Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Digital and Traditional Prepress: comparison. Which is the way ahead?

Before getting into the scrutiny of differences between traditional prepress and digital prepress, let us define and explore the process of prepress.  The process of getting a document ready for printing is referred to by the term prepress. Based on the type of the method adopted and the document being printed, the tasks included in the process of prepress can greatly vary. With the advance in technology, the very meaning of the process has significantly changed.

Under normal circumstances, the below mentioned tasks are involved in prepress;
Document typesetting 
Paper selection 
Bleed Settings 

Why is prepress necessary?

Once a document is created by a designer, it usually undergoes a review process in order to ensure that the document follows the vision that he/she had while creating the same. During the process, it is quite possible that he/she updates various elements of the document such the font, color and image to meet the vision he/she had in the first place. Even after this stage, the copy must undergo the process to ensure that the document stays true to the previous vision and would take all the necessary steps to keep it in compliance with his/her vision. Prepress companies in India before committing discuss in detail with the author and keep a check on all the aforesaid factors. 

The transition from the traditional prepress to the digital prepress

It would have been quite impossible for most of the professionals of the current generation to work in the printing and publishing industry before the birth of desktop publishing. It could be interesting to understand that there always was an extensive industry that almost did everything the digital press is currently doing, when it comes to printing and publishing. The advances in technology ushered in a new era of technology-driven printing which forced the traditional printing industry to get replaced.
Though desktop publishing made its presence felt in the early 1980s, it has expanded impeccably towards the end of the 21st century changing the way many people have looked at the printing and publishing industry, forever.

During the older times, larger commercial enterprises employed numerous skilled professionals to carry out various specific tasks expertly maneuvering various specific tools designed to cater to very specific tasks in the larger printing affair. However, technology has changed everything making it possible for a single person to take care of the entire process of printing.

The transition from the traditional prepress to the digital prepress

This is in fact a fascinating question to consider, while the answer to this question is quite interesting as well, owing to the fact that they are as different as cheese and chalk. Let us consider;


This is where both the traditional and digital prepress process agrees with each other when it comes the process of design with the only difference is the technologies used by them.  Irrespective of the system, the design can be created either by a designer or a group of individuals who have interest in the final printed material.


In traditional prepress the type specifications and the input –texts are provided by the designer to the typesetter. Along with various other elements, the type is placed upon the paste-up board by a paste-up technician.

When it comes to digital prepress, there is only the designer who relies upon various software programs to carry out these activities all by himself/herself, who has full control over all these elements.


In traditional premedia, various photographic techniques are relied upon to process the image to the desired format to print. FPO boxes are kept on the paste-up board to represent the position of the image.

In digital prepress all the image editing activities are carried out with the help of an image editing software. After the image is edited to the desired level, it can be placed onto the file for the final print.

File Preparation

In the case of traditional prepress, all the necessary details are used upon the paste-up board, after which photograph of the same is taken using a camera to produce negatives. The negatives are taken by a stripper and assembled onto a flat or sheet. The sheet is then imposed and transformed into the desired plates. The plates are then used to print it onto the paper.

In the digital premedia all the details are placed onto the publication. Then, a camera ready digital file is prepared. Others tasks including the imposition is done with the help of a software program.


In the case of traditional prepress, pages are proofread carefully once they are printed. Upon finding an error, new negatives are created and carefully replaced in the original copy. Companies offering professional proofreading services implement a wide variety of techniques including reverse proofreading. Once that is done, new plates are created without errors and the pages are printed.
When it comes to digital prepress, interim copies of the pages can be printed as much as needed to check for errors before the production of negatives, plates and the desired output.

When it comes to the traditional prepress, the steps included are;

There may be the same processes in digital prepress; there may be the inclusion of the process of getting the output to the film directly from the digital file.

With digital prepress solutions soaring to become more digital and all the more flexible, it is quite natural that it certainly is the way ahead. It is quite convenient, simple and does not require a lot of human resource of with specific skills to carry out various tasks. The fact that printing tools and materials have become easy to get and affordable only adds to the scenarios that digital prepress is here to stay.

Whatever prepress and typesetting requirements you have, hire only the best and proven people to get expected level of results. 

No comments:

Post a Comment