Prepress Training

gordo

Well-known member
cartoon-prepress-training.jpg
 

Possumgal

Well-known member
"But the most valuable thing I learned is that when i get handed a job I don't know how to do or don't want to do, if I piddle around with it slowly enough, somebody else will eventually take it off my hands."
 

jinthebay

Well-known member
Formal Prepress training? What's that? Never heard of it.

All of my previous employers just expected me to figure out the programs that they reluctantly had to purchase.

Been in the business for thirty years. Never met anyone with "Formal" prepress training.
 

Possumgal

Well-known member
Second that. Along with figuring out the programs, it's also figuring out the machines. Just make it work.
 

JoeatData

Well-known member
Formal Training?
Yeah, when I began in digital prepress I was told I was going to be trained.
I was working 2nd shift at the time.
I was given a syquest disk and told the proof need to be done by morning.
That was my formal training.
 

MailGuru

Well-known member
Sometimes "formal training" teaches people why something can't be done. One who has learned on the job, and hasn't been brain-washed by "formal training" doesn't know that it can't be done, so they figure out how to do it. I'll take on the job learning and experience over formal training any day.

Best

-MailGuru
 

Possumgal

Well-known member
There actually are courses you can take these days that teach digital prepress. The Adobe suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign among others) is taught at many community colleges. I understand that years ago this may not have been true, but anymore the training is there if someone wants it. And by the way, some of these courses are really pretty good and can give someone a great start if they're interested.

I have also worked with people who to my knowledge never went to school and learned everything on the job, and they were some of the best prepress techs I had ever seen.

Learning the Adobe programs and learning prepress are two different things. Many people learn how to create projects in those programs, but have no conception of bleed, trap, spot colors, low res photos, RGB or CMYK or any of the myriad things print shops have to look out for when using customers' files.
 

WI-Flexo

Well-known member
Actually, those are exactly the things that they teach people. While I agree that on the job experience is always necessary to become proficient at something, many of these courses are designed and taught by people who have worked in the industry and know all about it. I think that most people who would debate this are those who have never had formal training and don't really know exactly what it is.

Out of curiosity, who are the "They" that you speak of? We have a pretty good technical school near us that does a good job with a lot of prepress specific skills but from my experience actual quality prepress training is few and far between. Please let us know of these other places people can get quality prepress training.
 

jbackus4

Active member
If there are quality classes available, they should be prerequisites for Design school students too. Thank you for the comics, They are now hanging on my production board. :)

JB
 

BarbWPP

Well-known member
I am a press operator who has been to school for prepress, so I have a little understanding about all of it. School is a great place to learn about the Adobe suite and the capabilities within the programs. Even though the courses vary from school to school and instructor to instructor, from my limited experience I have found that they teach individuals things about the programs that they can't learn without training of some sort. These programs are only getting more powerful as time goes by and I think that on the job prepress only scratches the surface of what they can do in many areas. Don't get me wrong, I understand that prepress is an acquired skill that must be learned over time and I have seen both good and bad, but to say that these schools don't even teach the difference between an RGB and CMYK workspace, bleeds, spot color to process etc. is a little ridiculous.

Well, then, you went to a better school than anything available around here. Consider yourself lucky.
 

dabob

Well-known member
Just a thought our two . . . one of the worst files I ever received was from a graphics instructor at the academy of arts in the bay area . .. it was a long time ago in the early 90s . . this job was so bloated it took 4 print cycles to get it through the rip, one night cyan, next night magenta . . . so speaking for the "printing knowledge" base in the schools I can't?won't vouch for it. But that being said the first step is a good basic knowledge of the applications, the second step is an understanding of how ink goes on the sheet, rich black builds, trapping (including trap backs) ink laydown order to name a few. I've been doing this printing thing since 1969 and learn something new all the time so most real prepress knowledge comes from the UoHK (University of Hard Knocks) also getting files from different "artists" shows you how many different ways there are to accomplished an end goal (some are bass ackwards IMHO) but they get the job done and each time you see one of those it increased your knowledge of the program . . .
 
Since the 90's I have had to re-train anyone who had classes on desktop publishing. One of my favorites was a Fullsail grad who could not even read a ruler and was amazed when I showed him that Quark had a ruler built in! He still could not figure out the math of a perfect bound book so had to transfer him.
 

jinthebay

Well-known member
Since the 90's I have had to re-train anyone who had classes on desktop publishing. One of my favorites was a Fullsail grad who could not even read a ruler and was amazed when I showed him that Quark had a ruler built in! He still could not figure out the math of a perfect bound book so had to transfer him.

True story. It was 1984 when I interviewed for my first job in printing as a paste-up artist for a flexo printer on Long Island. After filling out the application, the secretary asked me if I could read a ruler. I said "sure" She handed me the ruler and I said "Manufactured in Boxwood West Germany" I was nineteen and little dopey. But I got the job, worked my way up, learned as much as I could, asked as many questions as I could, pissed a lot of people off and I'm still doing all of those things today. And yes, I'm still a little dopey sometimes.
 

JoeatData

Well-known member
At the risk of sounding 'dated', when I first started in this industry, an automatic waxing machine was cutting edge technology, and it was considered a luxury if you had one.

Not dated......Experienced.

Yeah, just enjoyed it when the client would stack those key-lines on top of each other.
You always had at least one waxed item peeling up from the back side and dropping on the floor as you were loading them into the camera copyboard.
 

dabob

Well-known member
Remembering waxing machines . . . I had a shop in the central valley of California . . I loved it when clients came in with artboards in the summertime (100º+) days and would grab the board and everything would fall off . . . we would then let him put it back together using one of our tables . . . :)
 

gordo

Well-known member
One of my favorites was a Fullsail grad who could not even read a ruler and was amazed when I showed him that Quark had a ruler built in! He still could not figure out the math of a perfect bound book so had to transfer him.

Transfer to sales? ;-)
 

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