Proofing is a critical process in the printing industry. However, so many printers (or print shops) are still spending too much time on the inefficient manual proofing process, which can significantly slow down the printing process. In the long run, when you take too much time to produce your print, it can negatively impact your bottom line.
This is where online proofing for printers comes in. Here, we will discuss the concept of online proofing, its benefits for printers, and how you can quickly implement it in your business.
Without further ado, let us begin.
What Is Online Proofing
In printing, a ‘proof’ is a term used to describe a preview of your print-ready file. This proof allows both clients and printers to review and confirm the content, copy, layout, and other file elements before it goes to press.
Typically, printing will not get done until the client’s proof is approved (a process we call “proof approval’).
In the past, there are typically two different proofing options in printing: email-based and ‘hard’ proof.
In email-based proofing, the printer will send the client an email with an attachment or a link to access the proof file (i.e., in PDF or JPEG format). The client will then review the proof file on their computer/device and then send an email reply for approval or approve the proof via phone call/text/other means.
The email-based proof used to be the default proofing preference for so many years, but it can’t hide the fact that email-based communications can be inefficient at times. For example, suppose the project is complex. In that case, it can involve many emails with different file attachments/links, and it can be challenging to find a specific file version in the event of disputes and other issues.
Not to mention, sending emails back and forth aren’t 100% secure. The client may accidentally or deliberately forward the email to an unauthorized party, causing various issues and potential damages.
Hard copy proofing
Hard copy proofing is sometimes still preferred for print shops since its physical proofs can provide a better sense of color than reviewing a JPEG or PDF file on your screen. Different screens can be calibrated differently and might not offer a precise color match to the final printed product.
However, even hard proofs will not provide a 100% precise representation of the final product’s color.
The disadvantage of hard copy proofing is obvious: it will add more time and costs to print the proofs. There’s also the delivery time and costs to consider.
Online proofing software for printers like Aproove provides a secure, cloud-based Online Proofing solution. Clients and collaborators can quickly review and approve the proof file without needing to download and install anything. All the proofing gets done in real-time with no risk of looking at old proofs.
A key advantage of online proofing software like Aproove is the feature to allow a centralized feedback system. Everyone involved in the project can leave feedback and comments in real-time, and different collaborators can easily see each other’s comments. This transparency also adds accountability for both the printer and the client, especially when there is more than one client, leading to a higher efficiency level.
With an advanced search function, we can also easily find different file versions in the platform, and gone are the days of searching for a file amidst hundreds of emails in a thread. All in all, online proofing offers a more seamless and efficient proofing process for printers, eliminating compliance risks and ensuring products are delivered on time and budget.
The Benefits of Online Proofing for Printers
Implementing online proofing for your printing shop has many benefits, with reasonably minimal to no drawbacks. In general, here are some essential benefits of online proofing you should consider:
- Transparency and accountability
For a print shop, transparency in communications with your customers is an essential aspect of ensuring success. The back-and-forth communication in a proofing process can be complicated to manage, especially in email-based communication.
With Aproove, for example, you only need to send one email to your client containing a link to their proof (which will link them to Aproove), but the rest of the communication occurs on the platform instead. This ensures more transparency and accountability in the proofing process.
- Reduce revisions
Better transparency and better communications will reduce the number of revisions per job in the long run. As we know, more revisions will translate to more time required to finish a single project, which will, in turn, translate into lower revenue.
With online proofing, it’s much easier to understand what changes your customers want with their feedback so that fewer revision cycles will be necessary.
- Automatic reminder
With Aproove, your client will get an automatic reminder when a new proof is ready for review, and vice versa. You’ll also get notified when your client has sent feedback or approve the proof. This will ensure a more seamless process for both parties.
The proofing process, as we know, is a vital part of the printing business to eliminate any possible errors and ensure the satisfaction of your clients. Online proofing can significantly improve the proofing process, providing a more streamlined, transparent approach to ensure the whole approval process’s efficiency. Getting the right proofing software for printers like Aproove can be an excellent investment to grow your printing business in the long run: a more efficient approval process, fewer revisions, and more revenue.