The Proof is in the Proof!

Is there ever enough time to do it right? There always seems to be time to do it over…
but why do it over, when you really can do it right the first time?

When you print, every detail needs to be right. You need a proof—a test copy—to check, before you start the job. Errors cost more: printing again or missing target due dates can impact your project. A proof is an investment that lets you do it right the first time.

There are two kinds of proofs: physical and virtual.

Physical proofs are delivered to you, in hard copy, for approval and typically are more accurate representations of your finished product than the virtual proof. They cost a little more, but it’s usually worth the small fee to produce a perfect product. A physical proof can take longer to produce and review, so be sure to include both the extra cost and time in your plan.

Virtual proofs are emailed in file formats like JPEG or PDF. They are usually free or included in the original bid. In most cases, you can get away with a virtual proof. For example, if you’re ordering a brochure, the virtual proof lets you see what the finished brochure will look like, including logo, additional artwork, simulated colors, copy, headlines, and title. If there’s a problem, you can fix it before you print.

But proofs aren’t just for print. You’ll need them for other kinds of deliverables too, like promotional items, apparel, or any logoed object. In this case, virtual proofs are even more valuable. If, for example, you’re ordering a coffee mug with a company logo, a virtual proof will easily show you what that mug will look like, before the first mug is customized.

Here are some fast tips for reviewing all kinds of proofs:

– Check for typos.
– Check for correct colors. Use a PMS and/or process color chart to confirm.
– Make sure the placement of logos, designs, and text are precise.
– Make sure the size of the logos, designs, and text are correct.
– Check for scale, ensuring that the sizing of all elements is correct.

Happy Proofing!

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