Photo-Lithographer or Electronic Originator

Due to the tremendous technological advances, especially in the area of computers, the trade of photolithography has undergone irreversible changes.

The term Desk Top Publishing (DTP) has become a household word and almost all the tasks previously done by the photo-lithographer are now done on high-powered computer systems. It is for this reason that a new trade combining the skills of photo-lithography and DTP or electronic origination was started.

The duties of photo-lithographers or electronic originators include all aspects of the work, which have to be done prior to the job being printed on a variety of printing presses. They handle the work from the time of the first instruction: doing type-setting; preparing line or half-tone pictures in single or multi-colour separations which allow for the job being printed in colour, the making up and laying out of the job in its final form with text, graphics, special effects and all other instructions which may be given by the customer; making positives or negatives and preparing the printing-plates for the presses.

The work is normally done indoors in clean, well-equipped and air-conditioned areas. Overtime and shift work is normal in this trade.


  • printing companies

  • companies that specialise in origination

  • design studios

  • self-employment, with enough experience and capital, can start own business

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation work at a printing company

  • speak to a photo-lithographer or electronic originator and ask to observe them at work

  • work for the school newspaper or magazine

  • join the computer club of your school

  • consult the Registrar of Manpower Training about learnership programmes in your area


Kyambogo University, Mauritius Institute of Training and Development, Motheo TVET College

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