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Artwork Proofing

Discussion in 'Business Management' started by Centro Graphics, May 24, 2019.

  1. Centro Graphics

    Centro Graphics Member

    Jul 9, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Hi Guys

    What are people's prefered method of soft proofing that will show artwork and sizing at a low resolution, easy to send format? The smaller jobs where its a single item, or a few items are easy saved to PDF etc. But we do projects that are sometimes lots of items. Biggest one recently was 130 different items, some were huge files too, long process to get all these wrapped up for approval.

    Is there a magic solution that we haven't seen?

    • Like Like x 1
  2. visual800

    visual800 Very Active Member

    Aug 4, 2010
    montgomery, alabama
    We do all jpg with watermarks. we will jumble 3 or 4 seperate jobs on one layout for pricing and approval
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  3. JimMoorePDS

    JimMoorePDS Mimaki Sales & Service Technician

    I did a trial run with this company early on when they initially released this software... It has been upgraded significantly since then. It uses the adobe creative cloud workflow though... won't work with flexi or other software.

    • Pure Genius! Pure Genius! x 1
  4. De.signs Nanaimo

    De.signs Nanaimo Member

    Nov 25, 2010
    Low res jpeg for all proofs. I used to send low res pdf's and had designed a business card for a client, he never responded but showed up a few weeks later, threw a blurry business card on the desk and told me I was a crappy designer as his card turned out blurry that he had printed elsewhere. I told him that I was such a good designer that his stolen file was deliberately blurry as to prevent theft like his, and he apologised and even paid his design bill, of course to get the correct file but still!
    • Like x 6
    • OMG / Wow! x 4
    • Hilarious! x 2
    • I Appreciate You x 2
    • Agree x 1
    • Pure Genius! x 1
  5. Old Timer

    Old Timer Member

    Nov 2, 2018
    In Acrobat DC save pdf as reduced size
    • Like Like x 1
  6. James Burke

    James Burke Being a grandpa is more fun than working

    Jan 2, 2010
    Mitten State
    If you do send a .pdf directly from your sign program, make sure the artwork is converted .jpeg. Either that or lock the document so they can't pull vectors.

    • Like Like x 3
    • Agree Agree x 3
  7. bannertime

    bannertime Very Active Member

    Sep 8, 2016
    Pretty sure Flexi can open locked PDFs and pull the vector. I've done this when a company "can't" find a vector art file but the PDF flyer on their website has one. Has worked like a charm in the past.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. OADesign

    OADesign Active Member

    Jan 27, 2006
    We just send PDFs. Embedding jpgs increases file size and makes emailing problematic. As far as "locked" PDFs. it just a deterrent. Any savy person can crack a locked document. But IMO all the security and time wasted to protect a proof is a waste. If your client is on the level where they will steal your image. That implies that there are many issues prior to doing the design. No relationship. No trust. No deposit... And if you take my design elsewhere, AFTER I have a deposit, I'm good. That job just became significantly more profitable (relatively speaking). And a stolen design is just that. A design. No specs, no fonts, no color detail. LOL Have at it.
    • Like Like x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. myront

    myront CorelDRAW is best

    Dec 3, 2015
    Niceville, FL
    We use png's 99% of the time.
    If the design came to me in vector pdf and it has small critical text I'll go ahead and make a pdf proof to send back to them.
  10. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

    Nov 1, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    We throw the designs on a letter-sized proof template, mark them up with any relevant information, and then email the client a PDF of that. Never had someone "steal" our designs, but that's probably because they've usually paid us at least half by that point.
  11. Centro Graphics

    Centro Graphics Member

    Jul 9, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Thanks for the feedback fellas. Though maybe I used the wrong term. I mean preflights. Im not concerned about artwork being released back to clients for approval, as most the time its their artwork. We receive artwork, then want to send back for approval. Basically saying, yes we have it, this is what we are outputting at this size, arer you happy with it.

    Hope this helps.

