As all good copywriters know, one missing letter or one additional letter can mean the difference between a fantastic piece of printed collateral or an embarrassing phone call to the client. Which is why proofreading is such a key part of the design process.
It’s easy to see how this happens too. Hours and hours are spent going through key messages and creative concepts. Layouts can go through several revisions until you have a final piece that looks fantastic. It ticks the boxes in terms of relevance, creativity and impact. But everyone’s now so close to it that you fail to spot the rogue ‘i’, the missing ‘t’ or the sentence that’s dropped off your final paragraph.
So what can you do to avoid errors?
Ask someone else to read it.
A lot of the time, your brain will see exactly what it wants to see – and not what’s actually there. A fresh pair of eyes can work wonders.
Print it out.
This really really helps. You’d be surprised just how much you can miss when you simply read from the screen.
Leave it and come back.
Give yourself a chance to forget what you’ve written. By coming back after a break you’re more likely to pick up any errors rather than read from memory.
Okay. This might not be practical in all situations but it certainly focuses the mind. It forces you to listen to how you’ve constructed your sentences and highlights any problems with pace or grammar.
Don’t just look at the words.
If you’re asked to check the final layout or design look for things like extra spaces between words, lo-res images, mis-aligned columns, incorrect fonts, missing page numbers or wrong colours.
That should ensure you never make a fool of yourself in pubic.