A better way to truly understand graphic print production is to break down the whole process into 8 steps in 4 phases:
IDEA AND CONCEPT PHASE should include strategic work and creative work such as brainstorming, asking and answering questions about your project as a whole. What will this product be used for? Do you really need a printed product? Also you start to develop the design and the message you are trying to send to your audience. What is your message? Do I need a booklet or just a poster?
CREATIVE PRODUCTION PHASE includes images, text and layout work. In this phase the original images, illustrations and typography are created. Experts such as photographers, illustrators, retouch specialists, authors, prepress and printing companies are usually a few of the professionals needed to produce your product. In this phase, the customer would receive any proofs and approves all work.
INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION includes prepress, printing, finishing and binding. Usually the printer will take care of the prepress process of getting the files and images print ready and the customer also approves the printer’s proof. The printing method usually depends on the type of printed product being created, the amount needed, the material on which the product will be printed and of course the quality needed. Just like printing, finishing and binding depend on what your printed product needs. It’s important to really think about the binding and finishing first since that might really tell what paper or material to be used for a certain binding. In this phase final approval is given by the customer on the finished printed product.
LOGISTICS PHASE marks the end of production of your printed product and deals with the distribution of it. The customer at this point also takes care of any packaging if needed. It’s usually common to work backwards in a sense as distribution can affect the printing, finishing and binding of the product to reduce costs. And of course, changing these might need you to adjust your layout and creative work.
A book you should definitely check out is “A Guide to Graphic Print Production” by Kaj Johansson, Peter Lundberg and Robert Ryberg.
It is extremely helpful and has a ton of information on everything that has to do with graphic print production.