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How to review a production proof

This is a step by step guide for reviewing and approving a production proof through Lumi.

Contents

Introduction

You have received a proof from your manufacturing partner. This proof, if approved, is the actual file that will be used for production, so make sure you review it carefully.

This guide will help you understand the proof and provides a list of things to review.

We've included some examples in this guide, but not all manufacturer proofs follow the same guidelines, so your proof may look different.


1 Basic information

Check basic information listed on the proof such as dimensions, colors, and material specifications. Make sure this information matches the information in the Specifications section of the item page.

Here's an example. Each manufacturer will have different formatting for this information.


2 Understand the legend

Review any legend included on the proof to understand how the item will be produced.

Here's an example. Each manufacturer will have use different verbiage, line colors, line weights, and styles in the legend.

These are the most common marks you'll find on a proof:

  • Bleed area (or art bleedbleed line) — This is a margin outside the trim area that will be cut off after printing. It might be called out in its own labeled line. If you want your artwork to go to the edge of the material, it should extend all the way to this line.
  • Cut line (or die lineknife, trim) — This is where the die will cut the material. It's often shown as a solid line.
  • Glue assist — Partial scores in an area of material that allow glue to seep in and adhere better. 
  • Nicking — When two separate pieces are not cut completely, so the pieces stay together in production. The pieces are to be taken apart at a later step, either in production or fulfillment.
  • No print area (or non-coated area) — This part of the item is left unprinted, usually to allow for better glueing or adhesion.
  • Perforations — This is a line of staggered cuts or partial cuts that allow for easy tearing or a clean fold.
  • Repeat (or print plate size) — Many repeating patterns (or step-and-repeat patterns) will call out the size of the actual print plate or repeat.
  • Safe area (or copy limit, safe zone) — This area is often indicated by a different colored line, inside the cut line. This indicates the space where you should contain copy or essential, non-repeating artwork. Since there is a risk of shift in most print processes, it is important to keep artwork away from edges and corners so important artwork or information isn't cut off.
  • Score line (or fold linecrease). This is where the material will be folded or scored, for easy folding later.

Tip: Different vendors use different colors and line styles to represent these things. If you see something on the proof that confuses you, don't hesitate to reach out to your customer success manager.


3 Review the structure

Using the legend as a guide, review the structural drawing of the proof, including where cuts, scores, and perforations are located.

Here's an example. Each manufacturer will have use different verbiage, line colors, line weights, and styles in the legend.

Sometimes the manufacturer will provide an structural prototype for you to sign off on. This is typically only for structural purposes, unless explicitly stated it includes artwork. Any physical sample sign-off supersedes the proof sign-off. You should keep the sample for reference until after full production is complete.


4 Review the artwork

Review the artwork placement, labeled ink colors (Pantone values, GCMI values, or CMYK), copy, and any callouts on bleed or safety boundaries to place text where shifting could be an issue.

If you have gone through multiple versions of the design, make sure you are checking against the most up-to-date version.

Tip: If you have Adobe Illustrator, open the proof file and lay out your artwork files on top of it. Set the transparency of your artwork to 50% and make sure everything lines up how you intended. 

Tip: It can also be beneficial to get another pair of eyes on the proof, especially if you've spent a lot of time looking at it.


5 Ask questions

There's no such thing as a bad question! Follow up with your customer success manager with any questions or problems you notice.


6 Approve or reject the proof

If everything looks good, click Approve. Then, review the specifications and notes once more, scroll to the bottom of the modal, and check Confirm Approval. Then click Approve once more.

If anything is wrong with the proof, click Reject. Then, select the reasons for rejecting the proof, enter a note about what needs to be changed, and then click Reject.