Prepress Operator

A certified FIRST Prepress Operator is an expert in the field of flexographic prepress (graphics) operations.FIRST_prepress_lg

This expert prepress professional excels in the areas of graphic file assembly, preparation and management, image capture, process color calibration, and measuring and controlling print variables throughout the entire workflow.


  • Efficiently build graphic files to provide accurate and repeatable color on press
  • Calibrate color measurement instruments and output devices for consistency
  • Employ best process color separation techniques
  • Evaluate press conditions to achieve optimal print results
  • Effectively use preflight and proofing practices
  • Employ optimization practices for the plate package
  • Use data verification to solve prepress issues before they reach production
  • Improve communication from the customer to prepress to the pressroom
Level I:  6 weeks, self-paced – sign up online
Level II: 12 weeks, self-paced – sign up online
Level III: 12 weeks, self-paced – sign up online


“This program is hands-down one of the best ways to learn flexo, from anilox to vignette and everything in between.”—Charles Strezo, FIRST Prepress Operator Certified, Praire State Group


FIRST Methodology

FIRST supports the methodical approach to process control, optimization, fingerprinting, characterization and process improvement as outlined in CGATS TR 012-2003 (Graphic Technology – Color Reproduction and Process Control for Packaging Printing). While each organization may use its own workflow based upon its specific needs, there are certain fundamentals universal to the flexographic printing process. With a firm understanding and application of the FIRST methodology, flexographers can: identify potentially troublesome issues, benchmark press performance, utilize statistical analysis to maintain optimal conditions, perform accurate device calibrations, identify improvement opportunities and preserve stable conditions for repeatable results –all with the end result of satisfactorily reproducing the graphic design.

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