A press pass is a check that is carried out to ensure that the actual final printed sheets are exactly in line with with the high resolution proof that we have approved. Our main check is to make sure the colours match EXACTLY. If they don’t, we change the colours on press and check again until we have an exact match. At that point the checks are “Passed” and full production is allowed to begin.


Here are some of the reasons we feel Press Passing is so important:
  • If you don’t press pass the only thing that can be guaranteed in terms of colour management is that the correct CMYK values are being scanned. The reality is very often that those colours need to be amended on press, to ensure that they are a true representation on the creatives design.
  • The finished article is often printed on a different paper stock to the proof, so otherwise you are not truly going to know how the images look on the actual final paper until they go on press.
  • The digital proofing process uses a toner style heat transfer process which sits on top of the paper rather than using a ‘wet ink’ process that soaks into the paper, so again you are only truly going to know how that looks when the print is on press.
  • Very often images and photography have only been seen on screen or printed off from a non ISO calibrated printer so very often the first time the images are seen in genuine high resolution are on press.
  • With most photos going straight to digital now they are often only viewed on a computer. Images can look very different on a computer compared to on paper, this can be controlled at the press pass stage.
  • While modern printers are highly sophisticated and use state of the art printing processes, all printing is still a very subjective art with many variables that can affect the end result.  This is something only the designer or someone who has a lot of experience of the products can know and will know when it looks correct.
  • Often print runs can cost a significant amount of money are a key sales driver. They really need to be a true representation of the brand. We strongly recommend a press pass as it’s the only way you can be sure that you will be 100% happy with the finished product.


We can comfortably say after being in the printing industry for more than 22 years and having worked closely with Hotel Chocolat for 10 years, that at least 80% of the catalogues that we have produced for them have needed to be tweaked on press, following the review of the press pass. With so many brilliant colours and slight colour differences between milk and dark chocolate we believe it’s essential in making sure that the print is presented in the best possible way!
Get in touch today to see how we could help you with your next print requirement.


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