Pre-Press Technician

Apprenticeship , Level 3
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Available at the following campuses:

What Our Students Say

“I decided to study at Leeds City College because I liked the equipment and the rooms that they had, and I liked how it was a whole new space – it had only recently been built so everything was brand spanking new and it looked really clean and really nice.”


“I’m working really well with my tutors – they’re really supportive and we just have a laugh. It’s like a really nice atmosphere. I think the facilities are really fantastic.”


“Before I came to Leeds City College, I was in school, I was in such a bad way at school, skiving lessons all the time, teachers always on my case, getting kicked out numerous times almost. So I applied for here just hoping to get on a course, I got accepted – it was entry Level 3. Dave was my tutor and I couldn’t have asked for anyone better as a tutor, because he just helped me. He helped me with every regard, with Maths and English, workshop work, the theory side of the workshop work – telling me how everything is and showing me what’s what.”


Course Information


A Pre-press Technician is skilled in all the physical processes that occur before the printing process. Pre-press is the first stage of production, and is the term used for creating, editing and outputting print-ready designs for books, newspapers and packaging.

Those with a technical mind and who have great attention to detail may find the role interesting due to the complexity of the workflows and software, as well as the assurances of quality required before passing a job to production.

Start dates: October and April


What you will study

  • Creation of an output image carrier ready for onward production, i.e. a
    print-ready electronic file; plate or cylinder.
  • Production of plates, cylinders, screens and/or electronic file to the
    required production standard.
  • Recognise the different company equipment and its associated needs in
    printing and finishing processes, so pre-press can support the other
    departments in meeting customer specifications effectively e.g. setting colour
    profiles accurately so the print technicians can set up their machines more
  • Application of Colour Theory in the various industry processes and quality
  • Receipt, checking, and processing of digital files such as print-ready
    PDFs, database and colour/ink profile files.
  • Completes relevant paperwork for specified job/department for
    communication and to demonstrate accountability.
  • Design and production of creative digital artwork appropriate for print
    production. Planning and production of edited images ready for various
    software such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Photoshop, QuarkXPress etc.
  • How to check digital files and solve issues with software and workflow
  • Creation of imposition schemes and job layouts.

Benefits and skills

  • Demonstrate proficiency in a range of pre-press, design, workflow management such as ‘Adobe Creative Suite’.
  • Convert customer files to print-ready files using various software and workflow packages.
  • Send, receive and process digital files in the workflow, or e.g. using Adobe Creative Suite. Discuss job/design brief matters with the customer and provide advice on print-related issues where necessary.

Entry requirements

Maths and English at level 4 or above.

Available Apprenticeships and Progression options

Full time employment with the employer.

Assessment types

Observation at work

Online exam at a GQA centre

Professional discussion at work

Course details

Duration: 2 years
Study Type: Full time
Course Code: 74475-01

Please note that for all courses starting on 9th September, there will be an induction week, WC 2nd September.

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