One of the most important aspects of printed material (and one most often overlooked!) is the editing process. I am a stickler for details, and nothing drives me nuts more than a poorly edited printed piece. Of course, I have seen some very FUNNY printed pieces (i.e. the Dumpling Pot turned into the Dumping Pot!) as well. We do our very best to catch every single typo, misspelled word, out of place graphic, mis-aligned text box, etc, but our team does make mistakes from time to time.
Here are some great thoughts on editing from graphic designer Ryan Hollingsworth:
• Begin by taking a break and allow yourself some time between designing and proofing. Get up and walk away from your computer screen or work on another project. Come back to it when you have a fresh set of eyes and a clear head.
• Print out the piece. Errors are easier to catch and easier to highlight when its on paper.
• Look for left-out words by reading the piece out loud, focusing on every word as you read. Don’t let your eye move ahead until you spot each word. Also make sure you don’t have duplicates of any words.
• Develop an assigned group of detailed proof-readers (2-3) who look over everything that goes out.
• To minimize spelling errors, look at each word in the piece individually. Move from the end of each line back to the beginning to prevent skimming.
• Assign or accept the responsibility of being the “last set of eyes” that sees a piece before it is sent out the door. This develops accountability and responsibility if errors are found.
• Hopefully these tips will save you some sleepless nights waiting for your brochure to come back from the printer, only to find out that ushers will not seat latecomers, but instead eat them.