A flawless proofing procedure is essential for ensuring that your final printed product lives up to your expectations. When you’ve gone to all the effort of producing an excellent design, it’s important that you put the extra time and effort into checking that everything is in order before heading to the printer.
The following are some top proofing tips for a perfectly printed product.
Spelling, Grammar, and Punctuation
This might sound obvious, but it’s vital that you read through your work before sending it off for digital printing. Check, recheck, and then have someone else check any text as mistakes can easily slip through when scanning it over. Though spell checkers can go a long way towards ensuring correct spelling, they are not always reliable when it comes to grammar and punctuation. Having another person read it is essential, so enlist some help.
Check Design Elements and Layout
Systematically check each element of your product to make sure that lines are straight, borders are correct, text boxes are in the right position, and that all of the design features are up to standard. It can be easy to miss something when you’ve been adding design elements and removing others to see what looks best. Mistakes are often made with the consistency of headings, underlining, drop-shadows, fonts, colors and other small details which you might have changed in one place but not others.
Getting the Color Right
One of the biggest frustrations people experience is getting the on screen color to match the final print color. Different color model settings in your graphic design program will affect the outcome, as will the paper your product is printed on. Most graphic designers like to work in RGB, but digital printing is usually done through a CMYK print process. This means that you should be previewing your design in CMYK before sending it off to get an accurate depiction of the tones. As well as checking the color tones in CMYK, it’s important that you take into account the type of paper or card that will be used, and if possible get a hard proof to check how the colors will appear on the media.
Correct Bleed Setting
Having the correct bleed settings on your document is essential, and this is something that should be checked during the proofing process. The last thing you want is an ink gap on the outside of your product when the color is supposed to extend to the edge. Most graphic design programs have specified bleed margins so that you can accurately see what will be seen in the print area and what will be outside of this line, so check that this measures up with your print paper dimensions.
Once you are happy with your digital product and you have completed adequate proofing, it’s time to get a little more technical and prepare the file for online printing. We have a file preparation checklist that you can use to ensure that everything’s in order before going ahead with digital printing.