Press Check Dos and Don’ts: 9 Guidelines for Print Production Success

In a story about press check pressman and client standing next to a printing press

Whether you’re overseeing the printing of brochures, magazines, packaging, or any other printed item, being well-prepared for a press check is essential to achieve the desired results. In this blog post, we’ll outline the dos and don’ts – the essential guidelines – to follow before going on a press check for a successful outcome.

1.Understand the Purpose

DO: Use the press check as opportunity to approve color, registration, and overall appearance of the printed product.  The press check is a time to experience the magic of seeing your printed piece come to life and guarantee your final product meets your expectations.

DON’T: Use the press check as time to check spelling, grammar, bleeds, dates, pagination, phone numbers, etc… All of those things should have been corrected before going to press. Making this type of change requires stopping the press and making a new plate which can incur additional charges. 

2. Understand How Color Works

DO: Understand how color works on a printing press. Color on a printing press is created by mixing and applying the four primary ink colors (CMYK) in varying combinations to produce a full range of hues and tones in printed materials.  These colors are printed in-line which means that adjusting the color on one side of a page will affect the color on the other side of the page as well.

DON’T: Focus on isolated spots on the sheet.  During a press check, it’s crucial to evaluate the overall color consistency across the entire sheet.  By examining the entire sheet, you can ensure that the final print run maintains the desired color integrity and quality throughout the production process.

3. Establish Clear Expectations

DO: Provide clear communication.  Paper type, finishing options, and any special instructions should all be clear before going to press to ensure a smoother press check process.

DON’T:  Skip detailing your specific concerns and requirements. Clear and precise communication of your printing specifications is crucial to avoid misunderstandings and ensure the desired results.

4. Schedule Adequate Time

DO: Allocate sufficient time in your schedule. Patience is a virtue.  Rushing through a press check can lead to costly errors. Plan ahead, allowing for thorough inspection of the print job.

DON’T:  Rush through the press check; it’s a critical step that demands your full attention.

5. Bring Your Team

DO: Include your team members in a press check. This adds significant value by harnessing their collective knowledge and skills. This collaborative approach ensures that various aspects of the project, from design to quality control, are thoroughly examined, contributing to a more comprehensive and successful printing process.

DON’T:  Bring team members that are either overzealous or uninterested. Opt for individuals who are not only well-informed but also genuinely dedicated to the press check’s purpose and objectives.

6. Ask for a Plant Tour

DO: Utilize this opportunity to gain insights into the complete print and production process by meeting the entire production team. Meeting these talented individuals behind the scenes not only puts a face to a name but also fosters a better understanding of their roles, which ultimately enhances collaboration and efficiency throughout the printing process.

DON’T:  Touch any equipment or material without permission, as it can disrupt the production process and pose safety risks. Additionally, refrain from wandering off or straying from designated tour areas to maintain order and security in the facility.

7. Take Samples

DO: Request samples from different points in the press run – at the start, middle, and end. This helps verify consistency throughout the print job. Compare these samples to your approved proof.

DON’T: Disregard the importance of samples; they are great to have for future reference and a full press sheet makes for a nice souvenir.

8. Take Photos and Videos

DO: Take photos and videos during a press check. This allows you to capture the behind-the-scenes aspects of your project, which can be engaging content for your social media audience. Sharing these visual insights can help promote transparency, showcase your dedication to quality, and connect with your followers on a more personal level.

DON’T: Forget to ask the printer for permission before taking pictures and videos to respect their policies and ensure a smooth press check process.

9. Trust the Experts

DO: Trust the expertise of your printing team. They are professionals who understand the intricacies of the printing process and can offer valuable insights and recommendations.

DON’T: Undermine the pressman’s expertise by micromanaging every detail.  Your printing team knows their stuff so give them the freedom to make your printed piece look amazing.

A successful press check hinges on following the dos and avoiding the don’ts outlined in this guide. By embracing these guidelines, you’ll ensure a smooth and productive press check experience, ultimately leading to a high-quality final product. Collaboration, communication, and meticulous attention to detail are the cornerstones of success in the world of print production.

 

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Gal Shweiki

Shweiki Media, Inc. President/CEO

Gal Shweiki is the president and founder of Shweiki Media. In 1984 as a Student at the University of Texas at Austin, Shweiki began his career in publishing by starting a college guide book titled, The Student Guide to the Best in Austin. After graduating, Shweiki founded Study Breaks Magazine, a monthly college entertainment magazine. In 1999 Shweiki grew the publishing business into Shweiki Media when he purchased a five color web printing press. Currently a leader in publication printing Shweiki Media prints over 350 different magazine titles throughout the year for many different publishers all over the world. As a publisher himself Shweiki enjoys the interaction and understands the concerns of his clients.

Shweiki graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. He lives in San Antonio with his wife Col. Bonnie Hartstein, M.D. and two girls Jacqueline and Aimee.

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