There’s no denying that the world is going digital, but that doesn’t mean that businesses no longer use professional printing. After all, print is still a valuable asset in the marketing and promotional arsenal of most businesses today.

However, unlike digital projects where edits, changes, and adjustments can be made practically at any time (and with little, if no additional cost), once a project has been printed, it’s done. There’s no going back – it’s printed. The only way to make changes at this stage is to re-print the entire project …and pay again! As such, it’s crucial to get it right the first time. After all, nothing screams “UNPROFESSIONAL!” like typos, incorrect information, and color and margin problems.

Of course, you should be checking and double checking everything as your copywriters and designers create the piece, but once it’s been finalized and gone off to the printer, you’ll have one last chance to do a final review and to approve colors, fonts, margins, and other layout items. That final chance is the printer’s proof.

The printer’s proof shows what your final project will look like, so it is important to review all print proofs carefully before giving the printer the go-ahead to print your project.

The following is a short checklist of items to double (or triple!) check on your printer’s proof before authorizing the job to go to print. This list is not meant to be a complete or final checklist, but rather a good place for you to begin as you review your proof(s).

Because creating a new proof can create additional work for your graphic designer as well as the printer, it is important to note that changes and/or corrections that you make to the project during the project proof stage normally will incur additional fees to you.

Proofing Checklist

Are all pages included?
Are the pages in the proper order & page numbers correct?
Are all images/photos included and in proper placement?
Are photos cropped correctly? Are all photos facing the proper direction?
Do photos & graphics have good contrast?
Is the text crisp & spaced properly?
Are all fonts correct?
Are the margins & page alignment(s) correct?
Double check all names, addresses, email & web addresses, and telephone numbers
Double check all spelling & punctuation
Are there any missing characters or broken type?
Are there dust spots, printing marks, or dirt marks?
Check color placement & color consistency throughout the pages. If you have received a color accurate proof, are the colors correct?
Measure the final trim size and check folds for accuracy
Verify any finishing elements like die-cuts, embossing, foils, varnishes, etc.
Verify that bleeds extend beyond the trim marks
Confirm the weight and color of the final paper stock