A Review of Alleviating Prepress Anxiety: How to Manage your Print Projects for Savings, Schedule and Quality by Ann Goodheart

The focus overall of Alleviating Prepress Anxiety is on saving money, meeting a schedule and producing professional print results. Regardless of whether you are an administrator or PR coordinator for a large company, the head of a small one, a self-published author looking to produce your own promotional material or a freelancer producing print materials for someone else, Alleviating Prepress Anxiety is a valuable guide which can save the novice from costly mistakes, and provide the more experienced person with a useable reference.

Reviewed by Magdalena Ball

Alleviating Prepress Anxiety: How to Manage your Print Projects for Savings, Schedule and Quality
by Ann Goodheart
Leaping Antelope Productions; ISBN: 0965922286; 1 edition (April 2000)
RRP $14.95

Alleviating Prepress Anxiety is a book for administrators who have been asked to produce corporate materials. If you have been placed in this role, and more and more administrators are finding themselves overseeing the production of brochures, catalogues, flyers, business cards, reports and training materials, there is a lot to learn and this book is an excellent primer. The lessons are also reasonably applicable to those who want to produce their own promotional materials, including self-published authors, publishers, web-site owners and, in particular, corporate freelance or technical writers. The world where copywriters were able to work in a vacuum, oblivious to things like typeset, layout, design, and other graphic criteria is gone.

At less than 170 pages, including well spaced text, extensive tables, key terms, bibliography and lengthy glossary, this book is not long, nor is it revolutionary in what it covers. Those with many years of experience in the print trade probably won’t learn anything significantly new here, but for those who need to learn from the ground up, and fast, the book covers a lot of ground. There are detailed chapters on planning each project, analysing the competition, matching the message to the audience, working out quantity and quality, choosing team players, print brokers and ad agencies, graphic designers, binders ad mailhouses. The heart of the book is in the chapters on type and design, inks and papers. While this may seem like mundane detail to those who work with words, there are thousands of readily available typefaces, and the wrong point, font or ill structured design can ruin an other well written piece. There is a chapter on working with photographs including tone and colour, choosing the right paper, envelopes and overall coordination of the piece. Although the book is addressed to administration staff in a large corporation, many of the examples including the opening chapter of a romance novel, and it is interesting to see the difference, and impact, of using various design elements, typefaces, colours and fonts. At the back of each chapter is a list of key terms.

Once the project is ready for press, there are chapters dealing with obtaining quotes, including quote request proformas ready for re-use. The book ends with an interesting look at how the office of the future might operate, and other trends. Throughout the book are 18 war stories, which provide real life examples of what can go wrong, and which add life to what is a fairly technical manual. The book avoidss delving into serious design, the crafting of good copy or how to use a desk top publishing package, although there are references, and plenty of other books which deal with these issues. The focus overall of Alleviating Prepress Anxiety is on saving money, meeting a schedule and producing professional print results. Regardless of whether you are an administrator or PR coordinator for a large company, the head of a small one, a self-published author looking to produce your own promotional material or a freelancer producing print materials for someone else, Alleviating Prepress Anxiety is a valuable guide which can save the novice from costly mistakes, and provide the more experienced person with a useable reference.

For more information about Alleviating Prepress Anxiety, visit: Alleviating Prepress Anxiety : How to…

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