Chapter 5. Pre-press

5.8 Summary

Wayne Collins

This chapter has looked at computer graphic creation through the lens of a manufacturer that must reproduce the electronic image on a substrate. The image must be processed through a RIP that drives a laser, or other imaging technology, to transfer pigments to that substrate. There are unique variables that must be considered in preparing the computer graphic for the reproduction process. We have explored routines for processing vector data such as fonts through a RIP, spot colour handling, trapping, and imposition. The next chapter will look at each of the imaging technologies in more depth.


Questions to consider after completing this chapter:

  1. Describe six pre-imaging file analysis processes that should be considered when developing a computer graphic for reproduction manufacture.
  2. Describe four major imaging technologies that utilize computer graphics to image on different substrates.
  3. Describe the difference between raster data and vector data when creating a computer graphic file.
  4. Compare the raster resolution of the data for a typical lithographic plate-setter compared to the resolution of a typical inkjet device.
  5. How many addressable values can be recorded in an eight-bit byte of computer data?
  6. What does the acronym WYSIWYG stand for?
  7. How many kerning pairs are present in a ‘good’ font file?
  8. What colour matching library has been developed exclusively for process colour printing inks (CMYK)?
  9. What two printing processes must have trapping applied to computer graphics files before making printing plates?
  10. What can a page layout artist do to a graphics file if the transparent elements on the page are dropping out or not processing in the RIP?


Adobe Systems Incorporated. (1997a). Adobe postscript. Retrieved from

Adobe Systems Incorporated. (1997b). Adobe postscript printing primer. Retrieved from

Adobe Systems Incorporated. (2002). How to trap using Adobe trapping technologies. Retrieved from

Adobe Systems Incorporated. (2004). A designer’s guide to transparency for print output. Retrieved from

Adobe Systems Incorporated. (2015). Adobe OpenType. Retrieved from

Darlow, A. (2009). Raster Image Processors: RIPs 101. Professional Photographer. Retrieved from

Electronics for Imaging. (2011). Fiery servers: The easiest way to get the right color every time. Electronics for Imaging. Retrieved from

Enfocus BVBA. (2015). PitStop Pro 13 reference guide. Retrieved from

Flexographic Technical Association. (n.d.). First 4.0 supplemental flexographic printing design guide. Retrieved from

Gaultney, V., Hosken, M., & Ward, A. (2003). An introduction to TrueType fonts: A look inside the TTF format. Retrieved from

Liquori, E. (2011). Spot or process color? Essential guidelines. Retrieved from

McCue, C. (2007). Real world print production. Berkeley, CA: Peachpit Press.

Muscolino, H., Machado, A., & Corr, C. (2013). Mercury RIP architecture: Adobe’s print framework for a one-to-one digital age. IDC. Retrieved from

Suggested Readings

Adobe Systems (Ed.). (1990). Adobe type 1 font format. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley Pub. Co.

Adobe Systems Incorporated. (2015). Adobe PDF Library SDK. Retrieved from

Adobe Systems Incorporated. (2015). Font formats. Retrieved from

Adobe Systems Incorporated. (2015). OpenType fonts information. Retrieved from

Adobe Systems Incorporated. (2015). Transparency flattening. Retrieved from

Adobe Systems Incorporated. (2015). Using and creating swatches. Retrieved from

LucidDream Software. (2008). Trapping tips. Retrieved from

Markzware. (2015). Markzware TV – YouTube Channel. Retrieved from

Montax Imposer. (n.d.). Imposition types. Retrieved from (n.d.). Transparency in PDF files. Retrieved from

TotalFlow MR. (2012). Imposition for creating a bound book. Retrieved from