As someone who works hand in hand with vendors and media, my best friend at work is not someone you would expect. In fact, it’s not a person at all. It’s a critical tool we use to ensure that our client’s projects are of the highest standards. I would like to introduce you to the hard copy proof.
As I said before, a lot of my day-to-day activity revolves around the management of projects once they leave our building. My job is to make sure that the newspapers, the TV stations, the web media, the printers, etc. have what they need to get our client’s work done right and on time. Working with vendors is like putting together a puzzle. There are many different pieces that come into play: the artwork, the press schedule, the printing quote or media buy, the communication, the final piece, shipping, etc. But one of the most important pieces is the hard copy proof.
For those who don’t know what a hard copy proof is, here are a couple of things that I love about them.
- They will protect you. A hard copy proof is your last line of defense from critical errors making their way into the world at your expense. If it wasn’t on the proof that you approved, and it ends up on the final product, it’s not your fault and you’re entitled to having it fixed accordingly.
- They are dependable. You can almost always count on the hard copy proof to give you the best representation of your final product. It will show you things like whether your specific spot color is printing (fairly) accurately or if the pictures in your magazine look crisp and clear.
- They offer you peace of mind. Whether your hard copy proof tells you that the newspaper is running the correct ad or that your brochure is folded properly, you can feel good knowing that you took every step to ensure that the final product was a good one.
It’s worth mentioning that with the popularity of new media, a hard copy proof is not always an option. However, that doesn’t mean you have to skip a proof altogether. Simply request a digital proof (usually a PDF). It’s better than nothing, and most vendors will be happy to oblige.
Whenever possible, don’t forget a hard copy proof (or any type of proof for that matter). Better yet, let Anchor take care of it for you. After all, the hard copy proof and I are definitely on a first name basis.