Prepress managers oversee printing jobs within their company (generally a printing or graphics company), ensuring that graphic designs and content meet all quality and technical standards before sending them to be printed. They may handle a variety of products, such as apparel, signs, decals, and standard paper products, among others. A substantial part of this position is working with clients to produce and edit their graphics, ensuring that all work is done properly and within deadline. Prepress managers often supervise a team of employees, which can include graphic designers, prepress support staff, and others; they must provide guidance, training, and discipline to these employees as necessary. The prepress team frequently collaborates with many other teams in their organization, including the sales, client services, design, and production departments.
A bachelor's degree in a related field is generally preferred - but not required - for this position; other graphic design-related education and certifications may be preferred as well. Prepress managers must have experience in print production and graphic design-related skills. Familiarity with Adobe Photoshop and similar software (such as Quark Xpress, Illustrator, and InDesign) is needed for this position.
Most prepress managers work during regular business hours, although schedules may vary depending on the needs of the business; overtime and/or alternative hours may be required. Work is typically indoors, often in an office setting, but could also require time spent in production areas.
Prepress Manager Tasks
Track and analyze quality and staffing problems, identifying fixes.
Set and enforce standards for file transmission, proofing, equipment calibration, and other tasks.
Oversee scheduling and activities of electronic prepress staff.
Select and implement software to improve productivity and quality.