Measure twice cut once – a wise, old saying pointing out the importance of thorough preparation before taking action. Well, when it comes to commercial printing the same principle applies. Before your printer goes to production, make sure you have been offered and completed the proper steps to ensure great results.
I know what you’re thinking. “Kris, you told me to select a print partner that would take this job off my desk and onto theirs.” Well, you’re right, I did say that. However, there are always going to be a few steps that need your attention and approval before a printer can move forward. These are known as the proofing steps. Let’s start with the order acknowledgement. This is simply a confirmation from the printer acknowledging your order and the specifications involved. Carefully review this document and ask questions if something doesn’t look right. The second step comes in the form of an actual printed proof that will require your approval. When reviewing this, make sure to review the color, crop marks, sharpness, and accuracy of this proof. This is a critical step as the pressman will compare the sheets coming off the press to this proof for quality control. The final (optional) step is a press check. This step allows you to be present at the time and place of production for one final approval. A press check is not for everyone as a pressman can only make slight color changes while on press – a reminder to take the previous steps slowly and carefully.
So take your time and be thorough before you give your approvals. And make sure your printer is giving you these options. The good ones always will.