Business Tips and Trends
After a collateral design is approved by a client, it is time to start the printing process! Designers should run the art files through a software program, such as FlightCheck, to ensure your files are prepared properly. If all checks out well, then you will send to the printer, who in turn will build a ‘blueline’ from your files. This blueline is a printed sheet used as a proof for checking the files as to how it will print, fold and trim. This is your last chance to make any final changes or adjustments. Years ago, this blueline was actually blue and then colors were marked. Nowadays, these are in color on flat sheets and a proof mock-up is also usually put together for accuracy of the folds and page sequence. Check for any errors such as content, color, photos, cropping, text and their line breaks, folds, perforations, page sequence, mailing panels, and trim size. If any laminations or varnishes are needed, make sure they are pointed out on the proof. Mark any errors you see and sign the proof as to whether its ready to print as is, print with corrections marked, or a new blueline proof needs to be made. When it all checks out and the paper, sizes and colors are specified, the next step in the printing process is to go to press.
One very important part of the printing process is a press check. A press check is to ensure the color quality of the final printed pieces matches the color blueline proof. This is done directly before the print run is underway. When you attend a press check, make sure you have a copy of the final blueline proof so you have an accurate guide to proof against. Pressmen will print our their first ‘go-by’ when they feel the colors are correct, then designers make their corrections. This is to ensure that all pieces are printed to their intention.