A quality-check before committing to the final print.
When we get an image from a customer to print, quite often the image is, well, not quite ready for "prime time". The highlights are dull, or there is not enough depth in the shadow areas. There is just not enough "snap" or "pop' to the image. If we just printed it the way we received it, the giclee would be lifeless and would lack color saturation. In other words, it would be a wasted effort.
Quite often, the poor image quality is due to the fact that our customers don't have calibrated monitors. What they see on their computer looks perfectly fine to them. But on our calibrated monitors, we can tell right away that the image quality is not what it should be.
That is why it is important to run a proof of your work before printing. Especially if you are making a large, expensive print or a large quantity of prints -- or both.
Our definition of a proof is a small print, approximately 4"x5" on the paper or canvas of your choice, as well as a detail of the image at the final size so that i can be checked for color accuracy as well as resolution.
If we do see an the image that is poor and you have not requested a proof, we will recommend that you do consider having one done first. We have made the cost of printing a proof quite reasonable and it is always a good idea to take that first step as a precaution so that you will be completely happy with the final print.