Your guide to proofing in print

Your guide to proofing in print

As printing professionals, we simply cannot reiterate the importance of the proofing process enough. It’s an often overlooked process and the results of overlooking can be disastrous. These days, people are relentless when it comes to pointing out typos and this means one thing – you’re a target.

Failing to proof means you could become a global laughing stock and it can also mean some severe brand damage. There are many examples of the catastrophic results that a misprint can have on both a product and a brand, the most recent happening in 2013 – see below.


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Seems too good to be true? Well that’s because it wasn’t supposed to be. Missing from this text is a third digit in the new price– in this case a 9. A Texas Macy’s Mailer sent out this typo offering a necklace originally worth $1,500 at the price of $47 instead of $497 on sale. The necklaces flew off the shelves priced at only $47 each. Macey’s never reported the number sold, but it’s believed that savvy shoppers took advantages of the offer and bulked bought. Of course, whilst the costing is bad – it’s also a huge public humiliation for one of the world’s biggest brands, showing complete incompetency.
The moral of the story? Everyone has to proof, and proof well. Leave no stone unturned, question everything and if in doubt, ask a professional.

A 20 step guide to proofing for print

We’ve put together a short and by no means a complete guide for all print – whilst acknowledging that each print job has different needs and requirements, we stress this is only a guide.

1. Check that all pages are included in the proof
2. Ensure that pages are in the proper order
3. Ensure that page numbers are correct
4. Check that all images/photos are included and correctly positioned
5. Ensure all images/photos are of the correct level of definition
6. Ensure readability of text – consider white space
7. Thoroughly check that all fonts are correct style, size and format
8. Ensure the text is crisp & spaced properly
9. Are the margins & page alignment(s) correct?
10. Double check all names, addresses, email & web addresses and telephone numbers are correctly listed
11. Ensure all contact details are up to date at time of printing
12. Ensure your print is in line with your brand identity
13. Don’t just double check spelling & punctuation – get fresh eyes to proof this too
14. Check for missing characters
15. Are there dust spots, printing marks, or dirt marks?
16. Confirm the weight and colour of the final paper stock
17. Check colour placement & colour consistency throughout every page
18. Your print provider should measure the final trim size and check folds for accuracy
19. Your print provider should verify any finishing elements like die-cuts, embossing, foils, varnishes, etc.
20. Your print provider will ensure that bleeds extend beyond the trim marks

Ready to go to print? If you need advice on getting the most from your next printed project speak to our expert team today. Keep up to date with all the latest news here at Digital Printing, by connecting with us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

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Published by DigitalPrinting