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How To Check Your Offset Print Proof

So, your printer has sent you a proof for your offset printing job, and asked you to check it. But… what should you look for? What exactly are you checking for on a proof, and how should you communicate with your printer about any problems? A Team Printing is an experienced provider of offset printing, so we understand that clients may be daunted by a proof. Here are our tips for what to look for in your proof.

Attitude Towards Checking

While it might seem like an easy job, checking a proof for errors actually requires significant concentration. We suggest that you take your time with it and limit distractions as much as you can, as proofing requires you to check every detail of a print before it hits the actual printer.

Also keep in mind that, while your designer and printer are working for you and you may feel you have communicated exactly what you wanted, it can be tricky to get that exactly right in practice. So think of the proof not as demonstration of all the designer and printer errors, but as an opportunity to really see the final product and make sure it meets your needs before it’s produced in bulk.

What Really Should Be Checked?

  • Colour: colours notoriously change between file types, printers, colour outputs, printing types, and more technical specifications. So the proof you receive may not in fact demonstrate the colour that will be in your final offset print. If colour is extremely important for you, or if you need the colours to exactly match an existing colour scheme, we recommend asking for a press check or ISO check. It may cost you a little to start, but in the end it will ensure you get exactly what you need.
  • Details: Your proof is the last chance to ensure every aspect of the text, images, layout and numbering is correct. This means checking spelling, phone numbers and emails, page numbers, titles, photo resolution. We recommend checking a proof more than once to ensure you catch everything, or get a colleague to do a second review.
  • Printing specs: Ensure the effects you wanted are reproduced in the proof, and that all the margins, bleeds and trims don’t interfere with your content. The last thing you want is to produce 1000 business cards with half of your graphic missing, so pay attention to how die lines and bleeds are designed.

How to communicate errors and changes to your printer and designer

We all make mistakes at the best of times, so whether it was the designer, the printer or you who made the mistake, remember to communicate the changes as kindly as possible. That being said, be as clear and specific about any changes as you can. If you are unsure about something technical with the offset printing process, have a conversation with your printer about what is going on and make sure you are getting what you need. At A Team Printing we want to make sure you love what we print for you, so we’ll always give you as much information as we can. Get in touch with us about your next offset printing job!