
- Identify missing content, illustrations or other problems and communicate with client.
- Determine, document and communicate layout considerations, including page count and bleed.
- Receive, validate and check accuracy of digital files.
- Retouch and correct files, illustrations and plates to finalize for publication.