There’s nothing more disappointing than seeing errors in material you just had printed, especially if it has already been distributed. The key to avoiding spelling errors and other problems with printed material is to very carefully review the proof that the printer supplies. The proof is supplied so the customer can be sure that everything is correct and as they expect. Use these tips and tricks for reviewing a proof so you don’t miss anything, and are completely satisfied with the outcome.
Print it out. Your proof is supplied digitally but don’t just glance at the screen and sign-off on it. Neither the proof on screen nor a printed proof will show the final colors. However, a printed copy will give you a clear sense of the size, and let you see all the elements of the design. Printing it also allows a close and deliberate scrutiny of the content.
Check the design elements. Check that the finished size is correct, and the typefaces and font sizes are what you intended them to be. Confirm that all content and images appear as you envisioned.
Check for glitches. Review the general appearance of the piece to be sure there are no scratches, spots, specks, holes or noticeable patterns in solid areas.
Bleed or no bleed. Make sure that elements that are supposed to run off the page (bleed) do, and those elements that float in the piece (no bleed) are positioned as they should be.
Assess Registration. Letters, lines and edges should all appear crisp and clear. If text looks a little fuzzy, or if a color is protruding from the sides of another, then there may be a problem with registration.
Take a closer look at the copy. When we know what something is supposed to say, we often read a phrase, sentence or paragraph as correct, and totally overlook misspellings or wrong use of words. Read each word individually, even read the words backwards to insure spelling accuracy. Have another person review it as well. For large text filled documents, consider hiring a proofreader. Double check that nothing was omitted from your original content.
Don’t miss these. Carefully review your contact information for 100% accuracy. Also check page numbers, if your piece has them. If content moved around during the development of the material, page numbers can get out of place.
Don’t make the mistake of giving your printer’s proof a quick glance. When you sign-off on a proof it means that you are responsible for the outcome. A quick glance can lead to an oversight or error, reprinting and additional cost.
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