What is a Pre-Press Operator? How can you become one?

Hi there everybody! We are back with yet another super useful blog of ours and we can bet that you all are going to love reading it as much as we did when we were working on it mainly because it is going to help you guys explore a field that you may not have heard of before. And while you are at it, you can also share everything that you will read today with your friends, family members and acquaintances, etc. so that they can also get to know about what a pre-press operator is and if they would like to pursue it as in the future as well. So, let us get started right away!




Okay so, first things first; what is a pre-press operator? Well, to put it into easy-to-understand words, a pre-press operator or a pre-press technician is basically a person who is hired in the printing industry and their job is to receive artwork from their client and get them ready to be printed while also supplying printing plates which are used on a press. And to fully understand the job role, it is important that we mention here that a pre-press operator has to make sure that the content they have received from their client is properly formatted, organized, and is free of errors so that when it gets printed, there are no typos or other mistakes that might result in producing something that is of no use to the client.

Pre-press operators use computers and advanced printing machinery software to get things done and the list of printed materials includes; books, newspapers, product packaging, stickers, brochures, flyers, pamphlets, etc.

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Keeping in mind the workload and the number of people that work at your workplace, there are chances that you might either be working on one single project at a time or you would be responsible to execute and deliver multiple tasks as well and, of course, depending on your performance, you will eventually be getting a promotion to reach the higher positions as per the hierarchy that is followed in your organization.



Credit Image: https://www.freepik.com/free-photo/young-female-designer-working-project_19673149.htm

Like every job that exists, it is important that you have the printing knowledge in the first place along with pre-press training and the skill set to get done with things without being dependent on anybody. Although it is a fact that you will most definitely require supervision when you will be starting as an intern or new hire but with the passage of time, it will be your responsibility to get better at what you are doing (and you must if you wish to succeed).

Having said that; to become a pre-press operator, you need to know how to handle layered PSDs, and complex vector artworks, add trim marks, and turn the commercial packaging into special colors such as Pantone, spot colors, process printing colors (CMYK) that will become easy for printing. You also need to know how to check page proof to ensure that the content meets the specifications required by the client such as the fonts (styles, sizes), line spacing, margins, overall alignment, and minimum resolution for process printing i.e 300dpi, etc.

In addition to that, you will have to work on preparing the page layouts, especially in the publishing sector to meet the design specifications for example; how to adjust the size according to the printing paper available, orientation, upping (coping the design many times on the same page), the position of imagery and text in the design.

We would also like to mention that it is always a great idea to stay up to date with all the recent trends and printing machinery that are being followed worldwide so that you can deliver nothing but the best to your clients and can also become a valuable resource for your organization as well.




For a pre-press operator who has learned enough but still requires more experience, the salary package ranges from $40,000 to $45,000 per year whereas, someone at a senior level can earn up to $80,000 as well depending on their advanced skill set, and how they carry out things like if they manage a whole team of people, supervise and train them and are familiar with the printing processes in detail along with the knowledge of printing machinery.

That’s all for today! We hope that you had a great time reading the blog and that you will also share it with the people that you care for so that they can check out more details about how to become a pre-press operator if they are interested in changing their profession in the near future. Don’t forget to share your feedback with us in the comment section about how you liked reading the blog and while you are at it, do take out some time to share your special requests with us as well. And we will immediately start working on them and be back here super soon with your requested content and more.



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