How to review a production proof
This is a step by step guide for reviewing and approving a production proof in Lumi.
When you receive a proof from a supplier, this is the actual file that will be used for production, so make sure you review it carefully.
This guide will help you understand different aspects of the proof and know what you need to review.
We've included some examples in this guide, but not all supplier proofs follow the same guidelines, so your proof may look different.
Check the basic specifications listed on the proof such as dimensions, colors, and material. Make sure this information matches the information in the Specifications section of the item page.
Here's an example. Each supplier will have different formatting for this information.
Review any legend included on the proof to understand how the item will be produced.
Here's an example. Each supplier 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 bleed, bleed 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 line, knife, 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 line, crease): 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 message your supplier on the order.
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 supplier will use different verbiage, line colors, line weights, and styles in the legend.
Sometimes the supplier will provide a structural prototype or other physical sample for you to approve.
Any physical sample sign-off supersedes the proof sign-off. You should keep the sample for reference until after production is complete.
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 comparing with 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.
There's no such thing as a bad question! Message your supplier with any questions or problems you notice.