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What is PrePress (and why does it cost extra)?.

So you’ve received an invoice for a print job, saw a pre-press fee, and you’re thinking “What is that?!”

If you are ordering a seemingly simple job, like say a business card, it may feel wrong to have to pay a setup fee – It’s just one business card, right?

Well if a file isn’t set up correctly for production, extra work has to take place- let’s explore.

What is Pre-Press?

Pre-press used to be, quite literally, preparing plates for a print press back in the days before digital printing was available. Now the term is used to explain the process that occurs between receiving a print layout and the creation of the final product.

How does it work?

It all begins when a printer first receives the file to be printed. Professionals evaluate the file, making sure the file includes everything it needs to be printed successfully.  This evaluation includes:

  • Spelling, grammar and punctuation
  • Formatting and page layout
  • Adding adequate bleed to margins of page
  • Correct color models
  • Proper color transfers
  • Replacing and modifying low resolution images
  • Adding crop marks for production bindery
  • Imposing on full sheets to SAVE you money

Once all these requirements are met, the printing can begin.

Why does it cost extra?

The reason you may pay a fee is simply to account for the time and expertise it takes to get the piece ready.  If a printer receives a file that ticks off all the boxes listed above, there should be no pre-press fee. However, many organizations do not have access to a graphic designer or someone well-versed in production so it is rare to encounter a file that’s ready for print upon delivery. From something as simple as reviewing spelling, to page formatting and adding bleeds, Pre-press takes time and a detailed eye. It actually involves several detailed eyes, including the Account Manager, Project Manager, and Pre-press technician.

The industry standard pre-press fee ranges from $50 – $150. If you are having a lot of in-house materials created that are destined for print, it may be worth looking into your file finalization process to make sure you are avoiding that pre-press fee if you can help it!  We’re happy to help.

So, we hope this helps ease your mind knowing that pre-press is worth your money and is an essential part of the production process. We take pride in knowing that your work is done beautifully, whether it be through print or other means. VSG Marketing provides in-house digital printing services for our clients and partners, allowing them to order “just in time” supplies and customized sales collateral in quantities as low as 1.

 Contact VSG Marketing today to learn how we can bring your ideas to life.