Nobody wants to order a large quantity of folders only to discover an error after they've already been printed. But don't worry, we've got you covered. Company Folders provides several different proof options to help you inspect your project's quality and ensure that it will print correctly.
Whether you just want to see how all of your printed elements are going to look or you want to touch and feel the final product in your hands before finalizing your design, we've got plenty of options to choose from.
Our free PDF proof is a digital file that provides your first look at the flat, printed layout of your folder design. The PDF proof comes free with every order you place with Company Folders and gives you an impression of how your final product will look, allowing you to make layout corrections if necessary.
Timeframe and cost
Getting the most from your PDF proof
A color digital proof is a hard copy of your design printed out on a laser printer. It is mailed to you and must be signed and returned before work can be done on your project.
We recommend using color digital proofs only for designs that use 4-color process, since they do not provide a good representation of final PMS colors. If your design contains foil stamping or embossing/debossing, these elements will be printed in one solid color (which is used to indicate to the printer where these elements should go). Color digital proofs can only show size and positioning of foil stamped or embossed/debossed elements.
Timeframe and cost
A constructed color digital mockup is laser printed to size on special stock (NOT your product's final stock). Side 1 of your design will be printed onto one sheet of stock, Side 2 on a second sheet. Both sheets are then cut and folded together to mimic your product.
We recommend using constructed color digital mockups for designs that use four-color process, since they do not provide a good representation of final PMS colors. Foil stamped, embossed, or debossed elements will be printed in one solid color to indicate the location of these elements to the printer. Constructed color digital mockups can only show size and positioning of these elements.
Timeframe and cost
A product proof is an actual physical sample of your final, printed design. You will receive up to ten units from the first batch of printing, which you can then use to inspect your final product including stocks, special effects and coatings. Consider it the dress rehearsal before your design's big performance-it might be too late in the process to make big sweeping changes to your design, but it's not too late to correct colors, fix embossing/debossing errors or change coatings.
Product proofs are recommended for very large orders and custom die cut products, since these types of orders require a fair amount of investment on your behalf and you'll want to ensure that everything is exactly right.
Timeframe and cost
A hand-cut mockup lets you see and feel the custom die-cut of your choice, without paying the full price for creating a new die. The mockup is made using the same stock as your order and constructed to show the product's final appearance.
A hand-cut mockup costs $80 (with free UPS ground shipping within the continental U.S.) and takes approximately 2-3 business days to create.
If your budget doesn't allow for you to use a color digital proof or a product proof, there are still plenty of ways you can get an idea of what your final design will look like (instead of just hoping everything looks okay when you receive your order).
If you want to inspect the quality of the product and don't necessarily need to see how your own design will look when printed, you can request a free sample.
If you want to see what a certain product type, stock, ink color, foil stamp or coating will look like, we will do our best to send you a sample of a product that matches these requirements. Note that this sample will not feature your own design.
If you want to see what a specific foil color will look like on a requested stock, we can supply you with a standard sample of both. The sample will not feature your artwork or design, and is intended only to give you an idea of what the foil and stock colors will look like.
If you want to see how a particular PMS color will look on your stock, we can provide you with an ink draw. An ink draw is a small square of a specific PMS color applied to the stock. The intended use of an ink draw is to see how the colors will match; it will not show you how your entire design will look.
A die strike allows you to obtain a sample of any foil stamped or embossed/debossed design elements before they are applied to your final product. It's applied to an 8 ½ x 11" sheet of paper, so any design elements must fit into that space.
For example, if you have an embossed logo, you can obtain a die strike of your exact logo on an 8 ½ x 11" sheet of your preferred stock. This allows you to judge whether the logo elements look correct and the embossed textures are to your liking. A die strike will not show you positioning or size in relation to your other design elements.
The cost of a die strike will depend on which type of die is necessary to create your design.
A skin proof allows you to see how the exterior of any vinyl, leather like, or poly binder will look. Using your chosen imprint method, your design will be imprinted onto the stock you selected. This stock will not be attached to chipboard; you will simply receive this exterior “skin” to ensure that your design elements are all placed and printed correctly.
Your skin proof will cost $250 and take 2-5 business days to create. (Note: this cost will be deducted from your order if your artwork remains unchanged.) Once you receive and approve your proof, you will need to sign it and ship it back to us in order to begin production.
Although it won't look much like the finished product, we recommend that customers print out their design at home to save time and money while getting their final product print-ready. Simply print the design using your home or office printer. You can use a pair of scissors to cut along the dieline and then fold the elements so that your sample takes on the shape of the folder.
Keep in mind that a proof may not always be necessary. If you are confident with your final design or if you're simply re-ordering the same design with no additional changes, you may not need to see a proof. For more information on proofs or to order a proof for your design, please contact our Print Project Team team.