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The importance of attending a press pass

Posted by: Absolute Design

The importance of attending a press pass

As a designer you should never overlook the importance of overseeing the actual printing and finishing process. A “press pass” is a check that is carried out to ensure that the final printed sheets are exactly in line with the FOGRA high-resolution proof that you or your client approved.

Press passing is the on-press quality control of the finished printed work. No matter how good your printer is or how sophisticated their presses are, there are still so many variables that can affect the end result.

So what can go wrong?

Believe us, a lot. Absolute have been overseeing press passes for our clients for the past 20 years and there isn't much we haven't seen. Obviously, printing has come a long way since we first started, but there are still a few things you need to watch out for.

If you don’t press pass, the only thing that is guaranteed in terms of colour management is that the correct CMYK values are being scanned. The reality is very often those colour settings need to be adjusted on press to ensure they match your high-resolution FOGRA proofs. 

Another good reason to press pass is to ensure you don’t get a moiré in an image. A moiré is caused when a fine pattern in the subject (such as the weave in a fabric) matches the pattern of the imaging chip. When these two patterns meet, a new pattern is formed which can change the colour and the appearance of the image.

The problem with not colour matching to a FOGRA standard before you press pass is that if the colour is not correct on the initial pass sheet, there is only a certain percentage that you can 'chase' the colour on the press without changing the colour of other areas on the sheet. Changing colour on one page will affect the pages above and below, in terms of how the pages sit in relation to the duct of the press. Starting from a FOGRA approved 'designers' proof means only small tweaks to colour are required, which maintains the integrity of the overall pass sheet and speeds up the press pass process itself.

Press passing isn’t required all the time, we would only recommend press passing a job when colour is crucial.

So how can we help you?

We work with one of the UK’s leading fabric/wallcovering manufacturers where it’s crucial that the colour of their images match the colour of their products. We’ve got a team of colour correction experts who all work in-house who have direct access to a FOGRA certified proofer which is calibrated to match leading print suppliers print profiles, so we can guarantee accurate colour reproduction when on press.

The advantage of this, as well as peace of mind, is that colour critical work can be processed and printed without the need to ‘chase’ colour on-press, saving valuable time and money.

If you’ve got colour critical products to be shown either online or within printed marketing collateral, get in touch so we can help you with your next project.