Process Engraver

Process engravers prepare all types of illustrations that cannot be typeset. They operate process cameras and produces negatives of photographs and other artwork.

These negatives are developed to make light impressions (exposures) on metal plates that are highly sensitive to light. Sections of the plates that have been exposed to light become resistant to acid. When the plate is immersed in a nitric acid bath, the acid etches away the unexposed sections of the plate and reveals the sections in full relief. As soon as a print is ready, it is ruled according to size and mounted on wood. The blocks are then mounted and composed in page form.

Process engravers usually work indoors in rooms in which the cameras are kept. They also work in specials room in which light is used to transpose the impression of the negative on to the metal plates. Another room is used for lining, mounting and finishing off the product.


  • commercial printing plants

  • book and magazine publishers

  • newspaper plants

  • stationery and envelope manufacturers

  • government departments e.g. government printing works

  • manufacturers and other firms that do their own printing

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

Getting Started

  • try to obtain vacation work at a printing factory

  • speak to a gravure machine operator about this type of work

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

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