How to Check a Proof

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Viewing a proof is one of the easiest ways to ensure that your print job goes smoothly. Proofs allow you to check the layout, color breaks, fold positions and other details so you can make necessary changes before your order goes to press. This is especially important if the job involves typesetting, color separation, or any other layout work done after the job leaves your office.

DES Printing and Imaging offers a wide variety of proofing options, from simple black-and-white laser proofs to full-color proofs. You can either view a proof at our main plant, or we will send you a proof by mail, fax or courier - depending on the type of proof and where you’re located.

Checking Your Proof

Regardless of the type of proof used for a print job, it is essential that you review your proof carefully and mark corrections clearly. Use a pen in a color that will show up easily, usually red works best. Write directly on the proof, and use standard proofreading marks whenever possible. Please don’t use sticky notes or a separate sheet of paper to indicate changes because they tend to become separated from the proof as it travels through the production process. However, if you have long or complex instructions, you may staple an additional sheet to the proof.

Proofreading for typographical errors should be done before your job is submitted. When you check your proof, concentrate on the look and binding of the piece, paying careful attention to details. Use the following checklist to proof your job effectively:

  • Are the flat and folded sizes of your piece correct?
  • Is the piece folded properly, with all the copy on the right panels?
  • Is the binding correct?
  • Is the position of all perforations, scores or holes indicated correctly?
  • Are the pages, including blanks, in the right order?
  • Are all the margins straight and consistent?
  • Do all the design elements work as planned? Check the length and thickness of rules, placement of type and graphics, correct fonts, etc.
  • Are there any missing characters or broken type?
  • Is the correct page number in the correct position on each page?
  • Are there any dust spots, printing marks or dirt marks showing?
  • Have all photos, illustrations or other additions been properly sized and placed in the correct position?
  • Has all FPO (For Position Only) art been replaced with high-resolution images?
  • Does each image have the proper caption?
  • Are the edges of the graphics smooth?
  • Do photographs fully touch their outline rules?
  • Are all the screens of the desired density, and are they placed correctly?
  • Do all bleeds extend to the edge?
  • Have all the reverses been made?
  • Are the ink colors in the proper places?
  • Do areas of different ink colors align properly?

Since the proof is used as a guide in the rest of the printing process, we can’t proceed with your order until the proof is approved. This means that the speed with which you return a proof has a direct impact on our ability to turn your job around quickly. If you must send the proof to other parties, please figure this extra time into your requested due date.

When you are done checking your proof, complete and sign the tag attached to the proof. Be sure to indicate whether you need a second revised proof or if we can proceed with production after making changes. Then return the proof to us and relax, knowing that your job will be completed just as you planned.

Proofreading Marks

The following proofreading marks are universally understood. You can help ensure that your revision requests are correctly understood by using these standard marks whenever possible.