At the start of any job, printers run a couple test sheets through the press to check registration, ink coverage, spelling, etc. This process is commonly called make-ready, and ensures that a good print will be made. Basically, we make sure everything looks swell before we insert the good (ie. expensive) paper and print the job. Since we reuse the test sheets from job to job, they tend to collect bits and pieces from many different projects.
Every once in awhile, it's nice to step back and evaluate these test sheets as individual design pieces, rather than just as purely utilitarian devices. Oftentimes they look like a random jumble of overlays, but sometimes they end up having a rather pleasant aesthetic rigor. Pictured here are some of our favorites from the past year. (Click on images for better view.)
Below is detail of the upper left sheet. If you look carefully, you can even pick out portions of jobs that we've featured on this blog. Recognize any of them?