This is your last chance to affect the final product. Press checks can be demanding because they are at the mercy of production schedules. Often you will have only a few hours notice of when your job will be on press. Making changes at this stage can cost hundreds, even thousands of dollars.

Press checks are optional and depend on the complexity of your job. Always discuss a printer's policy on press checks at the time of quotation (cost per hour for press time, time limits, delay charges, etc.).

          Have available:

Printed samples if it's a reprint; printed samples of companion pieces (your printer should have these in advance);

Printed samples of same Pantone colours and photos/illustrations, purchase order, original illustrations, photos, transparencies and proofs.

  • Scan the entire sheet first.
  • Match against prepress proof.
  • Verify that all copy and photos are in place, and that all corrections have been made from previous proofs.
  • Verify register. Examine the copy; check crossovers and backups.
    Are there any mechanical errors?
  • Is the size correct? Verify paper stock.
  • Check register by looking for dots that may be hanging at the edge of a four-colour photo.
  • Are screen tints the right colour?
  • For process colour, check overall colour, neutral colours, memory colours and contrast range against colour (prepress) proof. Remember to use the correct lighting conditions.
  • Are varnishes in register? Matte or gloss?
  • Look for hickies, ghosting, scumming, roller marks, broken type/rules, pinholes and other flaws.
  • Check rule-up for correct fold, trim and alignment of die cuts.
  • Are the images sharp and clean? Evaluate the fine details.
  • Number each check sheet. Sign, date and note time on the final okayed sheet.
  • Confirm shipping instructions and delivery dates. Discuss binding and finishing to anticipate any problems or delays. Bring several okayed sheets back with you.