What do I do with a proof?

Argon Jargon | Opinion

May 3rd, 2013

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Providing a ‘proof’ to clients is something that happens daily, almost hourly, here at Argon.

Upon receiving a proof, many clients don’t understand what it is, what they are to do with it or that it is a very important tool in our communication with them.

The Design Proof

When a client asks us to design something for them – a website, flyer, poster, annual report, advert or one of a myriad of other marketing items, we will take their brief, pop it in the design studio, and create the masterpiece they requested!

We will send a ‘proof’ back to the client, generally a PDF file, of the completed design in first draft format.

What to check for

At this point we ask that the client get back to us with their thoughts on how the design looks – do they like how it looks, does it meet their brief and so on. Many clients however are so blown away by how it looks, that they don’t check the detail!
A quick checklist of detail that should be covered is:
– does the design meet your brief?
– does the design accurately reflect and represent your brand?
– does the design include all of the content that you asked for?
– has the correct version of your company logo been used?
– are there any spelling or grammatical errors?
– are your company contact details correct – phone, address, email etc?

Requesting Alterations

After checking all of these details, get back to us with any alterations that may be required. It is important to gather all of these into one email and clearly list the changes that you would like to see.

If you have to present the proof to multiple people in your organisation, firstly gather all of their feedback and send to us in one emailed response. Quite often we receive several emails over a matter of hours or days in response to a single proof – this can result in a confused message, important alteration requests being missed or simply increase the amount of extra design time spent on the project.

A Second Proof

Upon receiving a second proof, you must go through the same process again, this time checking that all of your requested alterations have been made accurately.

Argon Approved

Approving the Proof

Once you are happy with the design and are sure that all content is accurate and correct, send us written approval via an email to finalise the project or move to the next stage. For web page designs the next stage might be beginning to build the site, for a printed item the next stage would be moving on to the printing process.
The most recent proof you would have received is not the final file Рoften clients will send the proof that they are happy with off for printing or to be published in a magazine and then discover that the file is not suitable. Once you give us final approval, there are several steps we must undertake to make the final file suitable for its end purpose, this is why it is important that you wait for us to complete this process.