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Perfecting Your Digital Proofs

(August/September 2018) posted on Wed Oct 03, 2018

With the right techniques, you can produce digital proofs that even your most demanding customers will accept – and you can even automate the procedure.

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By Thomas Trimingham

Perhaps one client in 50 will want to see exactly what a print will look like on the garment before they are comfortable placing the order. These uber-fussy customers will sometimes drive you crazy, but they can also be very loyal if you treat them well. Keeping these folks happy may take extra steps depending on how much they really need to know about the outcome. Sometimes, they will be concerned about how the conversion of their artwork into halftone dots will look in the final print and request to see a sample prior to giving an approval for production. Here’s the ironic thing about creating digital proofs to this level of detail: It may feel like they take longer to do than just burning the screens and sampling the job!

One thing that can help satisfy finicky clients without taking an extraordinary amount of your time is to automate the process in Photoshop to get a pretty accurate rendering of the final print. You do this by creating action scripts, sets of prerecorded commands that are designed to produce a similar outcome on a variety of different designs. With a little practice and a few steps, you should be able to produce an action script that will prep a design to a close approximation of a halftone print in a handful of seconds.

In addition to saving you the time and expense of generating a true sample, an automated digital process allows you to quickly simulate your separations if you want to send a client a virtual proof through email. You can also have them log into a secure portal on your website to approve their artwork.


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