Press Sheet Inspection - A How To

These are the major areas of concern when reviewing press sheets at a press inspection. Not a comprehensive list but the most common problems to be avoided.

  1. Check that the paper is what you ordered.
  2. Check your last blueline against the sheet to make sure all corrections have been made and make sure no images or copy have been dropped.
  3. Check the registration marks for register, then check the rest of the sheet with a loupe.
  4. Check the page crossovers by folding the sheet. The pressman can fold and trim a press sheet by hand into a signature to make sure all matches as intended.
  5. Check the proof for pleasing color (particularly colors of such "memory" elements as skin and grass).
  6. Match the sheet against the last color proof.
  7. Check for broken type or blurry type.
  8. Check for uneven color, particularly in solids. Make sure color is consistent across the sheet. Check screens and color builds.
  9. Check neutrals for any color cast. Match the colors of the printed piece to the colors of any companion pieces in a marketing package such as brochures and envelopes.
  10. Look for printing errors such as slurring, doubling, scumming, hickeys, ghosting, mottling of colors, etc.
  11. Check everything one final time for glaring errors and the overall look of the piece.
  12. Ask the printer to number the sheets as pulled and ask that ink densities be noted on the sign-off sheet. Remember that color will still vary slightly even after you sign off on the job. Your sign-off sheet is the goal, the "contract proof" to which the printer will run the rest of your job. Keep a sample of the final sign-off sheet so you can match it to the piece once it has been delivered.


PG® Graphics
A Brochure and Catalog Design Company
5732 Milentz Avenue • St. Louis, MO 63109 USA

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