Ideally, you should catch and correct any and all errors on your project during its proofing stages. But we understand that occasionally a mistake or two can slip past even the most meticulous of eyes, so that's why we have a Press Check! A Press Check is the very last step to check for any errors before we send the product off to printing. Revisions during a Press Check don't come cheap, but are a lot less costly than finding an error in the finished piece and having to reprint the entire job.
So what's in a Press Check?
- Be on time. (Please)
- The person with sign off authority needs to be present.
- Bring final approved proof and draw downs, if any, for reference.
- Establish a rapport with the press operator.
- Take your time and address each element of the press sheet.
- Look at the overall impression for color balance across the sheet.
- Make sure paper stock is what you ordered; check finish, weight and color.
- Check for missing elements and copy changes.
- Check registration for sharpness, color overlapping, edges of images and any screened type.
- Check match colors for look, density and consistency.
- Compare process imagery to color proofs; adjust to achieve pleasing color balance if necessary.
- Check type carefully for any blurriness or fuzziness.
- Check for flaws such as broken type, odd scratches, hickies, spots and ghosting.
- Get a few press samples to compare to approved sheet.
Keep in mind that paper stock and ink colors are common factors that can affect results on press; Some paper stock can be more challenging to achieve the desired color on due to varying degrees of brightness, smoothness, weight, and opacity, and some colors are more easily reproduced on press than others.
Did you follow the Press Check procedure thoroughly, and are you ready to send your project to the final stages of printing?