The proof costs, i.e. the costs for a proof, are usually calculated according to the format to be proofed and the quantity of proofs. Whether different motifs or one motif is proofed several times is usually irrelevant. 30 proofs of one page each cost the same as a proof of 30 different pages each, because for the proof shops the RIP time is not decisive for the costs, but rather the ink and paper on which the proofs are printed.

Serious suppliers proof exclusively with original inks and Fora-certified proof papers, which also have a good strength of around 250gr/sqm for picture printing papers, and around 150gr/sqm for uncoated papers. By using non-certified papers of lower grammage and especially by using cheap compatible inks and printing systems, some service providers offer cheap proofs, but these can cause problems due to the inferior materials. Non-certified proofing substrates, for example, have not provided proof of durability in terms of mechanical aging; alternative cheap inks sometimes lead to uncontrollable metamerism effects.

In some cases, printing companies in particular also offer a “proof” that they produce in-house without media wedge evaluation. We personally know a printing company whose “proofing device” has not been recalibrated since 2003. The quality of such ” coloured prints” is perhaps decent, but such a print can of course never reach the precision of a “contract proof” according to “ISO 12647-7:2016”.

In 2016, ISO 12647-7 was updated, and with the appearance of a new standard, i.e. ISO q12647-7:2016, the previous standard is automatically cancelled. However, many suppliers do not keep their software up to date, and therefore produce “proofs” according to “ISO 12647-7”, but not according to the latest version of the standard. These proofs do not conform to the standard, and are therefore not colour and legally binding. For end users and buyers, however, these details are difficult to oversee.

The FOGRA certification helps here: whoever has a current and valid Fogra certification must prove that they have colour and legally binding proofs according to the latest standard. And because the certification is only valid for one year, a new certification, again valid according to current criteria, must be issued after one year at the latest. The companies that save themselves the trouble of obtaining such a certification usually have good reasons for doing so.

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