Waiting until you have 20,000 finished copies of your project is a little late to find out the headline is misspelled. Or the text can’t be read at that point size. Or the color of the product is wrong.
The term “preflight” was coined by Chuck Weger back in 1990 at the Color Connections conference in San Francisco. The term came from the list of actions that airplane pilots take to ensure their plane is ready for flight and to make sure the plane doesn’t crash.
Chuck used it to signify that the file was ready for output and it wouldn’t crash the print processor. The term preflight soon became an industry standard used by many applications. (And no, Chuck doesn’t get royalties on it.)
A proof is a single-copy prototype ...