When you send a project to a printing company to be formatted and mass-printed, you'll receive something called a proof. This is a near-final version of your file that you're supposed to check over to ensure it looks the way you want it to look. Don't just glance at the proof. This is your chance to make sure the project is perfect when printed. When you have another company print out your materials, be they for a presentation or a mass mailing, you need to grab every chance you have to ensure the final product will look as you intended it to look. Reviewing the proof is a vital part of that.
Printed or Emailed?
The proof can arrive as an already printed item, or as a file that you inspect and print. A file might be okay if it's for something that will go out electronically, and if it's in a format that truly shows you what readers will see. Otherwise, choose to receive a printed version because that will show you how the printing company's printers are working. You want to know exactly what the recipients will see to be sure nothing strange pops up that might affect your company.
Using the Intended Paper Type
A printed proof has to arrive on something. Whether it arrives on plain paper or printed out on a sheet of the exact material you want (fancier paper, poster board, etc.) is another matter. Always verify with the printing company whether a printed proof will be in the near-final stage, including being printed on the material you want the final version to be on. This lets you see if the texture of the material interferes with the printing in any way or makes it look different from how you thought it would be. The company's policies could vary for materials like foam-core or thicker items even if they agree to print the proof on final material types for thinner things like paper.
Look at Everything
When you get the proof, no matter what format it's in, look at everything. Everything. The margins, the spaces, the type color, the sharpness of the lines in pictures, and so on. Once you approve the proof, that's it; if the final product looks like the proof you approved, you can't appeal anything afterward and claim it needs to be reprinted.
When you start your printing project, sit down with sales reps from printing companies to find out all about their processes, including the proof. Even if you're just having a few business forms printed, you'll want to ensure those forms look great.
For more information on business forms printing services, contact a company like Wally's Printing.