This blog post is about safety – Your safety!
To give you some context: More and more clients fail to ask for proofs during the coordination process for their print products, or even after the print data has been finalized. Instead, they rely on their computer screens when assessing the colours of their products.
Often, financial reasons are mentioned to explain this. But that seems quite strange. Clearly, the same people sometimes spend large sums on insurance. But obviously it is a lot less likely that their screen or their office printer displays the colours as they will subsequently be printed, than that a child smashes a window with a football. Who would seriously trust a screen when picking the colour of their new car online? It is completely out of the question that you will go to the dealer of your choice and take a look at the car or a paint sample on site. Why would your screen suddenly become a reliable partner when it comes to your print products? Especially since you depend on a true depiction of colours, line widths, and contrasts?
Unless you have hardware-calibrated monitors at hand, you are already treading on thin ice.
You can tell by now – the question of whether or not you need to do proofs does not actually arise, because, a proof (accurately called a contract proof) is an ISO certified test. It simulates the colours of an offset print or a gravure print in a manner that is binding both in terms of colours as well as legally, within the narrow tolerances of ISO 12647-7.
And that makes it the only way to check the colour reproduction in your print products and agree to them as binding before the final products are actually printed.
More than that: The proof is your only insurance, should the print products not live up to your expectations. It also serves as the printer’s basis for rendering the colours. Even if you make a complaint – if there is no proof attached to your print job, you might end up footing the bill. In the worst case, the costs can amount to a couple of thousand euros. It does not compare to the low cost of a proof.
But your proof can do even more.
Colour does not equal colour.
Imagine, your print products are printed in several magazines on several types of paper. The whiteness and the quality of a regular magazine paper, for example, is completely different from a recycled newsprint paper. It is not just that different papers require different print data, but also that the colour representation of your data changes considerably. These changes can only truly be assessed upon seeing a proof on the actual paper. Then, using the proof as a basis, you can make colour adjustments to counteract the divergent renditions on different papers and you can guarantee that your colours, contrasts, and depths are consistently reproduced.
I hope, that I could illuminate and clarify the topic of proofs for you in this blog post. As mentioned in the beginning, your safety as a client is at stake here. You need to be sure that your print products will look exactly as you imagined them. So, stop hoping that everything is going to be all right – start making proofs!
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