So, first of all, what exactly is Repro… and who are these people? Well, I work in the Repro department here at Printhouse and felt it about time introduce myself and give a quick explanation of what Reprographics actually is, what we do and of course, why we are such an important part of the printing process!
Reprographics is a blanket term which covers the reproduction process of graphics which can be achieved in many forms. Our speciality is lithographic printing and digital printing. In general, reprography is a relatively small industry and yet, it is a major and indespensible part of the printing process. You see, without us repro folk, there would be all types of printing problems! Seriously, you may be thinking whoah, a bit of modesty please. OK, I’ll let you know why I think we need our praises sung…
Firstly, we are given a press ready PDF file, except… I would say 8 times out of 10, we aren’t! If we printed some of the files as supplied, there would be dodgy fonts, pictures that look washed out, elements missing from the final copy, pages backing up upside down, incorrect colours… I could go on… You see, we have that extra bit of knowledge that gets a design file through to the printing stage with most of our clients unaware of the subtle changes we have had to apply to the files to make their design work and shine as a finished product.
Secondly, we are so clever that we can impose the job by spinning it, multiplying it, chopping it up and putting it back together again, all so that the job backs up correctly, folds in the right places and basically works as it should. Saddle stitched booklets, gatefold leaflets, perfect bound books, spot UV’s, gold and silver foil blocking, embossing and all that fancy stuff, we know how to add that to the file and make it work beyond the original PDF and into the final impositions, plates, print and finishing.
Our knowledge doesn’t stop there. We also advise our clients on what colours work best, what papers to use, how to set up the document for print, what finishing looks great and we are happy to share all that experience just because we care. Yup, we’re alright us repro folk.
So, as you can see, there are real life humans in Repro as well as the fancy equipment; it isn’t just big whirry machines and complicated computers. I am writing on behalf of the Repro department as we deserve to get our mention (only those designery types upstairs usually get that but we’re not bitter!). So next time you open a perfectly printed company brochure or marvel at the intricately folding peice of cardboard that is somehow packaging that marvellous product, please stop and think about the forgotten people of repro too! Phew, I have to say that felt rather good.