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An online PDF soft proof will be available for your review within 24 hours after we have received your file upload. We process proofs during our normal business hours of 8 AM to 5 PM Central Standard Time, Monday through Friday. You may also choose to request a printed hard proof for an additional fee. Please note hard proofs are produced and shipped the following business day from when your order is placed.

When a PDF proof is ready for your review, you will receive an email notification with a link to your job.  We recommend you add no-reply@smartpress.com to your email program’s “safe senders” list to ensure you always receive your order status updates from our system.

Proof times can vary depending on what time and day your order is placed, what product you order, and our current order volume. Proofs must be approved by 9:00 AM CST for same-day printing. Proofs approved after 9:00 AM will be printed on the next business day.

For example, if you place an order on Monday with a One Day turnaround, and you approve the proof by 9:00 AM Central on Tuesday, the job will be printed that business day. If you approve the proof on a One Day turnaround job at 11:10 AM, the job will likely not print until the NEXT business day. If you place an order on Friday afternoon, Saturday, Sunday or before 9:00 AM on Monday, you will likely not receive your proof until well after 9:00 AM on Monday. Of course, we will make every effort to produce your order as soon as possible, so in many cases, orders may ship sooner than the policy requires.

If you have a hard deadline by which you need to have your printing project, please communicate that in your order notes or to your customer service rep. When we know you have a hard deadline that is fast approaching, we will do whatever we can to ensure you receive your print project in time.

No print job will be sent to press without your prior express approval, whether you select an online proof or a hard proof. If your proof is not approved and changes need to be made before printing can occur, the proofing cycle will start over and turnaround time will be recalculated based on your final approval. It is your responsibility to log in to your Smartpress.com account and approve your proof. We are not responsible for delays in the order caused by your non-approval of the proof.

Online Proofs

The soft proof is the final opportunity for you to check the layout, bleeds, crops and final text. Electronic proofs do not show transparency or overprint issues, nor do they show color shifts resulting from the conversion of RGB or Pantone spot colors to CMYK. Please open your proof in Adobe Reader rather than the web browser. There can be issues in viewing with browsers.

Lines on your proof: When you open a PDF proof from Smartpress.com for the first time, you may see lines on your proof. Simply making a one-time adjustment to your preferences will fix this issue. To make the adjustments, open the PDF in Adobe Acrobat (the free or professional version), click the “Preferences” menu and from there, select the “Page Display” category. In the rendering section, click Smooth Line Art and Smooth Images, then click OK. If you use a different PDF viewer, similar settings may be found under different menu categories.

PLEASE NOTE: A soft proof is not necessarily an accurate color reproduction of your printed piece. If you have color-critical work where a high level of color accuracy is required, you must order a hard proof.

Smartpress.com wants to be sure your printed piece reflects any changes you make. You can make changes after seeing a proof and then receive another proof to confirm those changes if you would like. Starting on the fourth proof, we do charge at a prorated rate of $85 per hour.

Hard Proofs

Printed hard copy proofs do show a reasonable likeness to the final printed piece. Such proofs are recommended for color-critical art. While the main purpose of a proof is to show color, some variation can still occur. This is particularly true if your job is to be printed on uncoated paper, as the proofing device is not able to simulate the density of the ink on the final printed piece, but only the color. The request for a hard copy proof will involve an additional fee, will extend the amount of time needed to complete the job and must be requested by the customer when the order is entered on the Site. For orders where a hard copy proof has been requested, the approval must be received by Smartpress.com on or before our published cut-off times. Hard proofs are available in the U.S. only.

PLEASE NOTE: When envelopes are added to your job, the envelope included in your hard proof request will be blank. If you need a printed envelope hard proof, please let us know in your order comments. A nominal fee will apply.

File Setup

We check that your file is setup correctly. We make sure that everything looks correct (bleeds, crop marks, image resolution, etc.) before printing and allow 15 minutes per order for any adjusting that may need to be done. Please note if additional time is needed, we will notify you. We charge a prorated hourly rate of $85 if we need to work on the file beyond 15 minutes. We never perform billable work without first obtaining your permission to do so.

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