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What is a Proof?

A proof is a representation of what your final product will look like. We make proofs to be sure both of us are on the same page as to the desired end result. It is also an agreement between yourself and the us. If you look at the proof and say it is correct, you are also agreeing to accept the job so long as the we produce what is represented in the proof. As such, please take a serious look at the proofs we send…it’s a whole lot easier and less expensive to fix mistakes in the proofing stage than after the project’s been printed. We want to make sure you’re fully satisfied…proofs are just another tool in our kit to make sure this happens!

Things to Look For

Of course, we always want to make sure everything in the document is correct. But, there are some things that need more attention than others. Be sure to triple check the following when proofing:

1. Names and Titles: There is nothing worse than producing a sports program and finding out a child’s name was mis-spelled after the parents bring it up to you. Also, sending out a journal and not having your colleague’s name correct or a company’s name right can also be embarrassing.

2. Contact Information: Woot! Your new business card looks great, you order 500, and start handing them out. But, you start wondering why you aren’t getting any phone calls since you started giving them away. You look at the card again and realize the phone number’s wrong. See how this can be a problem? If the word “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” is mis-spelled in the middle of your newsletter, that’s bad, but not nearly on the same scale as incorrect contact information.

3. Numbers and Units of Measure: You don’t want to send out a medical journal telling doctors to prescribe 30 kilograms or 300 milligrams when you really mean 30 milligrams — such can have harmful results. Numbers are things people pay a lot of attention to, so it helps to get them right.

4. Jargon: So maybe you hand-write the content you want us to put in to your brochure and the z in an industry buzzword looks like an s. If we’re having to typeset things ourselves and are not provided the text in a digital format (which is one way to help avoid mistakes, fyi), it is easy to get unfamiliar jargon incorrect. As such, it’s worth some extra attention.

5. Sizes: Are you sending out a newsletter to an older audience? Then it’s probably best to avoid small font sizes least your audience be unable to read it. Sometimes too much information is provided to fit on the document size you want, which usually leaves three options. Either you can cut some content, change the document size, or use a questionable font size. Sometimes if a digital proof is used, the monitor will greatly enlarge the document on your computer monitor to where it is easy to read on the screen when in reality the document will be printed in a much smaller size. It’s for this reason you should make sure you are viewing the document at 100% size, not 600% to where it is fitted to your monitor. We will normally warn you if a small font size is used, in which case it may be shrewd to print out a copy on your desktop printer or to request a physical proof from us.

Physical vs. Digital Proofing

There are two types of proofs: the ones in your hand, and the ones one your computer screen. Digital proofing is common nowadays as digital proofs are easy to produce, easy to deliver, easy to have approved, and easy to make revisions. The downside is that not all computer monitors represent things —  like color — in the same way. We do color calibrations on our machinery regularly and try to get our computer monitors to follow the colors our machines produce. But, most computer monitors out there are not calibrated to such standards. So, for example, a deep blue on one of our monitors may appear as a deep bluish-purple on your monitor. In addition, as touched on in the resolution page, computer monitors do not represent resolution problems very well. For these reasons, if you have a large job and it’s imperative that images look their best, we recommend requesting a physical proof.