In today’s economic environment, buyers and printers are looking for ways to reduce costs. Physical [hard or traditional] proofs such as; Kodak, Matchprint, Epson and Sherpa, add cost to the printing project. Physical proofs are a direct-overhead cost. The smaller the print quantity the greater percentage proofs are to the total project cost.
Today many buyers accept digital proofs from printers such as Portable Document Format (PDF). PDF proofs can be sent anywhere in the world via the internet and are inexpensive to create and deliver. When print projects are short run [small quantities], pleasing color, digital, and require minor finishing, a PDF proof can be a good proofing option. As the complexity of the printing project increases, the greater consideration should be taken for requiring physical proofs.
Physical proofs add costs to the project, but they also provide value to the buyer. The traditional proof delivers an inexpensive likeness or mockup of the printed piece without the expense of plates and machine make readies. Proofs, such as a Sherpa, can be cut, folded, punched, drilled, stitched, collated, etc. These finished proofs allow the printer and buyer to review margins, back-up, crossovers, alignments, collation, etc. to confirm that the printed piece will represent what the designer or customer intended.
The print buyer should require physical proofs on the following projects:
- Saddle-stitched catalog with folio, type or art close to the face trim.
- Printing where the design has cross-overs or art which needs to matchups after finishing.
- Critical color.
- Complicated finishing.
- Large print runs.
- A project with large dollar value.
Note this is not exhaustive list.
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