Prepress literature

I am going to switch job soon to a company which have expertise doing large-format printing. I am currently working in a small copyshop, doing everything from printing, design, simple prepress, customer service etc., however, the new job is a Prepress-position only. From what I know, I need to step-up the game since the company I will be working in are far more advanced when it comes to quality control and prepress.

What I wonder is… Do anyone here have any suggestions on books and literature that I can use to brush up my skills in Prepress and color management? I know different companies have different practices and in this field things change quickly. Still, I hope there are some literature out there which is usefull.

Any suggestions?

Without knowing what kind of work flow you are stepping into, it’s almost impossible to guess what you are going to be doing as “pre-press.”

For large format (and I’m assuming you mean really big, not just 11x17" stuff) you need to know the Adobe softwares inside and out. Indesign, Illustrator, and to some extent Photoshop and Acrobat (unless they are using Pitstop as well as Acrobat.) There may be a need to know Quark and CorelDraw, but again, depends on the shop. I haven’t seen a file from either Quark or Corel in several years.

Most of the work I do, and the printers I’ve worked with, want Native files, not PDFs. Your mileage may vary.

They will have to train you on how to interface with their rip and CNC solutions. There are too many out there to know which one(s) you’ll meet. Color management is also shop-specific. They will need to train you on that. Every machine/media/inkset combination will most likely have its own profile. If they are an ISO shop, things are even more rigid when it comes to color management. Have you ever taken a Munsell test? If you got the job without taking one, they may have their color management separated from Prepress.

In short, there is literally no manual on how to do wide format. The first few weeks might be difficult, but if you have done some before, and really know the Adobewares, it’s only a matter of learning the new interface.

You can see how much you can glean from sites like:
Digital Output Magazine
Big Picture Magazine
Signs of the Times
or the website (most of that will be behind a paywall.)

But while interesting reading to someone new to the field, there isn’t a lot there about in-plant processes. A lot of print places are very closed-mouthed about how their workflow works.

cool! you can join our team in Vancouver maybe ?
email us your details at PRINTitGO

Is that a job offer?
Doubt you can afford me.


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