How to Know When a Printer’s Proof is Print-Ready

Misconception about printer's proof

Date: October, 2016 | CategoryProofreading Author: Reuben Malz

A brand company goes through many revision cycles until a final PDF is approved.

A typical cycle may look something like this; management gives the go-ahead to print 500,000 labels. Then, purchasing fires off a purchase order to the printer with the approved PDF file attached.

Most people consider this to be the end of the line and the expectation is that the printed labels will be delivered in a few days.

However, the packaging engineers know better. The Brand companies approved PDF is far from being “Print-Ready”.

How to Know When a Printer’s Proof is Print-Ready?

The Printer depends on professionals for many steps of the printing process. From pre-press to trap, bleeds, imposing the file, and correcting errors in the Brand company files, and much more. The end result is a derivative of the Brand company’s approved PDF file. This is the “Printer’s Proof”.

But Printing still cannot begin.

Remember the Purchase Order the Brand company sent to the Printer? This is the “Contract”.

In order for the printer to get paid for printing 500,000 labels, the contract requires that the 500,000 labels match the Brand company’s approved PDF file exactly, NOT the Proof!

Printing cannot begin until the PDF is verified against the Proof, but, whose responsibility is it to check the Proof?

The Importance of Verifying Print Proofs 

Most printers will send the proof to the Brand company and wait for the signoff before starting print production.

But even with the Brand companies signoff of the proof, the printer cannot take the risk and assume there are no errors in the Proof for the following reasons:

  • The Brand company may sign and never have checked the Proof.

  • The Brand company may have checked quickly and missed an obvious error.

  • The responsibility is usually assumed to be shared.

  • The Purchase order has legal weight.

  • The Brand company may be in the wrong and refuse to pay.

  • The Brand company may be wrong, but the Printer will not want to lose the customer.

  • The Brand company may be in the right but loses time to market.

  • The Brand company may be in the right, but delays production.

It is for these reasons that both parties will need to verify the Printer’s Proof.


Additional Resources 

GlobalVision is the leading developer of proofreading technologies for retail and consumer packaged goods. Learn how GlobalVision has helped Consumer Goods companies of all sizes in quality control.

For more information about GlobalVision and our market-leading Quality Control Platform for print and packaging, please visit our website or read more about the benefits of automated proofreading software on our blog. 

Ready to make the switch and automate your quality control processes? Request a free trial for GlobalVision Print Inspection Solution.

Learn More about How to Create Error-Free Packagingby watching out video below.