What does Soft proofing mean?
Strictly speaking, Soft proofing is known as the possibility of using a computer monitor to preview the outcome of a printout before printed. Let’s say it is the opposite of Hard proofing, which is the traditional colour proofing on paper.
For years, a synchronization between what is seen on the screens and what is actually printed has been sought. However, sometimes It has not achieved. To understand the problems and difficulties that this process can entail, I will give and example:
Some years ago, while working at another branding agency, I was told about one of the most critical situations they had experienced with their main client. They don’t know how it happened but, in the print run, thousands of boxes of the brand’s frozen cannelloni appeared incorrectly displaying the image and description of their lasagne (another product of the brand) on the side.
Obviously something had failed in the chain of approval of the final artwork for the cannelloni, consequently causing economic loss, impact on turn-over, machines stopped due to being unable to package cannelloni, internal and external unease (agency and manufacturer), etc.
This type of anecdote or situation, for all of us that have been in contact with the printing of materials (from marketing, purchasing, quality… through the same agencies), or that we ourselves have suffered first-hand or we know similar cases that reflect a reality: there are approval processes and cycles that are still very “manual” or that require many resources (especially time) to check that the final artwork is perfect… and even then we are not safe from mistakes.
The solution, MyMediaConnect
Resulting from our experience in marketing, design, project management and graphic chain, we have thought it was necessary to respond to these inefficiencies that still appear today every time a packaging, a point of sale display (POS), a communication, etc. is printed. For this reason, our brand asset management tool, MYMEDIACONNECT, contains a SOFT PROOFING module which will provide a definitive solution to this problem.
What does this module allow you to do?
Thanks to MYMEDIACONNECT, companies can efficiently organise their projects from the brief up to delivery. Both internally and externally, the SOFTPROOFING module will specifically allow us to:
- Compare two versions of a PDF: this comparator takes two PDFs (for example the penultimate and final version of the artwork), and will automatically notify you of what has changed from one to the other. Thus, you will not be constantly playing the game of “7 differences” and risk that the human eye, under the effect of fatigue, be fully responsible for the output. Therefore, common situations such as “the recycling pictogramme has disappeared”, “changes to the percentages on the table of food nutrients” or “final artwork layers have disappeared and we don’t know why”, beyond the specific change requested, will not be repeated. It is one of the functions that our clients like the most!
- Work directly in the Cloud: a great advantage to be able to work with the final art of the document, without the need for plug-ins, being a viewer compatible with all search engines. This is thanks to the fact that you can display PDF in a native way (as well as other usual media used in the industry) and therefore view the document in high resolution.
- Align a work team through a cycle of approvals. Thanks to SOFTPROOFING, it is possible to work on the same document in a line, which improves efficiency when various departments interact (marketing, legal, purchases, quality, etc.).
- Incorporate advanced marking and annotation tools to facilitate design approvals.
- Create a check-list of validation criteria, which by default, the people in charge must take into account to ensure that everything that a pack must have, for example, meets it. They can be of two types:
- Objective check-lists (Is therecycling pictogramme there? Is the logotype correct? Are 4+1 printing inks used as expected? etc.).
- Subjective check-lists (Does the design exude naturalness? Is the role of the sub-brand adequate? etc.).
- Incorporate other more technical tools, although necessary and of added value, that allow:
- Measure the density of the printing point.
- Measure distances and angles.
- Check the barcode and that it fits the text that appears on the design.
- Correct separation of inks/colours.
What is certain is that, with this SOFTPROOFING module, and thanks to the efficiency of the creative process achieves, we will no longer have the possibility to enjoy some “lasagna of cannelloni” again.
Do you think you could streamline your workflows or avoid future mistakes after reading the advantages of the Soft Proofing module? If you think MyMediaConnect is the platform you need to develop your brand assets and save money and time, contact us!