This resource is designed to give you an understanding of the whole process that takes place in order for you to receive your printed books, from making your decisions on paper type, layout and binding, right through to holding your books proudly in your hands. Here we will guide you through a summary of the three main steps of production; pre-press, press and post-press. There is more detailed information on each individual aspect of the process in our Book Resources, which you can find links to on the left.
Pre-press is all about your artwork once you’ve made all your creative decisions for your book. It’s important to spend time making double checking that your artwork and designs will work successfully to give you the overall final result you imagined. For this, accuracy is important, and this is down to you and the technician who will check the artwork before going to print. It’s also a big help to have an understanding of the requirements for your artwork and why these exist, which is explained in this section, addressing proofs, printers’ marks, pagination and printing plates.
Press is the stage in which the printing takes place. Once artwork has been proofed and signed off, the books will go into production. This section explains how the machinery works that’s used to create your custom books and how the press is set up, as well as the various choices of paper and printing methods. Finally we discuss the press check which is the final stage of press, to make sure the quality of the book is as desired so far.
Although you may think press is the most important stage, a huge amount is also completed during post-press, as this incorporates everything that gets done after your pages have been printed. In summary, your printed sheets will be folded, cut and bound to complete your book. These processes involve yet more machinery, and have a large impact on the final style and practicality of the book. Explained in this section is the process of folding signatures, collation, finishing, binding, quality assurance and drying.