Prepress Proofer

Make single or multicolored prepress proofs of text and graphics.
picture of Prepress Proofer

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$20,000 – $54,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Prepress Proofers do?

Makes single or multicolored prepress proofs of text and graphics, performing any combination of following duties: Places base material and color coated sheet or light sensitive film into laminating machine that transfers pigment from sheet or laminates light sensitive film to base. Exposes base to corresponding color-separated negative or positive film, using vacuum frame, and places color coated base in automatic processor that develops and reveals color image on base, or places light sensitive base into corresponding color bin of automatic toner machine that deposits powdered ink pigment onto image. Registers succeeding color negatives or positives over base, using magnifier or register device system, and repeats process to produce multicolor proof. Exposes film to proofing paper to make single-color proof. Exposes film to colored base material to produce overlay of each color, and assembles and aligns individual overlays on top of one another to form multicolor overlay proof. Compares test exposures to quality control color guides to determine data for exposure settings. Measures density levels of colors or color guides on proofs, using densitometer, and compares readings to set standards. Mixes powdered ink pigments, using ink matching book and measuring and mixing tools, to create nonstandard colors, and applies ink pigments to base by hand. Immerses exposed materials in chemical baths to hand-develop proofing materials. Method used to make proof is determined by brand of equipment and quality of proof required.


Should I be a Prepress Proofer?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.
  • Calm Under Pressure: You keep your cool when dealing with highly stressful situations.

  • Also known as: Proofer Apprentice, Proofer, Prepress

    How to become a Prepress Proofer

    Prepress Proofers generally graduate from high school and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate’s degree to increase your chances of finding a good job. Check out these schools offering Prepress Proofer-related education!
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