Today’s Proofing Process

Back in the day you sat down with your red pen and marked up a hard copy proof for your project. This may still be the case if you are reviewing proofs for a project about to go to press. But in the design and layout stages of the process, it’s all about speed, electronic files, and mark up options.

Here is a typical proof workflow for a small job:

  1. Design and layout are complete, and it’s printed to a PDF file.
  2. The PDF file is sent to the client via email as an attachment. (If the file is too big, resources like Dropbox or Google Docs can be used.)
  3. The client reviews the proof and has edits.
  4. There are multiple way of communicating those changes:
    1. Pick up the phone and call in the changes; or
    2. Outline the changes in an email message; or
    3. Print the proof out, mark it up, scan it, then email it back; or
    4. Open the PDF file in Adobe Acrobat and use the Comment tools to add notes, insert new copy, delete old copy, attach files, etc. (example below)

My advice: use whichever method you are most comfortable with and that provides the clearest instructions to the designer. Timeliness is a consideration as well, for all parties. A quick conversation about the proofing cycle before the project does wonders!

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