Printing is a multi-stage process. Your file will pass through multiple people and locations before you receive the printed product. It is possible that an error can occur during that time. Someone can miss a spelling mistake. The graphic designer might not have a properly calibrated computer display when choosing colors. Data can be corrupted when your files are sent back and forth to the designer and the printer. These issues can be a headache but don’t worry! They are all easily remedied by proofing!
A proof is simply a copy of your work that allows you to review for any possible mistakes or errors. Some proofs are electronic copies (usually PDF files). Other proofs are hard-copy samples of the final product sent to you for review before the rest of the work is printed. Here are three steps of the printing process that should include proofing:
1. Proofread after you write the copy!
Even the most detail-oriented person makes mistakes from time to time. When writing text for a print project, proofreading is an absolute must. Any spelling or grammatical errors could ruin the effectiveness and professionalism of the prints. Take your time when writing the copy and then take even more time to cautiously review your text. We suggest slowly reading aloud because you’re much more likely to notice errors in sentence structure that way.
2. Double check the designer’s work.
If you outsource the imagery and layout work to a graphic designer, always double check their work before sending the files to the printer. They may be a seasoned professional in the design industry but there is always room for human error. There’s also the possibility that they may not interpret your instructions as you had intended so it’s best to at least ask for a digital proof before moving forward.
3. Request a proof from your printer before the final production.
As a print company, we absolutely love the proofing process. It helps us to ensure that our work is solid and that our customers will be happy with their products. It’s just good business. We can send a PDF proof to show that your files transferred without any data loss and then provide a hard-copy proof so you know exactly what your end-result will be.
We strongly suggest that you request a proof for your next order because it is better to spend a little extra time (or money if necessary) in the beginning than to go through the lengthy and expensive reprinting process. Whether your prints are large or small, proofing is a great idea.