I have been working in prepress for over 17 years, and, other than a few rare occasions, I’m usually in the same building as where the printing is taking place. Which is really helpful when printing pieces that I’ve designed, since I know the presses and machines, and I know how to fix something if it is not printing the way I expected it to. For End of the Line, I am finding myself on the other side prepress, and I am solely a designer. It’s a little odd, but it’s been a good experience for me.
I am happy to report that I am really good at designing for print! Not that you wouldn’t expect that after 17 years, but it’s nice to hear from another print shop that my files were easy to work with and made their job easier. And, that also means that I have successfully met one of my goals! I actually got into printing because I had an internship in a print shop, and everywhere in the shop, I kept hearing about how designers were wasting their company’s money by making a lot of prepress mistakes and choosing bad ink and paper for their jobs. My goal was to go into prepress so that I would not be one of those designer. Mission accomplished!
I am also learning a lot about what happens on the client side of things. Before this project, I didn’t understand why someone would send a file in to be printed before checking it carefully. After sending in my own files, I understand that there is more going on: you are rushing to meet deadlines, you are staring at the same pieces for hours on end, and you have spell checked so many times, that you forget that you didn’t do that one file one last time… On the prepress end, I’m looking at something with a fresh eye, and I’m sending it back to the customer to look at after they’ve had a break from it.
It’s not like I was oblivious to all of this, it’s just that it’s been so long since I’ve been on this side, that I’ve forgotten. And on my end, it seems like it’s happening more and more. Which I supposed it probably is, since technology has made things less expensive and move faster.
Overall, this has been a good experience, and I’m really excited to see the mocked-up proof! You can bet I’ll put pictures online when I have those. I can’t wait!