The Importance of a Press Check

A press check, otherwise called a press inspection, is a chance for a designer to review and manage the printing process while a project is in production. It's not uncommon for designers to attend press checks on behalf of their clients to make sure the design intent of a project is followed through at the final stages. At Citizen Creative it's just a part of our quality assurance process.A few weeks ago we reviewed a 68-page instructional manual while it was on press. We didn't run into any major problems, but we did have to work through color refinements for a Pantone. If we weren't on press at the time this detail would have been missed. It took five refinements to the color to get it exactly right - a perfect match, so that the color looked flawless.Here are a few things to consider for your next press check:

  1. Take Pantone swatch books with you. While printers usually have them nearby, it's always good to come prepared.
  2. Take your time reviewing the proof. Details are missed if you race through the review process. Don't let anyone rush you.
  3. Mark anything you think looks off. Don't be worried about marking up too many things.
  4. Have someone else review with you, if you can. Even if it's your client, a second set of eyes never hurts!
  5. Plan to be there at least the whole day. Sometimes adjustments to color can take 20-30 minutes for each fix. Bring your laptop and connect to the wifi while you wait!
  6. Ask the printer to have your previous proofs (marked up) available. It's good to make sure all changes during previous rounds of revisions were made.

Leave a comment