Typsetting once involved physically setting typed characters using the metal plates needed for the printing presses. Leading was the size of the piece of lead placed between the rows of type to separate them!
Of course, pre-press work is now done digitally & it’s a highly specialised area requiring a number of competencies:
- Basic layout skills using software like Adobe InDesign
- Digital imaging skills
- Ability to source or create appropriate graphs & diagrams
- Knowledge of appropriate typefaces & font families
- Understanding of kerning, leading, tracking & ability to carefully manage space
- An understanding of colour matching for different output devices
- The ability to run preflight checks on publications to ensure fonts are embedded, files are linked & printers’ requirements are met.