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Pre Press: Where Magic Happens and the Print Journey Begins

Here at Dennis Maps, we believe that the print journey begins the moment your artwork arrives with us. Our Pre Press department is where your ideas begin their transition from digital files to a printed product that delivers your creative vision.

What is Pre Press?

Pre Press is a printing industry term for the activities that take place once a printer receives an order and a corresponding print file from a client or graphic designer, but before any actual printing takes place.

Pre Press – Specialist expertise

We believe that experience and technical expertise in colour management really do matter. Our Pre Press operators have the vital knowledge to produce high quality print:

  • They are colour specialists who will often make subtle adjustments to client print files to enhance their appearance when printed on paper.
  • They have a thorough knowledge of the printing process, the requirement to have the image in the correct file format and resolution, and how this affects each printing project.
  • We are equipped with the latest applications and hardware that allows us to process even the most complex of map printing files.
  • We use one of the most powerful Pre Press tools in the industry. Prinergy Workflow software is one of the leading Pre Press automation solutions.
  • Our Kodak Prinergy Version 10 Connect Pre Press Workflow system is fully integrated and means that all of our work is colour profiled in line with the requirements of ISO 12467/2.

How does the Pre Press process work?

The First Stage: Pre-Flighting

Once the print file has been received from the client, it undergoes the first Pre Press stage – the Pre-Flight.

During the Pre-Flight, the file is checked to make sure it contains all the elements necessary for a successful print run.

For example, we make sure the images have the proper format and resolution, the fonts are all included, the PMS/CMYK colours are set up appropriately and that all layout elements such as margins, crop marks and bleeds are set up correctly too.

Also, depending on the software used to create the original print file, sometimes the entire file needs to be converted to a format better suited for printing, with the most common being Adobe PDF (Portable Document Format).

The Pre-Flight stage is carried out first to catch any issues with the file set-up that might prevent it from being print ready.

Bear in mind that Pre-Flighting is not really intended to find and correct mistakes in grammar or spelling, so it is essential that all general editing and proof-reading be performed by the client and/or designer prior to the Pre-Flight stage.

The Second Stage: Creating a Proof

Once the print file passes the Pre-Flight stage, it moves on to the second Pre Press stage – creating a proof. A proof is a close representation of how the finished piece will appear when it is printed.

On many projects, a proof is often created as a PDF. Since a PDF is an electronic file, it can be emailed to the client for approval, which greatly speeds up the proofing process.

If a print project involves finishing operations such as folding, it is recommended that a physical proof be created. A physical proof will demonstrate how the final product will look when folded.

In addition to avoiding any unforeseen errors, the purpose of the proof stage is to ensure that the client and printer are in complete agreement on the desired end result.

The folded map will usually be printed on paper rather than a synthetic material and the separate cover provides protection both during general use and also some resistance against the weather.

The Third Stage: Printing Plates (for large format litho presses)

After the proof has been approved, the project is ready to be produced on a printing press.

If the project is to be produced on a large format litho press, it will need printing plates. In this case, the final stage of the Pre Press process is the creation of printing plates.

Printing plates are custom made for each job and provide the method for transferring the inked images to the correct place on the sheet of paper.

Our Pre Press Equipment

Extensive Mac and PC Network

Kodak Prinergy Version 10 Connect Workflow System

Kodak Magnus VFL 5570 Platesetter

Kodak Mercury T-HD Plate processor

Epson P8000 Large Format Proofing Device

We can help!