  12. rossmosh

    rossmosh Active Member

    Oct 9, 2014
    New Jersey
    I use the following methods.

    1. Rasterize the Illustrator file (normally at 150ppi but this can be high for certain projects) and then print as a PDF. Printing as a PDF is key. Do not save as a PDF as the file will be much larger and include unnecessary information.

    2. I've recently been grabbing the stuff and doing copy and pasting right into the body of the email on simple jobs or quick proofs.

    3. In some circumstances, I'll just do a decent quality JPEG/PNG type file.

    Ultimately, it's about protecting my work while also simultaneously making the next guy's job harder if they need to reverse engineer it.
  13. Garth Vidler

    Garth Vidler New Member

    Mar 17, 2020
    This looks really cool, gonna check it out!
  14. Garth Vidler

    Garth Vidler New Member

    Mar 17, 2020
    I've noticed some proofs come back from the Banner guys with all the crops and everything all on there also, its as though their rip is outputting a preview.

    My understanding of a a real "proof" is this image, its like the last thing anyone can see before you hit print. This is because often RIP's will mess with graphics, fonts, colours, overprints etc. things can get all messed up and do like every 1 in 500 jobs.

    I've never actually seen any program that can do it, I guess I just assume its something in the RIP software.

    Regardless I send PDF's all the time, its not a true proof but its the only thing I know how to do that gives at least a pretty good indication of how the RIP will interpret the content.

    What I would really like is a program that tracks your sent proofs, allows clients to mark up comments on them and also has a nice big button that says APPROVED!

    Now that would be cool. I'm quite confident there are programs out there. I've looked a few times but haven't found anything yet. Adobe has this functionality but its not entirely smooth as it required some skill on the recipients behalf to go through the process. Its just not streamlined enough.

    Computer systems such as this are becoming of real interest to me as I can see a HUGE benefit in using computer systems to run our shop from proofing to task allocation, delivery, pickup or installation. Saves time, saves confusion, frustration, makes it easy and professional for clients, everyone wins. But what to use? Someone should make a one stop Sign Shop system that does it all, now that I would like to see.
  15. Udesignz1

    Udesignz1 New Member

    May 15, 2020
    To save u time and peace of mind, always charge client a deposit that can cover more than the mockup or design cost, I use to have clients taking my working and dont want to pay. Now I have an almost perfect record when it come to client paying for design. Locking a design makes no sense.. 2 sec in coral draw an pdf crack wide open.
  16. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

    Nov 1, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    They're not perfect, but there are a few companies that make business management software for sign shops.


    Both of these tools will take you from estimating to invoicing, including artwork proofing, managing your production board, and lots more. Our shop currently runs Corebridge, and we used to use Signvox (Shopvox's predecessor).
  17. TammieH

    TammieH Very Active Member

    Nov 28, 2011
    Pacific NW
    pdf and password protect, plus you can save as smallest file size, so no problem with large files
  18. Andy D

    Andy D Very Active Member

    Oct 20, 2014
    Hattiesburg, MS
    We Use Corel Draw, & when we have multiple types of signage we create multiple pages within the same file, putting as many of the same type signs/graphics per page as is reasonable,
    so that they are not crowded or too small.
    That being said, some projects end up still having too much stuff and then we have to create multiple files that would look like;
    -ABC Bank - New Anyplace Location - Printed Graphics
    -ABC Bank - New Anyplace Location - Dimensional letters
    -ABC Bank - New Anyplace Location - Backlit Signage
    And each would have it's own set of PDF proofs & each set would need to be approved individually.
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
  19. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

    Nov 1, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    We actually don't send proofs for most jobs that the client sends artwork for. What's the point of sending their artwork back to them? I mean, we'll do it if there are a bunch of different parts to the job, just to confirm sizes and quantities.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. ewded

    ewded Active Member

    Aug 28, 2017
    You cannot 'lock' the document. You can always print to PDF which makes it a regular PDF