Following on from my recent post regarding the oft used term ‘Pre-media’ – here at Tunicca we attempted recently to define it and placed our definition on Wikipedia. At a recent trade show we experienced a lot of visitors asking what Pre-media means and it made us wonder if the industry in general really has an understanding of what it is and what it means for the world of media communication? Here we outline some facts surrounding Pre-media, we hope you find them useful and we welcome your comments.
What is Pre-media?
Pre-media is the term that is used in the design, creative and publishing industries for the processes and procedures that occur between the conception of original artwork and the manufacturing of final output channel.
It is a process that combines creative art and technology to communicate the final message to a consumer.
Pre-media should ideally provide the ability to supply design execution all the way to ready-to-publish files developed on industry-standard software, delivered on your platform of choice and ensuring that the client’s requirements are met. In short, any form of input channel to any form of output channel.
It includes the processes that allow an individual or company to visually communicate their message to their audience in the medium that best suits the demographics for that message. This should all be provided in the correct specifications and for the desired output channel.
With such a vast landscape to cover, Pre-media has a number of categories that fall under its banner. Those categories, listed below, have a vast array of technical requirements each complimenting and dependent upon each other to provide rich and relevant content to the destination channel.
|Colour Management||Pre-flighting||Page Assembly|
|Contract Proofing||Soft Proofing||Asset Management|
|Colour Retouching||Image Composition||Scanning|
|Advertising Management||Trapping||Approval Processes|
|Final File Creation||Customer Communication||Work Solutions|
|Web to Print||Print on Demand||Video Production|
A Brief History of Pre-media
The term ‘Pre-media’ developed in tandem with the internet and mobile communications industries, both of which have evolved to almost dominate modern day life.
As these forms of communication and access to consumers grew, so the need to facilitate brand messages and publishing into this new space became a necessity. As a result of this the traditional method of communication through print started to morph into a multi channel environment whereby marketing and communications could access clients through many different means.
Hence the traditional agencies involved in the print oriented activities of pre-press, repro and creative started to adapt in order to utilize the various output delivery channels demanded by their clients. These companies needed to provide the ability to service these channels with existing and new client work and a whole new world of file creation, preparation, management and transition was developed. Pre-media was born therefore as a necessary phrase to encompass the whole new world of multichannel media delivery.
Why is Pre-media Important?
Pre-media is a vital step in the world of media communication. We are currently in a fast changing and dynamic media space with new methods of accessing the consumer and delivering media springing up all of the time. This dynamic environment is changing constantly – driven through technological developments and changing consumer needs – and the pace of change is not set to slow down. Subsequently the Pre-media environment will need to adapt and flex in order to facilitate these new message channels and deliver to them efficiently and effectively.
The ultimate objective and overall advantage of Pre-media is that assets and processes should not be designed to suit a particular media output – instead they will need to be ‘media neutral’ right up until the last moment, just before the communication is rendered for output. This means that it will not matter whether you have a Mac or a PC, or if you are putting together a press advert, a large format poster, a website, an email blast or a PURL – Pre-media assets should be able to be re-purposed to suit all of these media communication channels and more.
Pre-media ultimately provides clients with greater flexibility, shorter lead times and better management of their assets and brand images as well as a more powerful and fruitful interaction with consumers.
The story of Pre-media is certainly an interesting one and it is set to continue….
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.