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Hard Proof

Hard proof is also called physical proof or simply: proof. It is a printed simulation on paper to check the colors before the actual print. For this process, calibrated color proofers that issue a printed sample on paper are needed. Hard proofs are important for graphic designers and print workers as they both check the colors. The goal of a hard proof is to achieve color accuracy and to make sure the color can be correctly rendered in the final print.

Simulating the paper that is later used in the printing process is an important aspect of the hard proof process. While surface and transparency cannot be reproduced, it is, however, the perfect method to produce and control the correct colors.

Hard Proof
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When Is Hard Proof Used?

Hard proof is a great method when first using the offset printing technique or if you have special color requirements that need to be checked before the print run. This way, you achieve a reliable preview of how the color will look in print. Hard proofs are often used for more complicated printing jobs such as brochures or art prints.

What Are the Advantages?

Running a hard proof before the print run and removing all possible errors is very cost-effective. The printers that are used for hard proof are far less expensive than offset printing machines. There are even inkjet printers available that can be used for printing the hard proof. Color calibration is even more accurate than when using the soft proof method. Furthermore, checking the print on paper is mainly perceived as more comfortable than on a monitor. All in all, whenever color accuracy is the most important factor, creating a hard proof is advised as an important step of quality control. It resembles the final print in composition and color.

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What Is the Difference Between Hard and Soft Proof?

All proofing types have the goal of finding and removing errors and inaccuracies before the print run. While the hard proof uses a physical copy, as described above, the soft proof is rendered via a monitor. For color, proofing hard proof is the superior method that delivers the most convincing results because the actual paper is used. An advantage of the soft proof method is, however, that people can digitally work together on the same document across different locations. EyeC offers a variety of software solutions for artwork & pre-press inspection that can be integrated into a pre-press system and offers an efficient way of quality control using soft proof.  

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Ashley Madden

EyeC America

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