Prepress Skills Training Program

According to Keys to Profitability: Strategic and Operational Characteristics of Printing Industry Profit Leaders, profit leaders—those printers in the top 25% in terms of profitability—spend over twice as much on training and education for their staff than profit challengers.

And while it never hurts to make sure press operators stay on top of their game in terms of proper mechanical operation and maintenance on the production floor, it’s important to keep in mind that pressroom problems aren’t the only obstacles that can delay a job.

Just as often, jobs can hit snags in prepress as fonts are replaced, color spaces are changed, and images inexplicably go missing—and that’s just for starters.

That’s why Joe Marin, senior analyst, digital technologies, and noted instructor for Printing Industries of America has developed a new Prepress Skills Training Program. The new program, a revision of the popular Imaging Skills Training Curriculum, is a comprehensive guide to six key areas of focus for today’s prepress technician.

“The old curriculum contained content that had changed dramatically or was no longer relevant,” Marin said. “We found that many teachers and trainers were still very interested in the program, and decided to completely update the curriculum. The new program contains all-new slides, movies, review questions, and suggested hands-on activities.”

Specifically, the new Prepress Skills Training Program covers topics such as PDF creation, uncovering digital file problems, soft proofing, color management, working with camera RAW, and other common issues with which every prepress technician should be familiar.

Naturally, while most firms recognize the importance of continuing to educate their staff, it’s far from easy to allocate the resources necessary to implement training programs—whether they are in-house or in a classroom setting. A long-time prepress veteran, Marin built the current program with these potential issues in mind.
”Having worked in prepress for twelve years, I know that it is difficult—if not impossible—to find time for training,” said Marin. “This curriculum is broken into short bites, called ‘modules.’ This allows staff to get trained in short segments, most of which can be incorporated into learning lunches.”

The program contains thirty-six such modules, which explore the following key focus areas:

  • Orientation to Desktop Publishing
  • Composition
  • Job Engineering
  • Image Capture
  • Press, Binding, and Finishing
  • Digital Output

”The best way to teach the curriculum is to use the entire curriculum,” Marin said. “The best part about this program is that it is completely integrated, and everything is already done for you. Some instructors simply choose just to use the slideshow and integrated movies. The most effective way to utilize the program is to incorporate the suggested hands-on activities that reinforce the slideshow content, then to assess performance by administering the review test questions. This is most effective because it points out needs where additional training may be required.”

The Prepress Skills Training Program features and Instructor’s Manual which addresses each module in terms of learning objectives, instructional procedures, teaching aids, references, and suggested hands-on activities. It also comes with a DVD featuring complementary slide shows and integrated movies for each module. The Trainee’s Manual supplies students with hardcopies of the slide shows, a review of objectives for each module, and self-study tests to ensure retention of the concepts examined in each lesson.

Program Details
Four key curriculum elements are designed to be used in conjunction to make a complete course. The manual and workbook are spiral-bound for lay-flat convenience.

  • Instructor’s Training Manual: Helps the instructor guide the trainee(s) in a coherent, sequential learning process. Includes safety requirements; a set of instructional outlines, including lesson objectives, instructional procedures, suggested teaching aids, references, and suggested hands-on activities; and answer keys to the self-study tests in the Trainee’s Workbook. 
  • Instructional DVD: Includes PDF presentations for each module of the six tasks. These presentations provide more comprehensive instruction in certain topics and help make the material more accessible to visual learners.
  • Trainee’s Workbook: Consists of task objectives; knowledge requirements, i.e., the reading and viewing assignments covered in every module; a self-study guide taken from the supplemental DVD slides to aid in note taking, studying, and reference; and self-study tests for every module.
  • Reference Library: A variety of supplemental textbooks to provide students with the knowledge required for effective digital file preparation and output. The reading assignments are all referenced in the textbooks. The questions for the self-study tests come from either the textbooks or the DVD.

Purchase this curriculum in the Online Store.

For Questions about program content and implementation, contact Joe Deemer, manager of technical information, at or call 1-800-910-4283 x764.

Published on Friday, February 19, 2010 (updated 06/04/2015)

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