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:
Tip: Different suppliers 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.
After you've reviewed the proof, you can approve it to go forward with the order, or reject it and provide the supplier with your notes. Here's how.