After making the content-ready designs, and before printing comes the pre-press analysis. This process includes making the plate or image carrier, ready for mounting on the printer. It includes a final check of all the images and artwork as well as color separations for ensuring a high-quality print file.
This process consists traditionally of the following steps:
This step ensures that all the elements necessary for a successful print run are included in the file sent for print by the designer. It usually consists of a check on the format and sizes of images included, whether the fonts are included, if the PMS/CMYK colors are set up properly, the margins and bleeds are set up appropriately among other things. At times the whole file needs to be rendered again in a different format so as to suite printing. This is primarily a step to check whether the file is print ready and has no file set-up issues.
This process helps create a very close representation of how a finished piece will look when finally printed. A proof is usually created in the form of a PDF file to be sent to the client for a final check. A physical proof is also created so as to check for finishing operations so as to finally demonstrate how a piece will be finished, folded as well as to show the order of pages. The purpose of proofing is to basically ensure that the client and the printer are on the same page about the desired result.
The final stage is one of the most tedious, this involves making the final plates in case of offset printing and in other cases can mean working out a production schedule for the order. The final color corrections, imposition, separation and ripping complete, the project if to be digitally printed is ready to be produced.