The importance of a press check

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The importance of a press check

When it comes to achieving print perfection, identifying an error in the colour or branding of a client’s magazine after it has gone to print is up there with scoring an own goal in the cup final: a costly mistake to make. Herein lies the importance of a press check, a final step in the publishing process that involves checking for colour accuracy on a magazine as it goes to print.

A press check on a publication occurs after final sign off/approval from a client has been given. Proofs of magazine pages, printed on the actual paper to be used for the project, are brought from the press (that is set up and ready to run) to the art director for approval. From there it’s simply a case of ensuring:

  • That corporate colours are matched to the client’s brand guidelines
  • That there is a correct and consistent tone throughout so imagery looks balanced and realistic
  • That there is consistency in large areas of colour on a page.

The art director also checks for other items such as unintentional spots or marks, confirms all elements including text, photos and graphics are present and in the correct position, discusses the arrangement of the fold with the print manager and, finally, makes sure that the paper is the correct colour, weight and finish. This latter step is particularly important given that some paper stock can make colour accuracy trickier to achieve depending on its smoothness, weight and opacity.

Although a press check can sometimes involve leaving home in the dead of night or staying up until the wee hours of the morning, it is a vital in ensuring that quality of work is not compromised.