Kick off meeting
Direction, Quantity, Budget, Timeline, Stakeholders. Which are flexible or firm?

Generate concepts along with content.
Create concepts along with content to ensure they work together. Content and design should inform each other.

Get working quote.
Working quotes ensure you’re not over budget. They are’t meant to be 100% accurate.

Get final content
Get final content from writers. Run spell check, find & replace double spaces, etc.

Layout concepts
Provide clients with at least 3 directions. Any less and clients don’t feel like they have choices

Approval from licensing
Projects using trademarks not produced with UT Printing must be approved by licensing.

Internal proofs
Send proofs for internal approval before sending to stakeholders.

Stakeholder proofs
Clients aren't alwasy stakeholders that can approve projects.

Submit budget form
Budget forms are the final step in getting cost approval.

Submit production files to vendor
Be sure to include all links, fonts, mockups, samples, and special instructions.

Review production proofs
Keep a list of revisions requested to ensure they were made.

Delivery date notifcation
Notify team members, stakeholders, clients, etc. of delivery date.

Delivery inspection
Inspect project to ensure quality (rejecting damages) before delivering to client.


Check en & em dashes
En dashes require a space on either side, em dashes do not. En’s separate value ranges. Em’s indicate a sudden break in thought.

Use hanging punctuation
Hanging punctuation extends beyond the margins of text.

Check rags for smooth reading
Rags should’t be noticed. Your goal is long line, then short line.

Verify dates match weekday indicated
Ex. Is Monday the first actually a Monday?

Remove false small caps
If the font doesn’t contain them, the program shrinks capital letters to approximate small caps. To spot them, look for a difference in stroke weight or review your glyphs.

Remove rivers
Rivers are connected white spaces that distract from reading. To spot them, sit back and squint your eyes.

Check quotes versus primes
Primes indicate feet & inches.

Check for excessive hyphenation
Hyphenation is easily controlled with type point size and column width.

Kern all type above 14 points
Typically body copy is not kerned. Spacing is controlled thru tracking.

Check head and subhead consistency
Verify headlines and subhead styles are consistently applied. Check size, color, leading, tracking, etc.

Use old style figures
Non-aligning old style figures simluate variations in letterforms.

Align baselines
Readibility improves by aligning baselines, especially with multi-column layouts.

Add accuracy statement to back cover
Include all required statements and FSC certifications if possible.

Get a drawdown
A drawdown is a sample of ink on paper—prior to printing—to ensure color accuracy.

Get paper sample approval
Some stakeholders like to see and approve paper samples prior to printing.

Check signature requirements
Signatures are several folios collected together for binding. Verify signature requirements—typically 4, 8, 16, 32, etc.—with your printer.


Bleeds @ 0.125 in. minimum
Some printers require larger bleeds.

Verify page numbers are in proper order
Ex. 1, 2, 3, etc. You’d be surprised how easily this is overlooked.

Convert PMS swatches to CMYK and vice versa
Make sure your swatches are setup to match your quote.

Delete unused swatches
Deleting unused swatches prevents production delays and issues.

Convert strokes to outlines
Be sure your vector designs are WYSIWYG.

Verify links are included
Production issues and delays can occur if all links are not included.

Incude production ready PDF
It’s not Print > Save As PDF.

Send mockup with production files
You may find mockups useful if you’re not versed in printing jargon.

Non-printing elements on separate layers
Place diepaths, scorelines, printer notes, etc. on separate layers labled DO NOT PRINT.

Use appropriate swatches
Use the appropriate coated or uncoated swatches to avoid miscommunications.

Convert images to CMYK
Images printed in RGB will shift colors on press. You won’t be pleased.

Color correct images
Adjust CMYK levels to reduce ink levels for uncoated paper. This prevents ink from pooling and delaying dry time during production.

Image production issues
Typical issues are blowouts, skintones, memory colors. Memory colors are grass, sky, tomatoes, things people will notice if not printed the correct color.

Correct ink levels for paper
If your paper is yellow, you need less yellow ink.

Images 300DPI or higher
Images less than 300 result in poor production.

Images in PSD or TIFF formats
These are non-compressive formats.

Delete unused layers & elements
Clean production files reduce production issues. Messy production files are unprofessional.

Flatten images
Save a live copy before creating flat production files.

Flatten effects done in photoshop
Live effects are unpredictable on press.

Convert typographic elements to outlines
Not body copy. Outlined elements don’t require fonts.

Find & replace double spaces
Easily overlooked and fixed.

Check Black elements aren't Rich Black
QR Codes are straight black


Alignment of borders & rules
Sometimes things get out of alignment on press.

Accuracy of gutter jumps
Elements that cross gutters should be checked, especially thos on separate forms.

Errors or typos on headlines and subheads
People will notice errors in headlines and subheads faster than body copy.

Registration of critical areas
If your design hinges on alignment of certain elements, check them.

Trimmed or deleted elements
Is anything missing from you designs?

Verify position, scale, and crop of each image
Check everything

Broken letters
Mark anything that does’t look right.

Previous proof revisions made
If you marked revisions on previous proofs, check that they were made.

Neutral colors in balance
Blacks should be black, whites white and grays gray.

Spot colors & varnish
Are spot colors & varnishes printing as specified?

Consistent margins
Are margins equal?

Verify delivery
Verify delivery location, date, time, and contact.