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Proofing Artwork

original artwork and printed proofs of the art

Thank you for going the extra mile (and
miles!) needed for the delicacy of my work. 
I really appreciate your effort, patience and pleasantness all along the process!

Gail Ferretti, artist

The goal of proofing is to create a print that is as close a match as possible to the original.  This requires modifying the information generated in digital capture to take into account the type of press, inkset and substrate that will be used in printing the edition.


In giclée printmaking, the process of proofing is very much a collaborative effort between artist and printmaker. As printmaker, we use an image editing program to make a series of small, incremental adjustments.  With each adjustment we monitor progress by printing out a small proof using the press, inks and print medium that will be used in the final edition.  We check each proof against the original until we are satisfied that the colors are accurate in hue and saturation, that the highlights, midtones and shadows are set correctly, and that we have remained faithful to the mood or tone of the original.  


The artist then looks through the proofs with us.  This is an invaluable opportunity for the artist to assess the subtle variations between the different proofs and point out which most closely reflect his or her original concept of the work.  Sometimes one of the set of proofs is selected as the final or master proof; sometimes additional modifications and additional proofs are required.  Somewhat surprisingly, the proof selected as the final is not necessarily the most accurate proof.  Many artists prefer to evaluate the proofs in their own right as prints, independent of the original.  This is especially true when the image is being reproduced onto a different, or when the image is much reduced or enlarged in scale.


Proofing on this scale takes some time (we typically ask for a week).   Other options such as soft proofing and strip proofing may minimize start-up time but are inaccurate and incomplete, and do not give the artist enough information to judge the caliber of the finished print.  We do not offer either because we firmly believe that working with a printmaker to come up with an accurate master proof is time well spent.   Not only can the artist be confident that the final prints will do justice to the original, but in a fully color-managed studio such as ours the prints can be transferred from one medium to another – paper, canvas, mylar, satin, silk etc – without need for additional proofing.

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