Prepress Technicians and Worker Career

Job Description: Format and proof text and images submitted by designers and clients into finished pages that can be printed. Includes digital and photo typesetting. May produce printing plates.


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Prepress Technicians and Worker Career

What Prepress Technicians and Workers do:

  • Generate prepress proofs in digital or other format to approximate the appearance of the final printed piece.
  • Enter, store, and retrieve information on computer-aided equipment.
  • Proofread and perform quality control of text and images.
  • Enter, position, and alter text size, using computers, to make up and arrange pages so that printed materials can be produced.
  • Perform "preflight" check of required font, graphic, text and image files to ensure completeness prior to delivery to printer.
  • Maintain, adjust, and clean equipment, and perform minor repairs.
  • Operate and maintain laser plate-making equipment that converts electronic data to plates without the use of film.
  • Examine photographic images for obvious imperfections prior to plate making.
  • Set scanners to specific color densities, sizes, screen rulings, and exposure adjustments, using scanner keyboards or computers.
  • Analyze originals to evaluate color density, gradation highlights, middle tones, and shadows, using densitometers and knowledge of light and color.
  • Examine finished plates to detect flaws, verify conformity with master plates, and measure dot sizes and centers, using light boxes and microscopes.
  • Examine unexposed photographic plates to detect flaws or foreign particles prior to printing.
  • Select proper types of plates according to press run lengths.
  • Operate presses to print proofs of plates, monitoring printing quality to ensure that it is adequate.
  • Scale copy for reductions and enlargements, using proportion wheels.
  • Mix solutions such as developing solutions and colored coating solutions.
  • Perform minor deletions, additions, or corrections to completed plates, on or off printing presses, using tusche, printing ink, erasers, and needles.
  • Activate scanners to produce positive or negative films for the black-and-white, cyan, yellow, and magenta separations from each original copy.
  • Perform tests to determine lengths of exposures, by exposing plates, scanning line copy, and comparing exposures to tone range scales.
  • Operate and maintain a variety of cameras and equipment, such as process, line, halftone, and color separation cameras, enlargers, electronic scanners, and contact equipment.
  • Arrange and mount typeset material and illustrations into paste-ups for printing reproduction, based on artists' or editors' layouts.
  • Punch holes in light-sensitive plates and insert pins in holes to prepare plates for contact with positive or negative film.
  • Mount negatives and plates in cameras, set exposure controls, and expose plates to light through negatives to transfer images onto plates.
  • Inspect developed film for specified results and quality, using magnifying glasses and scopes, forwarding acceptable negatives or positives to other workers or to customers.
  • Perform close alignment or registration of double and single flats to sensitized plates prior to exposure to produce composite images.

What work activities are most important?

Importance Activities

Interacting With Computers - Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.

Getting Information - Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.

Making Decisions and Solving Problems - Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.

Updating and Using Relevant Knowledge - Keeping up-to-date technically and applying new knowledge to your job.

Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates - Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.

Thinking Creatively - Developing, designing, or creating new applications, ideas, relationships, systems, or products, including artistic contributions.

Organizing, Planning, and Prioritizing Work - Developing specific goals and plans to prioritize, organize, and accomplish your work.

Monitor Processes, Materials, or Surroundings - Monitoring and reviewing information from materials, events, or the environment, to detect or assess problems.

Identifying Objects, Actions, and Events - Identifying information by categorizing, estimating, recognizing differences or similarities, and detecting changes in circumstances or events.

Scheduling Work and Activities - Scheduling events, programs, and activities, as well as the work of others.

Estimating the Quantifiable Characteristics of Products, Events, or Information - Estimating sizes, distances, and quantities; or determining time, costs, resources, or materials needed to perform a work activity.

Inspecting Equipment, Structures, or Material - Inspecting equipment, structures, or materials to identify the cause of errors or other problems or defects.

Controlling Machines and Processes - Using either control mechanisms or direct physical activity to operate machines or processes (not including computers or vehicles).

Processing Information - Compiling, coding, categorizing, calculating, tabulating, auditing, or verifying information or data.

Training and Teaching Others - Identifying the educational needs of others, developing formal educational or training programs or classes, and teaching or instructing others.

Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships - Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.

Coordinating the Work and Activities of Others - Getting members of a group to work together to accomplish tasks.

Interpreting the Meaning of Information for Others - Translating or explaining what information means and how it can be used.

Judging the Qualities of Things, Services, or People - Assessing the value, importance, or quality of things or people.

Documenting/Recording Information - Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.

Communicating with Persons Outside Organization - Communicating with people outside the organization, representing the organization to customers, the public, government, and other external sources. This information can be exchanged in person, in writing, or by telephone or e-mail.

Guiding, Directing, and Motivating Subordinates - Providing guidance and direction to subordinates, including setting performance standards and monitoring performance.

Coaching and Developing Others - Identifying the developmental needs of others and coaching, mentoring, or otherwise helping others to improve their knowledge or skills.

Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards - Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.

Analyzing Data or Information - Identifying the underlying principles, reasons, or facts of information by breaking down information or data into separate parts.

Developing and Building Teams - Encouraging and building mutual trust, respect, and cooperation among team members.

Provide Consultation and Advice to Others - Providing guidance and expert advice to management or other groups on technical, systems-, or process-related topics.

Developing Objectives and Strategies - Establishing long-range objectives and specifying the strategies and actions to achieve them.

Drafting, Laying Out, and Specifying Technical Devices, Parts, and Equipment - Providing documentation, detailed instructions, drawings, or specifications to tell others about how devices, parts, equipment, or structures are to be fabricated, constructed, assembled, modified, maintained, or used.

Resolving Conflicts and Negotiating with Others - Handling complaints, settling disputes, and resolving grievances and conflicts, or otherwise negotiating with others.

Repairing and Maintaining Electronic Equipment - Servicing, repairing, calibrating, regulating, fine-tuning, or testing machines, devices, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of electrical or electronic (not mechanical) principles.

Performing Administrative Activities - Performing day-to-day administrative tasks such as maintaining information files and processing paperwork.

Handling and Moving Objects - Using hands and arms in handling, installing, positioning, and moving materials, and manipulating things.

Monitoring and Controlling Resources - Monitoring and controlling resources and overseeing the spending of money.

Repairing and Maintaining Mechanical Equipment - Servicing, repairing, adjusting, and testing machines, devices, moving parts, and equipment that operate primarily on the basis of mechanical (not electronic) principles.

Holland Code Chart for a Prepress Technicians and Worker