So you’ve just gotten your print project proof from Printco’s stellar Prepress Department and wondering what you need to know about the proofing process? Then you’ve come to the right place!
What is a proof?
A proof is a visual simulation or test print of a print project; it is also an agreement between the customer and Printco Graphics. Proofs give the customer an opportunity to review and verify content, accuracy and quality before it goes to press.
What can you do to make sure your proof is accurate?
First, always provide high-resolution PDFs or packaged native files. Secondly, always be sure all your images are high-resolution and in CMYK format. Click here for a complete list of Design Dos and Don’ts.
Types of Proofs
- PDFs: PDF proofs are sent to customers via email and can be either high resolution or low resolution. Lo-res PDFs are most often sent due to email attachment size limitations.
- Low-Resolution Flats: Printed on an Epson 9880 8-color inkjet proofer, lo-res flats are great for seeing a mock-up of your finished product’s content and layout. They are printed low resolution and are not an indication of final quality or color.
- Color Correct: Also printed on an Epson 9880 8-color inkjet proofer, color correct proofs are the best proofs to ensure a more accurate (but not exact) color match. Color correct proofs are not printed on the project’s paper stock and thus, should only be used to verify content and basic color quality.
- Press Check: This is an on-site inspection of the printed piece and will require the customer to visit Printco’s production floor before printing begins. Please note: Because Printco Graphics runs 24/7, press checks may be scheduled any time of day or night. For critical color matching, this is the customer’s best resource.
A Note on PDF Proofs
PDF proofs are a close representation of your final piece, but are NOT the best way to verify color accuracy. Computer monitors are RGB and can visually depict a broader range of colors than CMYK printing. Also, natural variations in a computer monitor’s brightness, contrast and color adjustment settings can affect the way a color appears.
- Review the proof very carefully.
- Once you have reviewed the proof, immediately contact your Printco Customer Service Representative at firstname.lastname@example.org with either 1) approval or 2) revisions.
If you approve the proof and have emailed your CSR, you are acknowledging that you proofed your project and approve this project to be printed. It will then enter the production process.
If you have revisions, explain any changes when you contact your CSR. Please note: Printco Graphics is able to revise files, but this can and will increase the cost of printing, as well as adding additional turnaround time. Save time and money by making corrections (yes, even the small ones) yourself and sending new files. This also ensures that the changes are done to your own specifications.
What should I look for on the proof?
Customers should always check the following: spelling, grammar, document size, page count, font usage, images and type-flow.
Can you convert RGB to CMYK?
You betcha! But just remember, you run the risk of color changing unexpectedly. The best method is to convert, and confirm, colors yourself.
Can you print a Lo-Res image?
Oh sure, we can print a Lo-Res image, but you’re not going to like it. Any image under 200 DPI will not print clearly, nor will a Lo-Res image that has been upsampled to become a High-Res image.
I used overprint and the effect didn’t show up on my proof. Why?
Overprint does not print, and thus, will not appear on a proof. Using a transparency setting, instead of overprint, will correct this problem.
There is a line on my proof that isn’t supposed to be there. What should I do?
Maybe it should be there, maybe it shouldn’t – but you should always play it safe with proofs! If you have any questions, we are here for you. Contact us anytime at email@example.com or just call us at 402.593.1080.
The Small Print
Under no circumstances will Printco Graphics be responsible for errors caused in print due to a proof and do not guarantee color matching from PDF proofs. It is solely the customer’s (or customer’s delegates) responsibility to review and approve the proof. No written or verbal statement to the contrary will relieve the customer of this responsibility.