While we do our best to ensure that every project is done right, only you know your project well enough to make sure all the elements are in place. Different types of proofs are available and discussed below so you can choose the proof that fits your needs best. We urge you to take the proofing phase seriously and check every document carefully. Once you have signed off on a final proof, you are giving us authorization to proceed with printing. After you have given us the approval to proceed, we will not re-print your job for any error you did not notice.
Included in the price of all items is an electronic proof (unless otherwise noted). Electronic proofs are not intended to be accurate for color. In fact, we can safely say that the color won't match the printed piece you receive. If accurate colors are important to you, please read about the various hard copy proofs available. If you need further explanation, please contact our customer service department.
PrintingYouCanTrust.com offers two electronic proofing options and three hard copy proof options to meet the needs of a wide range of projects. Each of these options are explained below.
Electronic proofs are digital facsimiles of your project sent to you online. We offer two electronic proof options:
PDF: PDFs (Portable Document Format) are files created in Adobe Acrobat Distiller and readable with Adobe Acrobat Reader. PDFs are rapidly becoming the industry standard for file transfer and are our preferred format. Color fidelity of PDF files is affected by monitor calibration, lighting and use of Pantone® colors (Pantone® colors do not always appear as true on your screen). Therefore the color you see on screen may not appear as they do in print. However, PDFs provide a reasonable means for checking the accuracy of your files for print. If color accuracy is imperative for you project, you will want to select a hard copy proof. However, please be aware that there is an extra charge for a hard copy proof. Adobe Acrobat runs on both IBM and Macintosh platforms and can be downloaded for free from www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html.
JPEG: This digital format can be opened by any Internet browser. We'll send you the address where your JPEG proof resides on our website. Again, monitor calibration, lighting and use of Pantone® colors may affect color fidelity. If color accuracy is imperative for your project, you will want to select a hard copy proof. However, please be aware that there is an extra charge for a hard copy proof.
Hard Copy Proofs
There are a variety of technologies used for producing hard copy proofs at various levels of color accuracy. We have divided the technologies we use into three basic categories: low, medium and high.
Low: Generally, we use a dylux, or low quality hard copy proof. A dylux is useful when you need to make sure that pages or components of your design align properly. It is not usable for proofing colors. PrintingYouCanTrust.com automatically includes a digital dylux for books and catalogs because it is presented in book format and shows you the page sequence and page layout for the project.
Medium: Generally, we use Epson proofs or an equivalent for this level of proofing. Epson proofs are more accurate for color than PDF or JPEG proofs, which are viewed on your monitor. These proofs are especially useful for CMYK images, such as photographs, but are less accurate for illustrations, solids and specific Pantone® colors. PrintingYouCanTrust.com does not guarantee that Epson proofs will match press sheet color. We only recommend them as an approximation for how your final job will print. Epson proofs are an additional cost.
High: We use a number of different technologies for the high quality proofs, such as Matchprint, waterproofs and Pictro proofs. Matchprints and waterproofs are created with the same film used to burn printing plates. As a result, they are a highly accurate method for proofing color. Pictro proofs are similar in quality to Matchprints and waterproofs, except that they are not made from negatives. Pictro proofs are selected when the press for your job uses computer-to-plate technology. All of these proofing techniques provide you with a high resolution product that can be used for determining color accuracy and are ideal for high-end four color projects. All proofs in this category are not included in our pricing, but are itemized separately in the Calculator if you choose this option.
Delivery of Proofs
Electronic proofs (PDF or JPEG) are accessible to you online. They are viewed from a designated site on our server (we'll send you the URL when the proof is ready for review). Hard copy proofs will be sent to you via overnight delivery service. Mail us back your approved proofs as soon as possible so that we can begin printing. If you have corrections, you have two options: 1) you may make the corrections yourself and send us new files. We will charge you $25 to process the files. 2) We can make the changes for you. We charge $75/hour for all corrections with a $25 minimum. If you want to see another proof, we can prepare one for you. Production for your job will not begin until we receive written sign off on the proof.
Tips for Selecting Your Proofing Option
- PDF and JPEG proofs accurately render document layout, but are not necessarily dependable for judging color accuracy. Monitor calibration, lighting and the use of Pantone® colors can affect the color fidelity of PDFs and JPEGs.
- Epson proofs offer a level of color fidelity consistent with "pleasing color" and are suitable for most color projects. Epson color accuracy and resolution are better than PDF and JPEG, but not as good as high quality proofs.
- Matchprint, Waterproofs and Pictro proofs are the most accurate method for proofing color. You will only need one of these if color matching is critical to the success of your job.
- Proofs will not match a specialty Pantone® color when that Pantone® color falls outside of the CMYK gamut. This means that certain Pantone® colors will never be completely accurate when converted to CMYK. If you need to have your PMS colors matched accurately, the job will need to be printed with Pantone® spot colors, not CMYK. This is usually more expensive and requires a Custom quote.
What To Look For On A Proof
Attention to detail is the key to successful proofing. This checklist will help you make sure your checking your proofs thoroughly.
- Is any type dirty or broken?
- Are photos positioned, cropped and scaled correctly?
- Are bleeds, perforations and folds indicated properly?<
- Are text and graphics in the right places?
- Is the trim size correct?
- Are borders correct?
- Are elements appropriately aligned, especially at the tops and bottoms of sections or pages?
- Are there any typos?
- Is the pagination correct?
- Are colors correct?
- Are screen values correct?