Why Hard and Soft Proofs are a Critical Step to Comic Printing
Proofing is often the most overlooked or taken for granted step in the comic printing process. This isn't to say that it's not important – it is without doubt the most important step of comic printing! It is estimated that approximately 99% of all reprints are caused by not doing a thorough job of proofing. Any time that an electronic file is opened, there is a chance of errors occurring and it is critical that every round of proofs is treated with the same care and respect as any of the previous proofs.
Litho Ninja offers you two levels of proofing to help assure that no errors make it to press – a soft proof and the hard proof. All of our proofs are "post rip" which means that they have been rasterized, trapped and are ready to plate if approved. If there is an error in the file, it will show up on the proof.
The soft proof is made up of a low resolution PDF file. It's critical to carefully PRINT, READ and CHECK GRAPHICS on your entire proof, several times even, because at this point you can make edits and changes to your project with little or no cost to you or your client.
The hard proof is a digitally printed mockup or "dummy" of your project that is trimmed to size and folded or bound to reflect the physical dimensions, color representation off the press, and lightness factor of your final product.
Every job that Litho Ninja produces is accompanied by a low resolution free soft proof. After any revisions or corrections, a new soft proof is provided and we require approval prior to printing to ensure that all corrections were made correctly and that no additional errors are present.
Hard proofs are highly encouraged, but not required. To order a hard proof, simply submit an order for 1 print and upload your respective print file(s) with your order. Upon receiving the hard proof, pay close attention to the color representation, the lightness of the pages, visibility on darker colored pages, images, text and the layout itself.
Some questions to ask yourself about your proofs are:
- Are all the fonts rendered properly?
- Are the colors correct?
- Are the pages too dark in appearance?
- Is the text readable?
- How is the resolution of the images?
- Do the pages or folds line up the way I want them?
- Is everything as expected?
Remember, comic printers like Litho Ninja provide proofs for several reasons but one of the most important of these is to ensure that nothing has gone wrong during the processing of your electronic files. It is critical that you approve these proofs and confirm that all is as expected so that together, we can produce high quality, error free printing at an affordable price with no surprises on press. Or more importantly, no surprises in the delivered product to your customer!
Contact Litho Ninja directly if you have any questions about receiving proofs for your print projects.