Checklist for a Print Proof
Checklist for a Print Proof
A proof allows you to review the layout, color breaks, fold positions, and other details of your order before it is printed. This is an opportunity to catch any errors that would detract from the message of your piece. By focusing on these different aspects, including the look and binding, you ensure the end result will be a clean and successful product.
Use the following checklist of essential elements to proof your job effectively:
- Job Specifications: Check the specs of the job: quantity, colors, coating, binding, etc. NOTE: Changing the quantity at this stage, may result in additional costs and delays particularly if you selected a stock other than house stock.
- Accuracy: Compare the printed proof to your PDF file to ensure nothing is missing. We suggest comparing the printout and digital file at the same magnification, reviewing every page.
- Bleed/Trim: Check for accurate bleed and trim marks on every page. Check that there are no white edges where color should bleed off
- Size: Check the size of the pages for the correct dimensions. Ask yourself whether the flat and folded sizes are correct.
- Page Sequencing: Check that the pages are in the correct order.
- Mailing Info: If it is a direct mail project, check that all pieces are nested properly and fit well within the envelope. Check the indicia for the correct permit number and method of mailing.
- Folds: Is the piece folded properly? If there is more than one fold, check that they all fold in the proper order.
- Die Cut/Perfs: Check that any die cuts or perforations are marked and in the proper positions.
- Positioning: Check that text or other important elements, such as running headers and footers, are not too close to the outer edges, where they may get trimmed. If it’s a larger publication, check that no text is too close to or in the gutter, making it difficult to read, and that any cross-overs line up across spreads.
- Fonts: Check that all fonts appear as they should, especially if you are unsure whether you embedded the fonts in your PDF or if you sent native files with fonts.
- Headlines: Triple check all your headlines. Spelling errors and typos in headlines are glaringly obvious.
- Photographs: Make sure all your images/photographs are positioned, scaled, and cropped correctly. For the best results, make sure all images are a high resolution for their size.
- Content: Check boilerplate information such as your contact name, address, phone number, and website. Ironically, this info tends to get overlooked by designers and clients. Proofread the entire document to make sure that no additional edits are needed.
- Special Print Effects: If you added special print effects to your piece such as spot varnish, coating, or embossing, make sure these effects are clearly indicated on the proof.
Remember that the speed with which you return a proof will directly impact our ability to turn your job around quickly; we cannot proceed with your order until the proof is approved. If you must send the proof to other parties, please allow extra time in the schedule to keep your project on track.