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QLP’s Free Art Proof Guarantee: What You Need to Know

Here at Quality Logo Products® we love offering a “Try Before You Buy” mentality with our free samples. We want you to be able to test out the item you’re interested in before committing yourself (and your marketing budget) to it. Let’s say you love the sample of the Comfort Grip Cup Sleeve and you want to move forward with ordering it. What happens next?

You decide to place an order with Quality Logo Products® and the glorious Proof Process starts! Our Free Paper or Electronic Proofs guarantee is what helps QLP stand out from the competition. Our ordering process includes you approving the artwork you would like on your items so you can really bring in the customers. Chances are you’re asking yourself one or all of the following questions: What the heck is a “proof”? How does this process work? Why is getting a proof such a big deal? Never fear, we’re here to put you at ease!

What a Proof Is

If you’re worried that once we receive your artwork we’re just going to slap it on your item, call it a day, and ship them out to you without you having any input, take a deep breath. We absolutely will not do that. We let you see what your logo will look like on your items before we print them, and we call those proofs. oWe offer FREE paper or digital proofs as well as being able to offer pre-production samples on some items. Here’s the breakdown for those who may never have ordered personalized items before:

Paper or Digital Proof: Whether you ask to receive a paper proof (proof arrives via fax) or want to receive a digital proof (we will send over a link of the artwork layout for the item), getting a proof will give you the best possible representation of how your imprint will appear on your final product. A picture can say a thousand words, right?

Often times we’ll also include a composite or mock up on the proof which shows a rough version of your artwork on the item you’re ordering. Now you’ll be able to see your company’s name on the Comfort Grip Cup Sleeve instead of just having to imagine it. Please note: we encourage you to review these proofs carefully. Due to size restrictions on the paper, the artwork is not always true to size/scale.

Here’s what our art proof template looks like (click image to enlarge):

QLP-Art-Proof-Template-smaller

Pre-production Sample: For customers that are more particular regarding how their artwork will look on the item they are ordering, it may be possible to purchase a pre-production sample of their item. This means that the factory will print one of your chosen items with your artwork on it and will send it to you, the customer, for your approval prior to printing the whole order.

Here’s the fine print:

  1. This process requires an additional service charge of $100. This does not include the cost or the item or the setup charges.
  2. Typically items will take one week to produce and may add up to two weeks to total production time.
  3. We don’t recommend or endorse pre-production for exact reorders, orders less than $1,000.00, rush orders, or jobs that must be delivered by a certain date/deadline.

Receiving and approving a proof is a part of our ordering process, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting to ask to receive one or us forgetting to send you a mock-up of how your imprint will look. We’ll make sure you see the proof before the ordering process continues. Speaking of which…

How the Proof Approval Process Works

I know the saying, “It’s as easy as 1-2-3” gets used a lot, but honestly, that’s the best way to describe our proof approval process.

Step 1: Select which format (paper or digital) of proofs you’d like to receive. From there, our art department will do their magic and make your imprint look as great as possible on the item you’ve selected. Whether it’s a Dart Pen or a Clear Tote Bag, they’ll do their best to make it ‘wow’ you!

Step 2: Once you receive your proof, take a good look at it. Be mindful that anything shown on the proof is exactly what will be printed on your items, so now is the time to make any changes and voice your concerns. Our sales team members want you to be happy, so don’t worry about asking too many questions or proposing too many changes.

Things you should take note of:

  • Is the font correct?
  • Do you like the spacing of your imprint?
  • Is your message or company name spelled correctly?
  • Are there any other details that need correcting?

Step 3: “Approve” the proof: if you’re happy with how your proof looks, then we’ll have you sign off on the changes using our e-signature program and move you along in the ordering process. Or “Reject” the proof: Tell us the concerns and changes you have and we’ll do our best to incorporate all of your feedback. We’ll adjust the artwork accordingly and send you another proof to approve or reject until we get it exactly right.

Things to be mindful of:

  1. Nothing goes to print or production until we have your final approval and e-signature on the proof.
  2. The artwork is shown on the proof at 100% to size when possible (otherwise it will be shown and labeled at a particular scale). We also include a “proof scale” on the art proof so that customers can print out the proof if they want to measure it and be sure it is accurate.
  3. We are not able to make your artwork any larger than it shows in the proof. We must work within the imprint area set by the factory. We will make your text/artwork as large as we can within that imprint area, but we cannot make it any larger than the dimensions specified for the product.

