A proof is the test which is used to double check everything before printing the entire run. The proof enables the artwork, colour, bleed, size etc to be looked over and any changes to be made before printing the whole run. The proof is usually used as a verification between the customer and printer that everything is correct. Finding and correcting layout issues before going to press not only saves valuable time, it also helps avoid the aggravation and expense associated with a reprint.
Tips for Proofing
1. Print out the proof
This will give you a clear sense of the size in physical form rather than on screen. When files are sent around they can also resize and lose data, leaving you with a poor quality file – even if it doesn’t appear so on screen. Print it out so there are no surprises!
2. Spell check
There’s always room for an extra double check. When your file is in printed form it is often easier to read than a screen full of text; this way you can notice any unwanted mistakes before it’s too late. At this stage it’s also useful to see how the text reads as a whole, you might need some more spacing or a wider margin – use the proof as a tool to improve your work and get what you really want.
3. Colour check
A colour can appear one colour on a screen, but completely different in printed form. Double check you are using the right colour profile (CMYK) so that the file you view on screen will be the printed image you end up with.
4. Cross check
In the same manner as a proof reader for the written word, it is very useful to get a fresh set of eyes on your artwork. Get someone to look over everything to see if there’s any mistakes you may have missed.