Help me stay on top of printing and packaging technology.
February 26, 2008 10:26 AM   Subscribe

Help me stay on top of printing and packaging technology.

I work for a company that designs packaging for food and assorted household goods. We have recently (within the past year) begun providing prepress services (color separation, proofing, etc.), and the project management portion is my responsibility. I would like to increase my knowledge of print technology/management and learn about the latest/greatest printing and packaging developments.

Can you recommend books, magazines, seminars, websites, classes or anything else that will help me?
posted by elvissa to Technology (5 answers total)
The Graph Expo conference always has lots of exhibitors doing custom packaging. Probably some other resources available through that group.
posted by bobot at 10:32 AM on February 26, 2008

Disclaimer: I work for a division of one of your national competitors.

There's only so much that mags and trades can do for you -- it takes a couple years of doing prepress before you get into the flow. Get your hands dirty -- learn how to fully keyline and assemble a file. It's a drastically different viewpoint than design and the best way to understand is by doing.
posted by nathan_teske at 11:12 AM on February 26, 2008

I did prepress for 10 years, and as nathan says, it takes years to get decent at it.

if i owned a print shop, i would not let a designer be responsible for prepress. sorry, mr. designer, we don't have a 60 color press. and that 32K jpeg is not going to work for the center spread.

i'm sure anyone who has been in prepress for years has amusing stories about files they received. well, after a few years it's amusing. the trauma has to fade a little.

if you're a manager, hire people who have been doing digital prepress for years. pay them what they deserve. you won't save money hiring cheaper people. it's a thankless job with lots of ways to cost the company boatloads of money. it takes years to get good, it's very technical and sometimes very boring and repetitive. it takes a certain personality type.

a great book, if you can find it, is "Makeready" by Don Margulis. his "Professional Photoshop" is the best book about using pshop for print. it doesn't tell you about wizzy neon effects, just how to make pics look good after going thru a press.

wow, keyboard diarrhea. sorry.
posted by KenManiac at 7:04 PM on February 26, 2008

The thought of a design firm doing prepress work without prior experience makes me shiver. Like Ken said, you need to hire new good people and dip in gradually. Otherwise you're going to rack up hundreds of thousands of dollars in rework, printer fines and even legal liability.
posted by nathan_teske at 8:24 PM on February 26, 2008

I don't know where you're located but Clemson University has an excellent Graphic Communications program. A friend who worked for a good sized print shop in San Francisco would routinely go back there to recruit folks fluent in the latest press and prepress operations. Their Packaging Science department is also highly rated. Might be a good place to find some of that help mentioned upthread.
posted by hangingbyathread at 3:17 AM on February 27, 2008

« Older Where can I find an original Polish movie poster...   |   A question that has my mind going round in circles Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.