Let’s do it the right way. Here’s some tools to guide you through your print job from tips to prep your files properly, to design templates and FAQs.

Job Flow and Proofing for Small Format

HONBLUE’s Job Flow for Better Printing

All jobs submitted to HONBLUE go through a specific job flow to ensure the highest quality and fastest turnaround. The basic steps are:

  1. Job Submission with specifications, purchase order or approved estimate, and files
  2. Automated Preflight
  3. Imposition for press and paper size
  4. Proofing
  5. Printing
  6. Bindery
  7. Packing and Delivery (or Prepping for Third Party Shipping)
  8. Invoicing

The two most critical steps from the list above to keep your job rolling towards a successful completion are how you submit your files, and your proof approval efficiency.


When submitting your job, please make sure that your files match your approved estimate (and your purchase order if required).  If your files don’t match the attached estimate specifications (size, pages and colors), we’ll have to re-estimate which may delay the start of your job, and possibly extending your original requested delivery date.

Files submitted should be in their final state prior to printing. Submitting files when not final and expecting to do changes after your first proof is the least efficient way to produce your job. We would rather have final files a day late, than files that need multiple rounds of proofs.

DO> Submit your files (and instructions/purchase order) to

Click here to upload files

DO NOT> Email your files to your sales rep or customer service rep. This will delay your project.


All orders submitted to HONBLUE require a proof approval. If you’ve obtained a production schedule upon or prior to job submittal, it will include time for a first proof and quick approval.

There are many processes that our software automation and prepress experts apply that will make your files “print-ready,” and to produce the best printing possible. Multiple rounds of proofs (and file submissions) means we must duplicate these processes the same way for every submission and proof. Multiple submissions of files due to changes causes longer proof cycles, and possibly extra costs and subsequent delays from your originally scheduled due date. Always pay attention to the “Proof Due Back By” date and time requested.


Proofs can be either “soft” (onscreen) PDF proof, or “hard” (printed inkjet or digital press) proof. Please read below to determine which proofing option best fits your job.

A PDF (soft) Proof will show you the content (type and images) of your file with specifications as to size and colors. This type of proof is perfect for checking that all your content is accurate. As you’ll be looking at the proof on your monitor in the RGB color space, it will not represent accurately the CMYK or spot colors that will print on a printing press.

A Hard Proof will give you better accuracy on how the final piece will print. There are two types of hard proofs depending on the printing press that will be used for your print piece.

Inkjet Contract Proof (Commercial Printing) – This “press-profiled” proof shows CMYK colors on a resin coated sheet including crops and bleeds. More accurate than a PDF proof. Will not show metallic or PMS spot colors accurately. If your job includes multiple pages, folding or additional bindery, you’ll get a “folding dummy” that will indicate how the printed piece will be printed.

Digital Press Proof (Digital Printing) – Proofing on the exact stock that your final piece will be printed on means it represents a high degree of color accuracy.


Once you receive a proof for review (either via PDF Review or email), review all content for accuracy. If it’s accurate, click on the APPROVED button (PDF Review) or reply to the email with acknowledgement that the proof is approved and you’d us to proceed with printing.

If you’ll need to make changes, click on the NOT APPROVED button in PDF Review or reply to the proof email.

IMPORTANT: There may be a possibility that we can make small changes to your file without having you resubmit new files. This may eliminate delays or extra charges to your job. Please email your customer service rep to find out if this is appropriate.


If your job includes a hard proof, make sure that you review it carefully for not only content but color fidelity. This proof is your most important step in the printing process and your approval is critical to the final quality of the printed piece. If you’ve received a “folding dummy” make sure that you inspect how the fold is presented and approve if correct. Our bindery departments will use this as a guide for correct folding.

If the proof is accurate with no changes, return the proof (and folding dummy) to your customer service rep. They will include it with the job so that the pressman and bindery will have an accurate reference.

If the proof is not approved, return the proof and indicate where there will be changes made in the new file that you’ll upload. If it’s a multi-page document, only upload the pages with changes.

As with PDF Proofs, we may be able to make changes for you so that the file we’ve worked on keeps the integrity of the proof.

IMPORTANT: If you submitted native files for your job, and you need to make changes and resubmit, contact your customer service rep and ask for access to the HONBLUE “working files”. This is critical in keeping your deadline and not incurring additional charges.


Speak to an Account Manager

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