The site for prepress & print devotees

Prepressure covers design techniques, PDF, PostScript, fonts, JDF and numerous other prepress topics that have to do with printed communication and graphic arts.

New poll: popular Acrobat plug-ins

Cast your vote in the poll to the right, asking you which Adobe Acrobat plug-ins you frequently use for prepress work. Figuring out which plug-ins to include was a chore since I could not find an up-to-date list of popular tools. Surely there must be some magazine or blog getting tired of republishing press releases and instead write a useful article about this?

The previous poll asked visitors about the most relevant social media channels for the graphic arts industry.

Will 2018 be a fertile year for print?

It might very well be, judging by this recent Ikea magazine ad created by Swedish agency Åkestam Holst. It encourages women to pee on the page. If they are pregnant, a special discounted price on cribs will be revealed. The technology is similar to that in pregnancy-test kits.

pregnancy test in printed Ikea ad

Which countries produce the most books?

Statista published the list below showing the top publishing markets for new book titles in 2015. The data were collected by the International Publishers Association.

book publishing market statistics 2015

Stamps stampede

It’s a bit sad that it takes a popular television series to get people excited about print. I am, of course, talking about the Game Of Thrones postage stamps issued in the United Kingdom by Royal Mail.

postage stamps

Celebrating the twentieth anniversary

In 1997 I got so fed up with troubleshooting RIP issues and the lack of information about this topic that I decided to create a site about PostScript errors. Twenty years and over 16 million page views later, I am still busy adding pages and updating content. Thanks for coming by and don’t forget to check out new articles from time to time in the next 20 years!

Who’s the biggest of the big metal boys?

Statista sometimes publishes interesting data about the printing industry. The graph below shows the 2010 market share of sheet-fed offset printing machine manufacturers. I knew Heidelberger Druckmaschinen is the biggest but I did not realize they dominate this market that much.

2010 market share sheetfed offset press manufacturers

One for the text books

Normally mistakes with filler text involve Lorem Ipsum but any placeholder text can be overlooked in the rush to get to press. It cannot get much worse than this, tweeted by @ChrisRandWrites.

mistake with filler text

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: MacPaint blew me away when I first saw it –… #Apple #history #prepress


Social media poll is asking visitors which social media channel is the most relevant for printing companies. I am actually curious about that myself but think that for this site expanding the scope to the entire graphic arts industry makes more sense. Please cast your vote in the poll to the right and then like it, pin it or tweet about it.

Jost cartoon - more ink for longer tweets

The previous poll asked visitors which types of files they send to a printing company or receive as a printer.

New page on bottling

A big part of what prepress programs do is dealing with various physical properties of paper and ink. Case in point: handling bottling in imposition software.

Musings on e-reading: cover art

On Paper: The Everything of Its Two-Thousand-Year HistoryI am slowly working my way through ‘On Paper: The Everything of its Two-Thousand-Year History’. Instead of reading a book covering such a topic on paper – as one would expect – I actually bought the ebook version.  It is a bit cheaper and you can download it immediately instead of having to wait for delivery. I can take the book (and a few dozen others) with me in my coat and frankly I don’t really find that paper itself adds that much to the reading experience. There are very few types of paper that have a distinct and enjoyable feel to them and those are never used in paperbacks. The contrast between ink and paper is excellent but on the other hand, my Kindle’s front-lit screen is a joy to read in the evening or on gloomy days. Don’t even get me started on ‘the smell of paper’. I much prefer not to smell books at all.

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: For travellers Baedeker guides were ‘the Google of its time’ –… #history #printing #publishing

Comic Sans typeface example

PDF metadata

Much to my surprise, the page about PDF metadata is one of the ten most popular pages on this site. It needed to be updated and for that, I relied on ‘Developing with PDF’ by Leonard Rosenthol. For PDF-related stuff, you cannot go wrong with a book whose author uses @pdfsage as his Twitter handle.

XMP metadata

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: OMG, CMYKOG was such a PITA, YMMV but I’m glad it is AWOL, ROFLOL –

Pantone Hexachrome 6-color printing

Interesting graphic arts sites and blogs

The economy is doing well so printers in Germany have trouble finding new employees. To appeal to the current generation of young professionals BVDM, the German Association of print and media, has started campaigns called ‘Gestochen scharf’ and ‘Perfekt veredelt’. As you can see they clearly target the hipster generation and their (assumed?) love for color and detail.

BVDM campaign to recruit graphic arts professionals

I learned about the above campaign through the newsletter of,  an excellent news site about graphic communication. Other interesting resources are Insights4print by Eddy Hagen and the newsletter and blog of


Ever wondered why there are ads on a site that claims to be ‘a personal notebook about prepress, printing and publishing’? Maybe you forgot that early on the web was largely ad-free. Nowadays Wikipedia seems to be the only place that still adheres to that principle. Here is my story on how blogs and personal websites can use online ads for a good cause.

Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: 10 years ahead of your time? Great! Maybe more than 1000 years ahead? Wow! – #History #Printing

First copper printing plates

Visiting the museum of lithography

I finally managed to visit the ‘Steendrukmuseum’ in Valkenswaard, The Netherlands and snap some pictures of the stoneprinting presses and artwork. The ‘Brisset’ press below is the oldest one on display, built around 1880 in France.

Brisset stoneprinting press

Common PDF issues

Based on the results of a recent GWG survey the page about common PDF issues has been updated. Sadly the main issues that PDF users struggle with are largely the same from the old list created in 2008:

  • Low-res images
  • Incorrect color spaces
  • Missing bleed
  • Missing fonts
  • Transparency issues


Prepress Pete is tweeting

Friday flashback: I’m still saving up to buy a decent Atlas, $99984 to go to buy one of these –

Earth Platinum - largest atlas

PDF 2.0 has been released

In 2007 Adobe handed over the PDF file format to ISO, the International Organization for Standardization. It took that organization ten years to come up with a new version of the PDF specifications. Earlier this month that finally happened when ISO released PDF 2.0. In the short run this will not have much impact but the new functions will gradually start being used by design and prepress applications. A short description of the new features and improvements can be found on the page about PDF versions.

I for one welcome our new PDF overlords

100 trillion dollar banknote

I knew these existed but have never seen one. The image is a nice addition to the 2008 prepress and printing news page.

100 trillion dollar banknote

Used for too long?

The Boston Globe published an interesting video tribute to the presses and press men at their Dorchester printing plant, which is about to be closed down. While I admire how they managed to keep presses running for over 50 years, you also have to wonder if lack of innovation isn’t part of the problem that so many newspapers face today. During visits to the United States I’ve never been impressed by any of the newspapers I bought or read at hotels. A boring layout, old-fashioned typefaces, coarse screening and lackluster color, that about sums it up. Newspapers can be much more appealing. My own daily newspaper has a spread dedicated to showing pictures around one central theme, which is way more fun than Instagram. The layout often makes excellent use of the available real estate and color is not an afterthought bolted on top of black text. A printed newspaper should be fun to read and I hope their brand-new facilities also allow the Boston Globe to make their newspaper more appealing.


Follow us on Twitter

If you would like to know when new content appears on this site, please follow us. If you are somewhat less serious, consider following Prepress Pete, our in-house village idiot.

Older comments can be found here.

5 March 2018

Comments are closed.