3 reasons to attend packaging press approvals

Do you attend press approvals of printed packaging?

If you answered no to this question, I’m writing this blog with you in mind. If you answered yes: Congratulations!

Most brand teams do not attend them and leave it to their pre-press house or designer to approve final packaging at the printer.

Here’s a little motivation to start attending press approvals:

During press approval downtime (between pulls), many printer executives like to show their newest capabilities to their guests. By attending a press approval, you will learn about printing features that may create a serious point of difference in your packaging.

Yes, please do attend press approvals.

During my 10+ years in the packaging design and print business I have attended many press approvals with brand owners. It’s worth it!

You may be thinking that you don’t have the expertise needed to provide colour approval. While it may be true that you don’t have the expertise  -yet – your team of technical design and print professionals will guide you through the process and help you approve your printed packaging!

Printer teams want to help you sell more product. They are an important part of getting your brand in the consumers hand!

Man Looking at Bottle of Wine


Your printer wants to become your trusted advisor and make your brand look good. When you look good, they look good!

Ok, here are 3 really good reasons why attending a press approval is a best practice:

  1. you develop a relationship with your printer’s technical team – think trusted advisor!
  2. you and your designer will approve final colour with confidence
  3. you will learn about printing methods – (career advancing knowledge!!)

A press approval will likely pull you away from the office for a full day or more, depending on travel time. It’s worth every penny of travel expenses and, is time well spent.

Here’s how it works:

Your printer will advise you when the press approval will take place approximately 1-2 weeks in advance of the press approval date. Be prepared for slight changes to the printers schedule. Confirm date and time a few days in advance.

Tip – Be respectful of the printers timeline. The press approval takes place after the press is set-up.  Your pressman will share the first and second pull of printed packaging. There are always tweaks. Be present, listen and participate!

Tip – Ask your package designer to join you at the the press approval. Your designer is your colour steward and will help you approve printed colour.

  1. Printer production proof for copy and position
  2. Colour accurate proof
  3. Ink draw downs

Tip – During the design stage, your package designer created a mock up, right? Bring the mock up elements with you to the press approval so that everyone can view the final packaging. As an example, if you are a wine brand, bring a few filled wine bottles and capsules or screw tops to the press approval. During the first pulls, apply your label to the bottle and mock up the final presentation of your brand.

Color management set

Very exciting stuff, your brand vision has been brought to life right in front of your eyes!

Keep all the pulls the printer gave you. The pulls (press samples) will help you to log the stages of your approval.

Brand managers sometimes feel that the approval of the print job is out of their scope. This is not true. Brand manager participation is an important part of a successful packaging development process and also makes you a more knowledgeable brand manager!

A good designer and printer will encourage you to attend a press approval to approve the final printed packaging. And demonstrating interest in the printing process will encourage your printer to go above and beyond. Your printer will become an ambassador of your brand and steward your brand more closely. They may suggest a new print feature and, help your brand stand out better on-shelf.

A press approval will add value to your printed package design.

I am a packaging consultant helping brands develop better packaging & making packaging development easier and faster. Need help with your next packaging project? Please reach out to me. You can reach me here, or on linkedin, twitter and facebook.

OVER to you! Do you attend press approvals?

What is your experience, I’d love to hear it.

Be well!


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