What is a printed proof?
A printed proof is a printed representation of the artwork prior to production on the press. Proofs can be printed using various methods, resulting in different outcomes. Proofs can be for simply for checking content (PDF proofs or Lasers) or can be printed for greater accuracy of colour, (digital proofs) – or, in addition, printing on the exact material specified for the end result (wet proofs)
The days of supplying hard copy colour-accurate proofs are almost gone. In all honesty, they were never particularly accurate, and the on-press press pass was a nice day out. These days most of the day-to-day jobs are checked by us with a free ‘flight check’ to make sure they print perfectly but are not proofed back to the client at all. If a proof is requested, then 98% of all our print jobs are proofed by PDFs
Here are your options
1) PDF files
These we provide free of charge and enable you to check for content, design and some colour representation depending on what type of monitor you have and if it is profiled.
2) Colour Lasers
These are printed on a colour-profiled proofer. This proofer will enable you to check for content, design and will accurately reproduce about 85% of the Pantone spectrum. There is a set-up cost, a cost per copy and then an additional delivery charge.
3) ICC profiled inkjet proofs
These are very accurate proofs and cover 91% of the Pantone spectrum. We use the same file to generate the proofs as we do to run the plates. (This proof will pick up all anomalies such as trapping and overprint). There is a set-up cost, a cost per copy and then an additional delivery charge.
4) Wet proofs
If you have a colour-critical job then this is what we recommend. These are actual prints off the press and are printed on the actual stock. Clients that have high-end catalogues and brochures occasional choose this route.
5) Press pass proofing
If you fancy a day out then a press pass is a way to check your work on the press as we start to print the job. Realistically if you find an error at this point and pull the job then this is going to be very costly. The Press pass was used mainly by professional print buyers who understood the print process, these days the skill of the press minder is aided by the inline spectrometer that electronically keeps an eye on the inks and the resulting colour output.
We would advise that for the majority of our customers who are printing general promotional material a PDF proof will suffice. We would only really recommend ICC proofs if you are producing brochure work where you are commissioning quality photography or corporate literature/magazines where colour consistency and accuracy is paramount. We use wet proof for packaging, fine art projects and some catalogue work.
As of time of writing a wet proof off the B2 is £182