Client proofing...

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by snickelfritz, Jun 7, 2007.

  1. snickelfritz macrumors 65816


    Oct 24, 2003
    Tucson AZ
    I'm beginning to notice a pattern of consistent behavior in many of my clients:
    1. I send them PDF proofs via email or FTP.
    2. They reply that everything looks correct after a day or so.
    3. I order the printing.
    4. I deliver the printing.
    5. 2 microseconds after they see the prints, they declare that there are errors in the copy, and a reprint is required.

    So far I haven't had a job in which I had to pay for reprints,
    but I wonder if there isn't something I can do to help my clients proof their own documents.
    (not that I mind collecting 20% twice on a job, but there's got to be a better way)

    One option I've tried is to send them the formatted copy in black and white,
    with no graphics, then follow up with color proofs based on the approved black and white proofs.

    What procedure do you use for client proofing of projects?
  2. LeviG macrumors 65816

    Nov 6, 2006
    Norfolk, UK
    I go see the client were possible and speak to them in person.

    If the work is upto a2 in size then I will do a proof print on my own equipment before any final prints, although due to hardware limitations etc they will not be exactly what the client will get but they can look at it easily and I make them aware that there could be some minor differences with resolutions/colours.

    If even after speaking with them/allowing them to review the work they still find an issue after the final print (which I try to get them to pay for seperately :)), that's not my problem (assuming we've done all the spell checking first etc). The client should be aware of the issue anyways especially if I've taken time to ensure its what they want.
  3. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    They now sign a form on the dotted line and pick up the costs of reprints if they've missed something.

    Verbal sign-offs were causing problems and half the time, clients can't even proof — I mean, really proof — their copy correctly.

    This issue is a very sore spot for me today, but I won't bore you with the details, except that someone who didn't double-check the sponsor's agreement and pass on the details to me, is now picking up the cost of £700 (US$1400) of new plates.

    Que sera, sera...
  4. kitki83 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Let me tell you my story,

    Was doing a sport schedule for me job, went through a lot of people to get the approval, I made mock up to send to the print company and created jpg guide on folds. When we got them the folds where wrong and my boss did not show the roughs to her boss, basically reprint had to happen.

    Then there where cases where changes where needed at very last minute (copy) which cause horrible problems because I was not told. Had a list of information with bullet points, well they added text so the bullets points (customize at their request)did not line up. Not my fault they went behind me to change it.

    No matter what they will not proof read the problems, people think you are responsible for all of this which in reality you are not, They have to review what they gave you and see if its correct.

    I seen cases where they sent bilingual legal copy where they did not have the same date.

    Its hard, thats why I have everything in mail, changes and what changed.
  5. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    when i worked at a software company, i was in charge of distribution of our products. i had to work with the print company and in order to have final print, we completed a detailed document indicating any changes prior to final print. any changes made after that, usually wanted by senior mgmt, was paid by us of course.

    aside from the reprint cost, you should charge a rate for your trouble too (or is that was the 20% was?).

  6. SpyMaster macrumors newbie

    May 17, 2007
    Some Customers Never Learn

    I don't know if this will stand up in court in case of a squabble over major amounts of money, but with clients who have had problems like this, I remind them over the phone about the importance of proofing the job (every time I send a proof)...I remind them that the responsibility for errors is 100% theirs...and I also (before sending the job to the printer) e-mail them my boiler-plate disclaimer stating that they have proofed the job and that they accept all responsibility for errors, and then they have to copy that in their e-mail reply to me, and state that they accept these terms.

    So far, I've never had a dispute with any of them about who's going to pay for reprints...but I can't really say it has made them more aware of the importance of proofing.

    They still (on a regular basis) call up the day the job clears the printer and say they've found an "error" and want to reprint the job...but they don't complain about the cost, so maybe they know something I don't know...ha ha ha.
  7. oscuh macrumors 6502

    Apr 27, 2007
    My proofing mantra.

    Never accept verbal OKs.
    Never do a final proof via PDF.
    Get a proof from your printer if at all possible for proofing.
    Cross your fingers.

    That being said, we all have to make concessions. The best course of action is being up-front about your policies; even having them readily available on your contract/website/etc. If they want to verbally approve, then have them e-mail it to you if they can't sign the proof in person.

    One of my biggest issues is color, hence no-nos on PDFs. If they are only approving copy, then go for it, but if color is a factor, that is really where the printer-supplied proof is in order. i think your black and white process is doing two things: confusing your clients and making life harder on you.

    Ultimately, clients do not proof stuff, so the best you can do is be up front about errors and responsibility.

    Good luck!
  8. banjomamo macrumors regular

    May 9, 2006
    if you have the budget or personnel hire a proofer/copy editor or have the writer go over the client-approved-ready-to-go-to-press-version. someone who is a stickler and you know will go through it thoroughly.

    another thought is to provide them with their last proof as a hard copy so they will actually look at it. PDFs are great but clients tend to get sidetracked too easily on their computers to really give it due diligence - especially executives.
  9. ATD macrumors 6502a

    Sep 25, 2005
    I have a funny one. Many years ago I was working at studio that was designing a brochure for the film Missing by Greek director Costa Gavras. When we started the comps we didn't have a list of the crew so greeking was used. The designer didn't like just random greeking so she wrote Greek names that looked every bit like real Greek ones. It was assumed that the crew was Greek. Since the only list that ever surfaced was what the designer sent to the typesetter, that was used for proofing. It was proofed very carefully, every fake name was spelled correctly on the printed piece. :D
  10. kitki83 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    What I do is PDF for copy and hand them out printed (b/w) version so they will not get side track on artwork. I will hand over the blue line as demonstrating the colors.
    Everything is done with email and Verification that the email was open.
  11. banjomamo macrumors regular

    May 9, 2006
    hahahahahahaha classic!

Share This Page