Prepress comprises the necessary production stages following the completion of a manuscript in preparation for the actual printing and binding of a book; design, typesetting, proofing (for textual and colour correction), imposition of pages, and the making of the printing plates when the book is to be printed on a press.

Whether a manuscript is just text or also contains images and illustrations, the process of book design calls for the creative arrangement of the content into a coherent whole with the aim of satisfying the reader. If you need help with the design of your book we can work from your design brief or house style or create your book design for you.

Typesetting is the arrangement of the text according to the book design. We use Quark XPress and Adobe InDesign for typesetting and the layout of pages; you can specify which is to be used for your book. Text can be supplied in a wide range of formats: handwritten, typed or digital. A wide range of digital formats are acceptable including: Email (ASCII, MIME, HTML), PC Windows (All formats - ASCII, WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, etc - 2.5in, 5.25in), Unix (All formats - ASCII, tar, etc), Macintosh (All formats - Word, Nisus, etc), Amiga (ASCII), Amstrad (ASCII). If you are unsure whether your particular format is acceptable please contact us.

Multilingual files: we can accept files containing more than one language, either left or right reading

Photographs and illustrations often come from a wide range of sources - self-originated, professional photographers, archives or photo-libraries - and in diverse formats - hardcopy, digital, film, etc. We can scan from any format, apply traditional effects such as halftones and duotones, or create complex photomonages, and perform colour adjustment suitable to the printing method.

Once typesetting and page make-up has been completed you will receive an initial proof copy in either printed or digital form for correction. Corrections can be returned by post or fax, or corrections can be listed in an email.

The proofing process may take more than one cycle of proof and correction and production timescales are only guarantees from the moment of receipt of the final signed-off proof. Please note that, to avoid potential ambiguity, only one proofcopy at a time will be acknowledge for correction.

Proofing for colour can be carried out separately or in combination with corrections for text and page layout. For books that are to be printed digitally colour proofs printed on the actual printing machine to be used are readily availabe. For books that will be litho printed accurate colour proofs can be supplied or pages can be "passed on-press".

Imposition of pages is an essesntial prepress process in preparation for litho printing. It consists in the appropriate arrangement of the pages for the sheet size to be used on the press. It is not something that you need address as we impose the pages for our presses. If you are providing Print-ready PDFs please note that they should not be imposed.

Open source software: we can accept PDFs generated by open source software but can only guarantee production timescales on receipt and verification of the compatitibility of the files with our imposition software.