The Prepress Process

What do print-ready files, holiday decorations, and chili cook-offs have in common? Only the greatest prepress department on the entire printing planet – of course we’re talking about our resident prepress print ninjas at Custom Color.

Prepress departments are often found in print shops – but ours is quite unique. Even though many of their projects are completed individually, the entire department is a cohesive unit joined together by inside jokes and a teal door. The prepress department is the reigning company holiday decoration winners, chili cook-off champions, donut fanatics and the creators of cubicle coaster golf. 

While they obviously know how to have fun, they also know their stuff – the entire department has accumulated over 90 years working in prepress roles. Jena and Oscar have degrees in photography, Larry boasts a degree in color management (and minored in underwater photography, what?!), and Andrea is a graphic designer by trade. Each of the team members brings backgrounds and skill sets that have prepared them to prepare perfect prints. 

Now that you know about them, it’s helpful to understand what exactly it is that they do. Our prepress department is the final eyes before the printing prize. After receiving our client’s artwork, our prepress team goes to work. The team performs a series of checks and balances to ensure print perfection. 

Have you ever created a document on your computer and then crossed your fingers hoping that the printed version looks like what you see on your screen? When printing large format, it’s unrealistic to print just one copy to check out what the finalized version will look like. *Enter technology.* When art is submitted, it goes through an automated quality control preflight. PitStop detects any possible errors in PDF files and sends alerts and reports to our prepress team to correct any mistakes detected. 

When we say errors, we’re not talking about spelling - we assume that when you send files that they’re print ready. Our preflight checks for low resolution images, unintended RGB objects, missing bleed, font issues, white elements, ink coverage, layers, spot colors, and deep black checks. 

Just like everything else about Custom Color, we think that our prepress team is the best in the business. They are the true backbone to the company and are always considering the printing process and making their fellow employees jobs easier when working their magic…that is, when they’re not trying to design and build their annual department gingerbread house. 


Jason Milbourne is the Vice President at Custom Color Corp. A designer, pre-press connoisseur, and Royals fanatic by day and a fantasy baseball pro and taco and craft beer arbitrator by night, Jason loves all things fun and crazy….just like his hair. Connect with him on LinkedIn, but don’t follow him on Instagram, because he won’t follow back.