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PDF Proofing Comes of Age

(June 2007) posted on Thu Jun 07, 2007

The cost and scheduling benefits of adding PDF proofs to your production workflow.


By Stephen Beals

Another solution is to use remote proofing via PDF files. This is likely to become increasingly popular because some third-party Epson partners have created proof-verification systems, and HP has rolled out its Z3100 and Z2100 printers with a built in iOne spectrophotometer. What this approach does is allow clients and print providers to output the same file at different locations and get a certifiable reading via a spectrophotometer to confirm that what each device is printing is within a very small, specified range of color deviation (DeltaE). Essentially, this gives the best of both worlds: a very fast turn-around plus a hard-copy proof. Of course, it does mean the actual cost of making that proof doesn’t go away, but again, that has become one of the smaller parts of the proofing process in terms of cost.

Are PDF proofs for you and your clientele?
Many of you are likely already using PDF files for quick last-minute proofs. The cost savings and production gains made each time you use a PDF are indicative of the overall savings possible if you choose to make PDF proofs a regular part of your proofing strategy. Only the most sophisticated color-managed print providers with the most color-savvy clientele will be able to replace all of their hard-copy proofs with PDF. And for some, remote proofing may be a good answer.

But for nearly everyone, adding more PDF proofs to your production workflow has cost and scheduling benefits that are very real. Your clients are likely to appreciate any cost savings they can realize with PDF proofs. Rather than compromise the quality of proofing, the proper integration of electronic proof delivery in PDF format should improve the overall quality, satisfaction, and savings for all parties.

Stephen Beals authors our regular "Digital Workflow" column.


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