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Understanding roles and responsibilities

From: Print Production Fundamentals

Video: Understanding roles and responsibilities

In the olden days, by which I mean before desktop publishing, job responsibilities were very clearly divided. Designers designed, photographers took photographs, trade shops performed composition and created final films, and printers printed. But desktop publishing changed all that and suddenly designers found themselves responsible for performing tasks that we're previously performed by trained craftsmen. Now designers had to perform color correction and retouching and set type and build completely print-ready files going directly to the printer.

Understanding roles and responsibilities

In the olden days, by which I mean before desktop publishing, job responsibilities were very clearly divided. Designers designed, photographers took photographs, trade shops performed composition and created final films, and printers printed. But desktop publishing changed all that and suddenly designers found themselves responsible for performing tasks that we're previously performed by trained craftsmen. Now designers had to perform color correction and retouching and set type and build completely print-ready files going directly to the printer.

So how are the responsibilities divided now? Well, the designer, and that's you, creates print-ready files to the correct dimensions, adds the correct bleed, uses the correct colors, and then you should check your work. You've been working on it for a long time, it's easy to overlook things. Always check for common problems such as typos and spelling and size and so forth. You want to be sure that you submit the job in the format specified by the printer, and you want to provide the printer with all the pertinent information. Such as the stock that you've agreed on, inks to be used, and finishing that's going to be required on your work.

You should always provide hard copy to the printer just print out inkjet prints or lasers just something so they have something to look at so they have an immediate idea of what kind of jobs they are going to be running. And always be available for questions when the printer calls or your client calls and be available if necessary for press checks. Now what are the responsibilities of the printer? The salesman is usually your first point of contact. He should obtain all sorts of necessary information from you about your expected run date, what you want the job to look like, and that's when you sit down to have a conversation about the comps and make sure that he understands the nature of the job that the printing plant is going to do.

The next person to touch your job is usually the customer service representative, referred to usually as the CSR. They're going to enter your job into the schedule at the printing plant and usually they remain your primary contact point for the remainder of the job. Next, the job is handed off to a planner or estimator to estimate the job cost and set the required schedule. Because they understand all the processes, all the equipment used in the printing plant, and they're going to determine what the appropriate press is, the appropriate finishing equipment, and they have to keep in mind that there are other jobs running in the plant at the same time your job hits and have to determine the individual deadlines for each segment of the job.

Usually, preflight is performed on your job, and that's essentially a game of what's wrong with this picture. The preflighter wants to find general problems that you might have missed like typos and misspellings, but they're also looking for aspects of the job that could affect the printing. For example, if there are large areas of the job that use black ink that may not look quite heavy enough when the job is printed. So often the preflighter will indicate that it rich black needs to be created. So this is not something that you've done as a mistake, it's something that the printer does in order to ensure that the job prints as you expect.

After preflight is performed then the job is handed off to prepress and prepress is essentially a catchall term for everything that happens before the job hits the press. So the prepress operator will perform any required job modifications. They may have to scan supply transparencies or reflective artwork that you want to include in the job. They will also perform any color correction or retouching the images might need and usually this is a specialist with long experience in color and retouching. Trapping, briefly speaking is where two colors abut there needs to be a little bit overlap so that you don't see a gap in-between.

So it's up to prepress to determine those parameters. Once everything is all set up prepress is going to generate proofs, and this is for you look at and make sure nothing's been missed that you haven't left anything out that they haven't changed anything that you don't want them to change. They will also create something called a folding dummy if it's a multipage job so that you can see how pages look next to each other in the finished piece. Once all that's approved they'll set up the imposition also called pagination for printing plates. Page 2 doesn't print next to page 3. That's something we're going to talk more about later.

They need to make sure that the pages are in the correct position so that when the plates are made the papers printed that everything falls into place. Once the papers is printed the press operator is responsible for mounting plates, setting up the press to establish values for ink coverage, and registration and then performing what's called makeready, which is getting the press up to speed, getting the ink coverage up to those established values, and making sure that everything is running optimally. Then of course the press operator is responsible for running your job and making sure that it matches that contract proof that it's been approved.

