What is Pre-media – You Must be Kidding….Part II


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?

So what is premediaPre-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….

…. the question that we at Tunicca pose is: “Is your organisation equipped & ready to operate in the dynamic and challenging world of Pre-media?”
Author: Sean Runchman

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

8 Responses to “What is Pre-media – You Must be Kidding….Part II”

  1. What is Pre-media – You Must be Kidding | Digital Asset Management Says:

    […] What is Pre-media – You Must be Kidding What is Pre-media – You Must be Kidding….Part II « Tunicca Pre-Media Blog. […]

  2. joy hamel Says:

    “It is a process that combines creative art and technology to communicate the final message to a consumer.” Is perfect! Its what I do..

    Premedia is the new Prepress… as we move away from the printed piece as a society and toward instant information… our jobs as designers or production pixel pushers is to be aware of ALL forms of media not just print..

    Cheers to the future of Premedia!

    xx joy

    • Sean Runchman Says:

      Hi Joy,

      Thanks for your comments and I really like the term “production pixel pushers”.

      I think the printed piece will still have its place, but it will have to compliment and entwine itself with the new alternative forms of media communication. We had a good discussion here at Tunicca yesterday about how the printed piece is all about communication in one direction – publisher/brand to consumer. In the new dynamic world of e-Media that communication traffic now becomes two way as consumers can feed communication directly back to the source. This enables a much richer and rewarding interaction between the brand/publisher and consumer. One result of that is a marketing department that can target its campaigns in a much more specific and accurate manner rather than the “fishing line in a lake” method of print.

      Have a great weekend and thanks again for your comments.

      Kind Regards,


  3. What is Pre-media – You Must be Kidding….Part II « Tunicca Pre … | Conceptguy Says:

    […] Read the original post: What is Pre-media – You Must be Kidding….Part II « Tunicca Pre … […]

  4. Elizabeth O'Donno Says:


    That’s an interesting and detailed take on what premedia is. Reading through this got me searching for alternative definitions/ perspectives and I found this excellent article that drives home the definition in graphic detail.

    Thought it was worth sharing with everyone on your interesting forum.


  5. tele2002 Says:

    Hi Elizabeth, yes thanks for sharing this, DhananJay Balodi wrote a very good document there, we spoke with him months ago hoping that he would participate in some guest blogs for Tunicca as he has a very good view in the outsourcing supply chain for pre-media.

    Hopefully he will be able to find time in his schedule.

  6. PrintMediaCentr.com — Blog — What is Pre-media – You Must be Kidding Says:

    […] What is Pre-media – You Must be Kidding….Part II « Tunicca Pre-Media Blog. […]

  7. PimpThisBlog.com Says:

    What is Pre-media – You Must be Kidding….Part II…

    Thank you for submitting this cool story – Trackback from PimpThisBlog.com…

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