It used to be said that “50% of a printing job’s cost is in prepress, 50% paper and ink and what is left over is for the printer.”
The irony of this would not be lost on any modern offset printer, struggling against rising material costs, environmental compliance, labour costs and stiff international competition from low-cost producers.
Where prepress was once a bought-in trade service—with film separations and chemical proof delivered to printers for burning plates—today is a very much different industrial picture. Purely prepress trade shops are almost extinct, as CtP, proofing and file preparation was brought in-house and digital workflows united prepress with press operations.
It may not be 50% today, but prepress is still a major part of any offset printing job’s cost; all the more as print-run lengths shorten and frequency increases.Read More