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Understanding the importance of contract proofs

From: Print Production Fundamentals

Video: Understanding the importance of contract proofs

Before your job goes to press, the printer will usually give you something called a contract proof. And that contract proof is what's going to be used to guide the job on press. So you want to look at this really carefully and make sure that there aren't any changes you want to make, make sure that there aren't any problems that need to be fixed. So, for example, here the designer has looked at the first round of the contract proof and decided, well maybe they don't want hyphenation. And they have an alternate version of the image, so they want to replace the image of the guy with the red shirt with another version that shows him in a green shirt.

Understanding the importance of contract proofs

Before your job goes to press, the printer will usually give you something called a contract proof. And that contract proof is what's going to be used to guide the job on press. So you want to look at this really carefully and make sure that there aren't any changes you want to make, make sure that there aren't any problems that need to be fixed. So, for example, here the designer has looked at the first round of the contract proof and decided, well maybe they don't want hyphenation. And they have an alternate version of the image, so they want to replace the image of the guy with the red shirt with another version that shows him in a green shirt.

And they also want to spread some text out here on this panel. All of these things are chargeable, because the artist has made changes at this point, they're going to be charged for the alterations that the printer is going to have to make. But you also want to look for things that are common concerns when you're looking at a contract proof. You want to make sure that there's adequate bleed. You want to check for missing text and graphics, you want to make sure there are no typos or spelling errors, and check for font substitution. Make sure there's no text reflow and check for any incorrect graphics.

If there are any images that you think need color correction or retouching, this is the time to bring that up. The printer may also give you something called a folding dummy, and that shows all the pages of the job in their final position. So when you're looking at the folding dummy, make sure there's no content that's too close to a trim edge or a fold. If you have artwork that crosses over pages, make sure that it lines up from page to page, and of course you want to check your page numbers. If there are simple corrections or simple alterations that need to be made, it's probably all right to just mark that first contract proof okay with corrections.

But if there are complex changes, and I think this falls into that category, have the printer make the corrections and then make you a new contract proof. Keep in mind that the contract proof is a really important milestone in the life of your print job after all, the next step is the live press run.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Print Production Fundamentals
Print Production Fundamentals

68 video lessons · 22946 viewers

Claudia McCue
Author

 
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  1. 2m 7s
    1. Welcome
      1m 31s
    2. Using the exercise files
      36s
  2. 7m 5s
    1. What is print production?
      1m 51s
    2. Understanding roles and responsibilities
      5m 14s
  3. 13m 49s
    1. Communicating with your printer
      3m 49s
    2. What does the printer do with my files?
      2m 39s
    3. Understanding the importance of contract proofs
      1m 57s
    4. Handling corrections and alterations
      2m 8s
    5. Attending press checks
      3m 16s
  4. 13m 27s
    1. Choosing the correct type of printing for your project
      3m 15s
    2. The art of letterpress
      1m 33s
    3. Understanding the advantages of sheet-fed printing
      2m 22s
    4. Using a web press for long runs
      1m 39s
    5. Understanding thermography
      1m 38s
    6. Considerations for digital printing
      3m 0s
  5. 15m 11s
    1. What's a process color?
      2m 55s
    2. What's a spot color?
      2m 52s
    3. Exploring how ink behaves on paper
      5m 14s
    4. Comparing monitor vs. press output
      4m 10s
  6. 15m 15s
    1. Building to the correct size
      4m 37s
    2. Folding and trimming
      3m 18s
    3. Setting up for die cutting
      3m 19s
    4. Embossing
      4m 1s
  7. 3m 17s
    1. Choosing an application
      3m 17s
  8. 9m 54s
    1. Understanding font formats
      1m 45s
    2. Using OpenType fonts
      5m 20s
    3. Fonts to avoid
      2m 49s
  9. 13m 52s
    1. Comparing raster vs. vector images
      3m 23s
    2. Understanding color space
      4m 26s
    3. Examining image formats
      6m 3s
  10. 13m 13s
    1. Looking at image resolution
      7m 16s
    2. Masking basics
      5m 57s
  11. 39m 53s
    1. Understanding Illustrator
      2m 34s
    2. Illustrator layout tips
      2m 48s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure
      6m 29s
    4. Using swatches
      5m 22s
    5. Working with effects
      5m 16s
    6. Cautions about some effects
      1m 23s
    7. Importing images
      2m 41s
    8. Exploring fonts
      2m 42s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      3m 2s
    10. Saving as PDF
      4m 36s
    11. Gathering up the pieces
      3m 0s
  12. 57m 8s
    1. InDesign layout basics
      5m 21s
    2. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method one
      7m 19s
    3. Building a simple three-panel brochure: method two
      3m 21s
    4. Working with color and gradient swatches
      7m 12s
    5. Making gradients and creating a rich black swatch
      4m 45s
    6. Exploring fonts in InDesign
      2m 54s
    7. Importing graphics
      7m 49s
    8. Copying and pasting graphics
      3m 38s
    9. Saving for users with older versions
      2m 21s
    10. Packaging up a print job
      6m 57s
    11. Generating PDFs
      5m 31s
  13. 22m 43s
    1. Using Overprint Preview in InDesign
      3m 3s
    2. Managing swatches in InDesign
      5m 29s
    3. Preflighting in InDesign
      7m 58s
    4. Using the Links panel in Illustrator
      3m 16s
    5. Using blending modes in Illustrator and InDesign
      2m 57s
  14. 35m 35s
    1. Basic forensics in Acrobat
      11m 3s
    2. Using Output Preview
      5m 30s
    3. Dealing with display artifacts
      2m 52s
    4. Using TouchUp tools
      8m 17s
    5. Converting colors
      4m 11s
    6. Using preflight profiles
      3m 42s
  15. 3m 27s
    1. Submitting the job
      2m 29s
    2. Being a good print customer
      58s
  16. 1m 2s
    1. Next steps
      1m 2s

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