We speak a lot about the necessity to proof your design before submitting it to printing… but what does that actually mean? Follow our step by step guide on how to proof your design to ensure your product is absolutely flawless.
How to proof your design - the visuals
First things first, if you decide to use one of our handy templates, you’re already a step ahead! That’s because our templates are designed to allow you to create perfect print-ready designs, with no need to set up and align your own creation.
If you aren’t using a template, you need to ensure the draft is accurate in terms of the sizing and spacing. It’s also worth noting that you should check the following visual specifics before submitting your design to the printers…
1. Are all your photos royalty free? It's important to use photographs of which you own the copyright, or are fully royalty released. If you use an image for which you don't have permission, you may run into legal repercussions later on. Not only can this be very tricky, it can also lead to expensive re-prints.
2. Are all your photos or images clear and unpixellated? And more importantly, will they remain so upon the printing process? Follow our Resolution Guide for more information.
3. Is there an adequate bleed zone? Ensure that no important aspects of your design (graphics, text etc) are within this zone. The bleed zone acts as a safety zone, so that when the final product is assembled you won't lose aspects of your design. This is especially pertinent with products that have folds or seams, like pillow boxes. Take a look at our Bleed Guide for more information.
How to proof your design - the text
Once you’ve checked the visuals, it’s so important to check the text too! Nothing will deter a customer more than an unexpected typo or grammatical error. We know that proofreading isn't for everyone, so we’ve created a handy guide to make it easy for you, to ensure your text is perfect!
1. Read the text aloud, as if you are delivering a speech. Reading aloud helps you spot mistakes and the idea of delivering the text as a speech makes you slow down and add a natural emphasis to it. Reading aloud will also allow you to see if the emphasis is in the correct place - this might encourage you to re-write some weaker passages.
2. Be extra aware of the most common mistakes - strangely a lot of mistakes actually come in the name of your company, brand or product. This is because we know them so well that we become complacent and fail to check these - don’t fall into this trap!
Other common mistakes come with homonyms (words that sound the same but are spelt differently), like: there / their / they're, to/ two / too and your / you’re - so it’s best to double check these too!
3. Scour through the text with a different coloured pen or highlighter (we find a hard copy is best for proofing - but remember to recycle your paper copy afterwards!). Act as if you are a teacher marking an essay, and check for the minutiae.
4. Get someone else to check it. If it won’t impinge on confidentiality, it’s always a good idea to pass over any publishable text to a colleague to check it. A fresh pair of eyes will do wonders!
5. Take advantage of in-house design services! If you choose to opt for our in house design services, don’t worry - all of this will be taken care of for you!