Once the paper is printed then finishing takes place and finishing includes everything from simple trimming, folding, and binding to specialty work such as die-cutting or embossing and foil stamping. Now some finishing work such as folding and trimming may have been in-line at the press. Some of its handled offline which is after the paper is printed and handed off to a separate department. So as you can see your design is really just the first cog in this giant machine. Many people touch your job and multiple processes are set in motion with that very first mouse click. But don't let that intimidate you.

Really, you should find it exciting.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Print Production Fundamentals
Print Production Fundamentals

68 video lessons · 23472 viewers

Claudia McCue
Author

 
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  1. 2m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 7m 5s
    1. What is print production?
      1m 51s
    2. Understanding roles and responsibilities
      5m 14s
  3. 13m 49s
    1. Communicating with your printer
      3m 49s
    2. What does the printer do with my files?
      2m 39s
    3. Understanding the importance of contract proofs
      1m 57s
    4. Handling corrections and alterations
      2m 8s
    5. Attending press checks
      3m 16s
  4. 13m 27s
    1. Choosing the correct type of printing for your project
      3m 15s
    2. The art of letterpress
      1m 33s
    3. Understanding the advantages of sheet-fed printing
      2m 22s
    4. Using a web press for long runs
      1m 39s
    5. Understanding thermography
      1m 38s
    6. Considerations for digital printing
      3m 0s
  5. 15m 11s
    1. What's a process color?
      2m 55s
    2. What's a spot color?
      2m 52s
    3. Exploring how ink behaves on paper
      5m 14s
    4. Comparing monitor vs. press output
      4m 10s
  6. 15m 15s
    1. Building to the correct size
      4m 37s
    2. Folding and trimming
      3m 18s
    3. Setting up for die cutting
      3m 19s
    4. Embossing
      4m 1s
  7. 3m 17s
    1. Choosing an application
      3m 17s
  8. 9m 54s
    1. Understanding font formats
      1m 45s
    2. Using OpenType fonts
      5m 20s
    3. Fonts to avoid
      2m 49s
  9. 13m 52s
    1. Comparing raster vs. vector images
      3m 23s
    2. Understanding color space
      4m 26s
    3. Examining image formats
      6m 3s
  10. 13m 13s
    1. Looking at image resolution
      7m 16s
    2. Masking basics
      5m 57s
  11. 39m 53s
    1. Understanding Illustrator
      2m 34s
    2. Illustrator layout tips
      2m 48s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure
      6m 29s
    4. Using swatches
      5m 22s
    5. Working with effects
      5m 16s
    6. Cautions about some effects
      1m 23s
    7. Importing images
      2m 41s
    8. Exploring fonts
      2m 42s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      3m 2s
    10. Saving as PDF
      4m 36s
    11. Gathering up the pieces
      3m 0s
  12. 57m 8s
    1. InDesign layout basics
      5m 21s
    2. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method one
      7m 19s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method two
      3m 21s
    4. Working with color and gradient swatches
      7m 12s
    5. Making gradients and creating a rich black swatch
      4m 45s
    6. Exploring fonts in InDesign
      2m 54s
    7. Importing graphics
      7m 49s
    8. Copying and pasting graphics
      3m 38s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      2m 21s
    10. Packaging up a print job
      6m 57s
    11. Generating PDFs
      5m 31s
  13. 22m 43s
    1. Using Overprint Preview in InDesign
      3m 3s
    2. Managing swatches in InDesign
      5m 29s
    3. Preflighting in InDesign
      7m 58s
    4. Using the Links panel in Illustrator
      3m 16s
    5. Using blending modes in Illustrator and InDesign
      2m 57s
  14. 35m 35s
    1. Basic forensics in Acrobat
      11m 3s
    2. Using Output Preview
      5m 30s
    3. Dealing with display artifacts
      2m 52s
    4. Using TouchUp tools
      8m 17s
    5. Converting colors
      4m 11s
    6. Using preflight profiles
      3m 42s
  15. 3m 27s
    1. Submitting the job
      2m 29s
    2. Being a good print customer
      58s
  16. 1m 2s
    1. Next steps
      1m 2s

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