Many people are intimidated by the press check process — you’re in an unfamiliar, noisy, printing plant with people standing around waiting for your final nod. It will be easy to skip steps or be shaken off task — but you must resist and concentrate on the matter at hand — guaranteeing a perfect print job.

As soon as the ink is up to run-specifications, the pressman will pull a sheet for you to look at, approve and probably sign off on. Take your time, pay attention, and have a checklist to go by. PDF Press Check List

Press Check Notes:

  1. Bring a second person and put them on task for proofreading.
  2. The press sheet cannot exactly match either the original copy original proof.
  3. Bring the original copy, the ink and paper swatches and the final ok’d proofs.
  4. Compare color match items
  5. Obtain overall impression: slowly scan the entire press sheet
  6. Does the sheet being used match the specified sheet/paper?
  7. Are spot ink colors correct?
  8. Is all copy on the sheet
  9. Are display and headline type accurate font, set, spelling?
  10. Check all registration
  11. Check trapping
  12. Study the pictures, type, screens to make sure they are consistent
  13. Look for flaws and imperfection * broken type, pinholes, mottling, hickeys or ghosting
  14. Fold the sheet for correct backups, gutters tick-marks (cuts, scores, etc.) Photos aligned
  15. Take a few press sheets, fold into dummy, check for stitch, creep, alignment.
  16. Weigh the piece if it is to be mailed

Press Sheet Checklist

What to look for when reviewing a press sheet:

  • Number the press sheets as you receive them.
  • Verify the paper stock is what you requested in weight and color.
  • Check for missing elements and copy changes.
  • Check registration of elements.
  • Examine four-color images for major color deviations.
  • Confirm that color breaks are correct.
  • Check type carefully for broken letters and imperfections.
  • Examine sheets for hickeys, blemishes, and any thing unusual.

Remember to check color match consistency on elements that cross over from page to page. Fold or cut the press sheet across the image and compare it with the other crossover page. Be aware that if you radically alter the color on one page, you may not be able to replicate it on the crossover page.

Remember too that color is a matter of personnal taste and each individual’s perception of color is subjective.

  • Assume NOTHING!
  • Read the proof(s) against your supplied laser visuals to help aid in the review process.
  • Check headlines, captions, and body text for type reflow throughout. Make sure italics, bolds, etc. are used where you wanted them.
  • Check for character integrity, broken letters, and sharpness of type.
  • Check each photo and/or illustration for proper position, cropping, and scaling.
  • Compare illustrations on proof to originals supplied for color fidelity.
  • Check each element for proper color treatment.
  • Check each color image and screen build element for internal register.
  • Verify that bleeds extend beyond the trim marks.
  • Verify that the finishing elements; such as foilstamping, diecutting, embossing, drilling and perforations are properly indicated.
  • Confirm that all corrections from previous proofs have been made, if applicable.