What’s hot in Prepress?

by admin on August 20, 2009

Now, before I go any further, I should share a summary of an email sent to me and my response to it. A fellow was (is) looking for work in prepress and came across my blog and was intrigued at a former prepress specialist turned blogger and asked how I made the transition. My short sweet answer?

Continual unemployment (cue laugh track).

So maybe I'm not the best guy to give career advice or tips on how to find a job. But what the hey, it's my blog and I'm sure you've had a gutfull of digging through the crap at monster.com andĀ  some comic relief is in order. And we aim to please. So here goes.

Now forget what is hot in prepress. That was just a teaser title. Apparently what's hot in prepress and has been hot in prepress in years is that boat-anchorĀ  of a beast called inkjet and you want to stay as far away from a a shop buying inkjet presses as you can. You don't want what is hot, you want to be with a shop that is making money. Shops that make money tend to want to hire people, I have discovered this great secret in my twenty years in the workforce. So let's focus on the shops that make money.

Packaging printers are still making the coin. Not that they would tell you that. The average commercial printer is pretty tight-lipped about cash flow but put him next to a packaging printer and he would look as chatty as Paula Abdul. Trust me on this, the packaging guys are still bankin' and the prepress work in packaging is not going to be shipped out to the drones in Kinko's anytime soon. The tool of choice in packaging is either Artpro or Prinergy Powerpack (other vendors in the packaging biz, feel free to plug your wares in the comments section). If you want to check out what packaging guys like to talk about, check out converting magazine.

Okay, you wanna stay in commercial? Look for high-end printers. Not the guy who think 175 lpi is high class and 150 lpi is "good enough." Jeepers, those guys are getting thrown under the steamroller every day. Look for guys who are doing lenticular and even trying spotless. Because if they are trying (or doing) funky stuff like that, then they have customers who are paying for it.

Lastly, what's going to be big in the next decade? Well, if they work out all the bugs, then OLED printing is going to be huge. I mean, right now, they are putting video screens in magazines, so don't think there isn't a market for that.

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