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New To Prepress

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  • New To Prepress

    I am interested in getting into prepress. I know the software well from Adobe to Quark. Can anyone give me any good suggestions of the type of place I should start out at for beginning experience. Should I go to a smaller type company or a bigger one? Or should I start out at more of a alphagraphics type place. Any suggestions? Thx in advance

  • #2
    Re: New To Prepress


    Maybe try your local PRINTING INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION, INC. OF ARIZONA for starters.
    Thier web site is:

    Also try and use Google type in Pre Press Jobs etc.

    Best of luck and welcome to printing.



    • #3
      Re: New To Prepress

      Matt, like Offset Guy said, welcome to printing and to PrintPlanet!

      I suppose it's up to you where you want to start (and, indeed, where there are positions available). Starting in a smaller business, though, might help to not scare you away from the industry altogether! If the world was perfect, you could start in a small shop with friendly, helpful and experienced co-workers. There is a +hell-of-a-lot+ to learn...

      Hope you enjoy it - give us feedback! Good luck!


      • #4
        Re: New To Prepress

        My suggestion (from an 18 year veteran) would be to get into a 2nd shift operation.
        Learn on the 1st shift for 30 days and then get thrown out on your own. Nothing builds
        experience like having to make decisions on the fly for a pressman at midnight.
        I now manage a prepress and dp department and I fully give credit to the fact that I was 2nd
        shift for a decade. Those midnight decisions helped to make me capable of the 10 am ones.


        • #5
          Re: New To Prepress

          Hey Matt,
          I'm an Art Director for a Flexographic Printing company and have been with the same company for 20+ plus years. In my hiring experience I would rather hire someone like you than someone that has experience at another print shop. The reason being, it's hard to break the old "well that's not how we did it at my other job". When hiring someone fresh, like yourself, I have the opportunity to train them exactly how I expect things to be done. We are a smaller type company and many of us from the pressroom all the way up to the front office have been a very long time. I think you'll find smaller companies are more laxed and personal. Good luck in your hunt and good luck in the future. There are days this job makes my hair gray(er) but the challenge, to me, is worth it.



          • #6
            Re: New To Prepress

            Come on you guys hes pulling your leg, I mean who's looking to get into prepress

            Put just in case he's not, start at a smaller shop get all your basics down then move on.

            Be careful of the off shift gig you might be stuck on it for a loooong time unless you move on, my experience has been the go to guy on first. You learn from the other guys and develop good relations with the other people in the company and customers and vendors (all valuable resources when its time to move on).


            • #7
              Re: New To Prepress

              I agree to a point. Small town, do not go 2nd shift. You WILL get stuck.
              Large town where you can move from shop a to b to c? Then I stick with my
              original opinion. I always lived in the large town and when they told me I
              was "too valuable" as a 2nd shifter to move to 1st then I told them to pick
              a finger and it wasn't the 1st, 2nd, 4th or 5th
              Amazing how "invaluable" to EITHER shift I was once I was gone !


              • #8
                Re: New To Prepress

                Go to work for a large company and learn the trade - Large companies train for the future ,small companies just employ trainies as cheap labour.

                << Employers complain that we can't find youngsters who want to join the industry - prove them wrong - all the best


                • #9
                  Re: New To Prepress

                  You are young enough, get into the medical field. People will always need you, and usually appreciate your efforts with much better pay for the most part. Printing will soon automate prepress (offset and web, not package for some time or not at all) positions to a bare minimum. I am one of the lucky ones to be paid well, I have friends who are not quite so lucky and they have either went back to school, or actually started using their degrees. There really is not much of a future for beginners in this field because those of us who are lucky will not give up and when we do we'll be replaced with cheap labor.

                  I know I will get some flack over these comments, but it is the truth and it sometimes hurts.


                  • #10
                    Re: New To Prepress

                    I agree with John......Run and I mean Run away from printing as fast as you can.
                    Go into something with a future like the medical/health oriented.

                    I have seen the good, bad and the Ugly of printing and let me tell you it can get ugly
                    Just last week, layoffs.People I have worked with for 16 years gone....Some had worked at the company for over 25 years.

                    It aint what it used to be,if I could do something else I would !

                    Good luck



                    • #11
                      Re: New To Prepress

                      John and John bring up good points. Make time to bone up on PDF, HTML, PHP, and everything web related.



                      • #12
                        Re: New To Prepress

                        Hi Matt,

                        Welcome to my nightmare. I've been doing this for 22 years now and I'n an inkoholic. All the advice you've gotten so far is right, some advantage to working 2nd shift, like the lessening of the adminisphere after dark. Small shops are good for you, get an overview of every step in the process and become a jack@ss of all trades. Try to get your early years in a large market, more opportunities and when you think you know it all, you can move to another job and find out that you don't. By all means, learn web if you want to be a designer, PDF and Pitstop if you want to go into troubleshooting. As long as there is a designer, there'll be a need for a problem solver. This is a contracting field and it's just going to get smaller. Now that you know what you're getting yourself into, welcome to the club. Meetings are every day and they're held at the bar.



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