Before your job goes to press, you may sign off on what's called contract proof. And that proof is used by the pressman to ensure that what's being printed matches what you've approved. If you're attending a press check, and you're comparing the press sheet to that proof that you signed off on, what should you be looking for? You should be examining the content. You want to make sure that the correct graphics are used. You want to make sure that the image crops are as they were on the proof that you signed off on. You want to make sure that there's been no type substitution.
If you have a job that involves crossovers, art work that goes from one page to another, you want to make sure that there's color consistency across the pages of a spread. Now keep in mind that the individual pages of the spread may not print on the same press sheet. So, you may need to compare the content on both press sheets to make sure the colors are consistent across the two pages that will constitute that final spread. And in the case of cross overs you also want to check the alignment, make sure that it's nice and even as it goes across from one page to another.
And finally you want to be keeping an eye on color. Especially if you have a catalog regarding cosmetics or fashion, you want to make sure the skin tones look good. You want to make sure that any spot colors are the correct spot colors. And you want to make sure, that if you're creating something like a catalog that involves product photography, you want to make sure that the rendition of that on the printed sheet, matches the actual product. At least as close as possible in print. If you're creating a catalog that includes fabric or clothing, you need to look out for moire patterns.
Often, when we receive proofs these days, they aren't what we used to call dot proofs. They won't have a half tone pattern in them, but that half tone pattern is going to occur on press. So, keep an eye on fabric or clothing and make sure that there are no unpleasant patterns. But, keep an eye, overall on how that press sheet matches your expectations, based on the proof that you signed off on. Then both you and the pressmen will be happy when the job is done.
- Submitting your job
- Preflighting files
- Understanding press-check etiquette
- Checking press sheets