The prepress technician holds a production-based position in which they prepare materials for the printing process. Individuals in this position are in charge of ensuring artwork meets certain requirements and that the application of this artwork is completed properly (for example, that files include the correct paper size and color). Prepress technicians participate in meetings with various departments, including sales and management, to ensure that prepress methods are fully optimized and running smoothly. Contact with clients may also be necessary, and technicians work directly with artists and designers.
The prepress technician typically works during regular business hours, but extended hours or overtime are common as well. The work environment may include factories, warehouses, and/or office environments. Tools used on the job vary with each position, but most involve at least some work with computers and software such as Adobe Photoshop or QuarkXpress. Familiarity with tools such as sheet layouts, workflow suites, and printing equipment is advantageous as well.
Different companies have different educational requirements for prepress technicians. Some positions require a bachelor’s or associate’s degree in graphic design, art, or a related field. Vocational training or experience that relates directly to the position and type of work are also common requirements. Miscellaneous skills that are needed for prepress technicians include excellent communication skills, the ability to multitask, and the ability to solve problems in a quick and efficient manner. Excellent attention to detail is needed as well, as this position includes supervising the production of graphics pressing work.
Prepress Technician or Worker Tasks
Ensure proper format, appearance and layout of text and images before publication.
Set up printing presses to produce film, plate or electronic proofs.
Maintain, repair and troubleshoot presses and printing equipment as needed.
Scan or upload print and electronic files.
Make color, text, and digital image corrections.