SWOP proof?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by atari1356, Apr 12, 2006.

  1. macrumors 68000


    Feb 27, 2004
    I'm doing a small freelance print ad design job for a friend of a friend... I recieved the ad specifications, and it states:

    Print design is not something I do a lot of, so I haven't encountered this before. Does anybody know where I can get a SWOP standard proof made? I'm assuming it's not something I can do on my HP inkjet printer... can it be done at Kinko's?

    I plan on creating the ad in Adobe Illustrator... is there anything in Illustrator I need to set to ensure that it is SWOP standard?

    Thanks for any tips :eek:
  2. macrumors member

    Apr 11, 2006
    My advice (for what it's worth)

    I'm thinking they are just looking for an accurate representation of what it will look like when printing. You could go through the whole color calibration thing with Illustrator, but frankly I don't see the advantage. You need something like a Rainbow proof. Look in your yellow pages for a service bureau. In addition to outputting film for people, they will usually make color proofs. There are none in my town, but then we don't have a Kinko's either, but a few years ago that's what I would have done. You could also call some print shops around that do four color work, and ask what they do for color proofing. They might output it for you.
  3. macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2007
    SWOP Proofs

    Most publications require a SWOP proof for ad submission.

    You can upload your PDFX1A file to www.newvisionprepress.com and have your proof the next day.
  4. macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2003
    Tucson AZ
    Most service bureaus can provide you with accurate CMYK proofs.
  5. macrumors 68000


    Mar 12, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    They want a paper proof as well? I'm surprised anyone bothers placing ads with them.

    SWOP is pretty much the standard CMYK colour profile that everyone uses and is set up in Adobe as a default.

    I'd just send them a PDF. They might have put that they require physical proofs in their spec ages ago.
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Jun 2, 2003
    Between a rock and a midget
    I used to work for a publication, and that same info was in our specs. we VERY RARELY got swop proofs, and when we did, we didn't do anything with them. It's an old term thing they put in there, but mostly it's for covering their ass. Basically if you don't provide them with a SWOP proof they aren't responisible for how accurate the color reproduction is. So, if you want the color to look a certain way, get a proof, if you or your client don't care...just send them a PDF.

  7. macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    If your Monitor & Printer are calibrated closely, & Your client is happy with the colors represented by it, Hvae him sign off on it & send it to the printer. If the client is not picky, Note that & Have the client sign off on that.
    Then send it along to the printer. You're covered & The printer is covered should you encounter the occasional client looking for the Freebie, by way of color.
  8. macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2008
  9. macrumors member


    Jul 8, 2002
    Portland, OR
    Proofs are usually optional...

    Most of the time I find that proofs are optional, and are a good idea if you are concerned about color fidelity.

    Also, if you submit a proof and something goes haywire with the actual printed ad, you have "proof" for your client that the file you submitted was A-OK. Your client can then go after the publication and NOT YOU if something gets effed-up.

    That said, I submit 2-3 ads a month to full-color magazines and never submit a printed proof--just a very tight indesign PDF file.
  10. macrumors newbie

    Feb 5, 2008
    Hey guys, hoping I can re-awaken this thread just for a quick question...

    A magazine that I recently submitted an ad to required a proof in order to guarantee accurate color (as many of you had mentioned)... Being my first print project, I did my research about proofing colors in PS and everything looked fine in working CMYK and even SWOP web coated proof previews. I exported to PDF with all of the correct, press-ready settings as outlined in their media kit.

    The ad apparently printed off color and the publisher says they need a proof for it to print correctly next time. Until reading this thread I wasn't even aware of where to get a proof.

    How often does this seem to happen to you all? Could it just be that this publisher has a second-rate printer, or is it more likely a problem with my PDF?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated!
  11. macrumors 65816


    Mar 22, 2010
    Exactamundo! They just need some cover so when you complain about how lousy your ad looks they can say, "You didn't provide a proof, so YOU have no idea what your ad was going to look like in the first place."

    You cannot trust your monitor. You cannot trust your printer. And if you don't mind taking that leap of faith, submit the ad without the proof.

    What you really should do is build in enough time to get a proof and correct/adjust your file based on the results. If you haven't done this about 100+ times you'll be in for some surprises. And it's always better to be surprised by the proof than by the ad after it's printed.
  12. macrumors 65816


    Mar 22, 2010
    Without knowing the specifics it's impossible to say. But there are a million (okay, I exaggerate) ways to screw up a job, and only about 1/4th of those are the fault of the printer... maybe 1/3rd.

    It starts with the fact that color correction is an art. I've been doing prepress and graphic design for nearly 20 years and I just now feel like I'm really getting the hang of color correcting photos.

    I don't mean to sound harsh, but while 2nd rate printers do exist, I'll bet most of the reasons that stuff looks like [BLEEP!] is that it was [BLEEP!] to begin with. There's only one way to solve it. Get better at your craft. Amazingly, you'll find the number of bad results dwindles. It's funny how that works out.
  13. macrumors 6502

    Sep 23, 2006
    the REAL Jersey Shore
    off color? Or your file was "off"??

    Yes... the SWOP proof line is standard boilerplate, CYA stuff, held over from years gone by. However, I would suggest you DO get one for your file, for the most important reason of getting an external color reality check for your own equipment.

    Calibration can be easy, or a nightmare, and the deeper you look the more complicated it can become. That being said, there are some basic steps to take. First off buy an inexpensive hardware calibration device. I use the Spyder2 Pro Suite (around $99-149). Most LCD monitors these days are REALLY bright, so start off by turning the brightness all the way down. Run the calibration test, your greys should appear neutral and not tinted with a colored tone. Your "white" should actually appear very slightly yellowy greyish white. LCDs do not degrade as quickly as the old tube style monitors, so once you are "calibrated" you should be OK for 6 months to a year easily.

    You need to know what is on screen matches what any printer will have on their hard copy proofs. My screen is about 98% color accurate to Kodak Approvals/Fuji/Epsons etc.

    Lastly, if the job is being run on a web press, as opposed to a sheet fed press, be aware that inline conflicts may occur (other pages may interfere and effect how the ink gets put down on the paper). With sheet fed presses this is less of a concern.
    I both produce materials for printing, and also produce publications that get files from other artists/agencies. These days almost NO ONE supplies a hard copy proof, let alone an actual disk (or even working files). Most files & even entire publications are provided as high-res PDFs. The most common error made by amateur and professional alike is failing to convert all artwork to CMYK before making the final PDF. A high-res PDF made from RGB artwork will appear flat, dull, and oddly casted. It is almost impossible to recover the file, you need to go back to the source files convert to CMYK & re-export the PDF. Lastly, avoid the shortcut of one-step PDF creation... export the file as Postscript and then use Distiller to create the PDF. If you deal with a lot of files I would highly recommend Badia's ExporTools for QuarkXpress. It gives you a lot of the functionality back that had been removed from the newer versions of Quark (ability to export as single pages, etc.).

    You should not assume the fault is the printers, unless you are SURE your files are sound color-wise to begin with. I am amazed how many designers & photographers are not calibrated even in the most basic sense. That being said, once you are comfortable your screen matches SWOP standards (Specifications Web Offset Publications) you are good to go...

  14. macrumors newbie


    Mar 26, 2010
    I travel often

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