Proofing: Test Discs and Matchprints

  • The Megalodon Philosophy & ProofSet

    We go through a lot of steps to make sure your discs & packaging looks as good as they can and that it comes out exactly as you intended. Our proofing philosophy is unique in the industry - we like to include everything you need in your project to make sure your project comes out perfect, and we do this for all quantities and at no extra charge.

    Is this common? No, in fact we are the only manufacturing firm to do this at all quantities and at no charge. Why do most plants charge? Because it's expensive to set up the press multiple times. And glass mastering is expensive, especially for DVDs. Why doesn't Megalodon charge for this? We know that it is the only way to make sure that your project is going to be perfect, and so we feel that it has to be included.

    How do we define "perfect"?
    Perfect is having the product come out exactly as you intended it to. How can we know what's in your head? Well, we can't exactly. But fortunately we can send the proofset to you, and you can make that determination. We can make sure it's technically correct, but "perfect" comes from you.

  • What are Proof Discs?

    PROOF DISCS are off-the-press test discs, with your content (music, data, or video) and printing on them. They are absolutely complete and what you'll be getting thousands of. We do the glass mastering from your master, set up the press, create you a manufactured disc, print it, and send it to you. You get to look at the printing on the disc (which is either offset or silkscreened) and listen/watch/hear/play/test the content on the disc to make sure it's perfect.

  • Packaging Matchprints

    PACKAGING MATCHPRINTS are color matchprints made on paper. You get to look at the printing that's going to be made into your packaging and make sure that the color and layout is correct


    How can you be certain that your disc printing is going to be perfect?
    It's simple, you have to see the disc printing. That doesn't mean seeing a PDF softproof, and it doesn't mean seeing disc printing on a piece of paper. You have to see the printing on the disc to ensure it is correct.

    Starting with PDF softproofs
    Can't you just view a graphic softproof on your computer? Sure, but try looking at it on several computers and see the range of colors you'll get. We find that PDFs are an excellent starting place. You can resolve font issues, layout, catch some basic problems before they are expensive problems but you can't use it for color matching, and it's not so hot for resolution & halftones. it also doesn't account for the silver disc background. Do you know that most replication firms stop at PDF proofing - whew! living dangerously!

    What about doing a paper proof for the disc printing?
    Well, we don't recommend this at all. Paper is not disc media. It's not silver, it's not the same texture or absorbancy, it doesn't taste the same, look the same or act the same. Plus the printing equipment used to print on the paper is not going to be the same as the equipment used to print on the disc. So, exactly, in what way is this proofing? We don't do it. Neither should you. Friends don't let friends print on paper - new slogo?

    Test disc for cd & color matchprint for cd mailers - why would you replicate without a proof disc?


    How can you be certain that your disc content is going to be perfect?
    It's simple, you have to see the replicated disc. (there's a pattern here)

    Doing audio / music cds? Musicians like to know that no one has tampered with their master and bumped up the volume. Wouldn't it be a good idea to listen to it and approve it before thousands show up?
    Doesn't it sound a little foolhardy to ship them without listening to one?

    Doing software / cd-roms? How about giving the final disc a test drive on a number of different computers?

    Doing video / dvds? Whoo boy. Do you know that recordable dvdrs can play differently than pressed dvds? Yep. That means that the master you send in may not play the same as your pressed dvd. Think a test disc would be a really good idea? The ISO standard for dvds and dvd players/drives/computers is still changing to keep up with new authoring techniques and technology demand. If you're old enough (sshhh) then you remember this happening with recordable CD-Rs when they first came out. Recordables wouldn't always play in a home stereo or a computer or (gulp) at the radio station.

    Machine testing.
    Don't we have machines that compare the client master to the replicated disc? Yep.
    Don't we have machines that make sure the masters are ISO compliant? Yep.
    Don't we have machines to test for manufacturing defects to make sure the replicas are in good order? Yep.
    But does all that machine testing make it perfect? No...because perfect is defined as how you want it to be, and the machines can't know what's in your head (well not yet, and maybe not ever). Anyway, that's why only you can say if it's perfect. We can check for technically correct, but "perfect" comes from you.



    How can you be certain that your disc packaging is going to be perfect?
    Ok, ok, we're going to assume that you've gotten the pattern by now.
    No PDFs aren't enough. Yes, you need a physical matchprint to be certain.
    And don't even think of not bypassing a matchprint if your printing color is important..

    For special effects & inks or special paper stocks, we're going to recommend that you go beyond the cmyk matchprints and do special matchprints to proof these types of items. You may also want to do a finished production piece to be sure.

    Megalodon has incredible printed packaging options. You can be very creative with your design and change almost any aspect of it. Check out our Art Department or Photo Gallery for some good ideas.

    replicated cd proof disc, allows client to listen to audio cds and view printing on disc, and proof color matchprint for packagingfinished product - 6pp midheight digipak with glued booklet and reverse inside printing


  • 5C Offset printing on disc...standard!

    By the way, you know that we include full color 5C disc printing, and your choice of offset or silkscreening at no additional charge, right? So not only are you getting the exclusive Megalodon proofset that you don't get other places, but you are also getting a very good looking disc (the best possible) and it's all included. So if you want a good looking project, and want it to be perfect, you're at the right place. Welcome.


    Frustrated client at computer

    The question begs to be asked. You're doing all this great proofing to make sure it's perfect, but what if you find something that's not perfect along the way? The answer is, try to catch it early. The earlier in the proofing & manufacturing process you can catch a problem, the less expensive it will be to correct. Don't be discouraged though - all of this is less expensive and less stress on your heart than opening an entire shipment of "not what we wanted, send it back and redo it". With us, you know it's going to be right, because you've already seen it. How relaxing is that?


    So if you have a rush schedule, what does that mean about proofsets? Well, a proofset are included and pretty much guarantees your project will be exactly as you intended it, but what if you don't have the time for it? There is hope. In the case where your schedule outweighs your need to proof the disc or packaging, we can do some in-between steps. We'll go over what's important to you. Are your concerns with the disc printing? The disc content? The packaging? What materials will you have ready, and when? Do you need all of them at once? If you are having special effects done, do you need the partials with those effects? Should we look at alternate shipping address - can it go directly to your show if it has to? We are very happy to work with you to make sure the best outcome happens, and we're happy to think outside of the box.

    There's no charge for rush schedules by the way. Isn't that refreshing? That's three really unique things - we work with you, we work outside of the box, and there's no charge. If you've ever tried to do a rush project at a plant, you know what we're talking about. It's hopeless - it costs a lot extra and is actually designed to fail (heard of the day0, day1 schedules?) and don't even think of doing anything creative or alternative with the proofing. uh-uh. Want to see customer non-service?