What is a Press Check?

So you've given your first brochure, pocket folder or other print job to a printer you have seen a proof and everything looks fine. You approve the proof and the printer asks you if you want to press check.

A press check is where you actually go to the printers facility and approve the color on the press sheet. It is not the place to be double checking typos, rewrapping, wrong pictures ideally. While it is nice to still catch problems this is an expensive stage to correct things. The things to expect on a press check are an arrangement of time to be there. Try your hardest to be there on time because these presses many times charge 100's of dollars per hour and if they are waiting on you at some point there might be an issue of you being charged more $$$. That being said this is a manufacturing process and many times the printer may not be exactly ready when you get there. A good printer tries to keep this to a minimum but it will happen from time to time.

You will either view the sheet in a viewing booth or out on the actual press. It depends on the printing company. You will have the color proof that you signed off on to compare to the sheet and can make some color adjustments on press to match or change the color to what is pleasing to your eye. You do have equipment limitations as to how much you can change the color on press.

You also need to check for imperfections in the printed sheet such as hickeys, etc. Circle those and draw a line out to the side to make sure they are evident. Many times if you have a good press person they can be helpful in helping you achieve the final result you want. Most press checks will last between 10-60 minutes and you should be given a copy of the press sheet you have signed off on.

Written by Buzz Tatom
The Odee Company, Dallas, Texas