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What do you do for electronic proofs?

Discussion in 'Designs & Layouts' started by JoeBoomer, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. JoeBoomer

    JoeBoomer Member

    Oct 28, 2009
    What do you guys do/suggest for creating digital proofs for clients and even internal use?

    I've created templates in Illustrator in the past, but I have a few problems/annoyances with this method.


    • Everything stays in one file (notes, artwork, etc.)
    • I have a javascript that will automatically draw the dimensions of a selected object which is really nice.


    Typing notes/text sucks (sizing, aligning, etc.) even with a template created
    • Re-sizing artwork or the template to fit within Illustrator size constraints
    • Creating multiple page pdf proofs means I have to copy the template repeatedly in same file or copy to multiple files which sucks when changes are made, and is just a stupid way to work.
    Slow moving with keeping layers organized, re-sizing, drawing boxes around objects with white backgrounds just to show where the object ends, etc.

    I think I am going to try and create a pdf template and just embed artwork into it. Basically create artwork and insert into Acrobat.

    Any/all feedback is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks Team!
  2. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

    Nov 1, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    We design in 1:1 or 1:10 scale, then drop the AI file of the design into an 8.5x11 proof template. Just place it - don't embed - that way it updates when you change the design file. If you want to save revisions in separate files, just relink in the proof so you don't have to resize it again. Export to JPEG (Save for Web) if you're paranoid, otherwise set up a PDF Preset with the compression settings you want for images, etc. and then send to the customer.

    Your proof template should be in two layers - the template itself is the bottom layer and is LOCKED. Save it with the top "Artwork" layer selected and then make the file Read-Only so you don't accidentally save over it all the time.

    Also, if you want to save time in Illustrator, learning keyboard shortcuts is priority #1.
  3. rjssigns

    rjssigns Major Contributor

    Jun 4, 2007
    Home Office
    Create a pdf in Acrobat and attach "stickies" to it. In my Graphic Repro class all submissions had to be done that way. Not the cleanest, but an excellent way to point out features.(in our case it was file errors)
  4. jfiscus

    jfiscus Map Wraster

    Apr 2, 2009
    Cincinnati, OH
    I do a "save for the web" with the artboard so that the image file is an un-editable JPEG file. (so that no one down the road can steal the artwork and use it w/o payment)
    Then I place that JPEG into an InDesign Document template that I have set up and edit the few text fields that need changing easily. From there I export a PDF file for the customer to approve.
    Sounds lengthy, but only takes a minute and everything is secure.

    I've dealt with some sketchy competition and customers in the past and do not like providing usable artwork until all checks have cleared.
  5. bigben

    bigben Very Active Member

    Sep 3, 2007
    I'm using ''pudding''. It's a great free software and you can edit the template as you wish.

    Here is an example of my template.

    Attached Files:

  6. DrCAS

    DrCAS Member

    What we do...

    What the company i work for does is create a presentation in Illustrator and save as a PDF with the security set to print low res only.

    Yes, I kno that the security on PDFs can be bypassed if you know what you are doing. I harken it to be a kin of locking your shed. It just keeps honest people honest.
  7. shoresigns

    shoresigns Very Active Member

    Nov 1, 2011
    Vancouver, BC
    Most customers wouldn't know how to unlock a secured PDF. However, the designer at your competitor's shop probably knows.

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