Here’s what a completed art proof looks like once you have signed off and approved it (click to enlarge):

actual-customer-art-proof-smaller

Some information has been changed, but this is still a real art proof from our art department.

Why Proofs are so Important

We know that putting your name on a promotional item can make you feel vulnerable. It’s like you’re putting a piece of yourself out there in the world for both your existing and potential customers to take home with them. For that reason we want you to feel 1000% happy with how your imprint looks on your item.

Looking over and approving the proof gives you the chance to proofread your artwork and make any necessary changes you want before committing to the personalized items. Remember, the items can’t be returned after they are printed, so we want to ensure you are completely satisfied and happy with your purchase.

From a legal standpoint (yeah, I know…), approving the Art Proof also gives us evidence in case there is a mistake when the order is personalized. Our factories must print the artwork exactly as it is approved on the proof. If there are any issues after you open up and review your items it is very easy to open a claim if the order is not printed correctly and as you approved the layout.

If you’re in a rush to receive your items, this step won’t slow you down. If you do choose to rush the shipping or production time, this step is still required, but it’s possible to get your items exactly when you need them regardless. Just respond immediately to the Art Proof email with your changes or approval. Once we receive your approval we are good to go with sending it to the factory to have your item printed and delivered by your deadline.

deadline

Don’t you wish you could see what that t-shirt would look like on you before you purchase it online? That’s sort of what our Proof Approval process is. We send you a mock-up of what your imprint will look like on the product you’re interested in purchasing before you fully commit to spending money on your order. Our Free Paper or Electronic Proofs Guarantee is just another example of us putting your mind at ease with ordering promotional products (can’t help you with the other “life” stuff).

Please note: art proofs are only offered as part of our ordering process. We are not able to send proofs until you have committed to ordering your promotional products with us. If you have any questions, our sales team members are always happy to help!

Have you received an Art Proof from us before? What did you think? Sales Team: What other advice would you suggest to customers regarding their proofs? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

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Images courtesy of Photokanok and Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.


Amy Hoidas

Amy is one of Quality Logo Products’ Community Manager. She is a self-professed newspaper nerd and thoroughly enjoys reading business and financial news and having impromptu discussions about it. Oh yeah, she’s “one of those” people! A true Midwestern girl by nature, she loves riding her bike, photography, and the Chicago Cubs. You can also connect with Amy on

Comments

  1. Jon

    Awesome post – thanks for making the process a little easier for new clients. The question I am asked most often is “do I get to see how this looks?” and this hopefully will help new customers see that we aren’t just going to take their money and print whatever we want 🙂 We involve them in the process of their order as much as possible.

  2. Jay

    Another home run! This is definitely one to reference in the future. Recently I’ve had encounters with customers who were doing business with companies who actually charge for proofs! I’m not sure how you can charge someone to see what their order is going to look like before they’re sent to production. At least they won’t get that from QLP!

  3. Chase

    This is a great article! I could not have said it better myself! And trust me I have tried! 🙂 Personally I always suggest printing the PDF proof once you get it to show the best representation of how large the imprint can be since every persons monitor is a different size. Always triple check your proof just to be safe. 🙂

    • PMO

      Yes, yes and yes!

      Please, Mr. and Mrs. Customer, print your proofs!

  4. alan

    It’s always important to understand any proof as best as you can. Ask as many questions as needed to make sure you know what a finished product will look like!

  5. greg

    Great info! thanks!

  6. AG

    Great Article! This is also a great reference for client’s that want to know more about our order process. Checking the proof is the biggest thing that our customer’s need to do because of the “no refund policy of printed items.” Awesome-sauce and great facts. 🙂

  7. Kat D.

    Great article and very informative for our customers! *Two Thumbs Up* 🙂

  8. Ryan

    This article is perfect for the customer who is hesitant about spending the money without seeing the product first. I love the way it’s broken down for the careful customer.

  9. Serenity

    Yay! I am so glad this blog exists! Exactly what is needed to really get the details of this very important step! Great Job breaking it down!! You have created the perfect reference tool! 🙂

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