paper post: proofreading advice


This, friends, is a true story that we’re sharing with you (although it’s embarrassing) because we can’t say it often enough: proofread, proofread, proofread.

I once laid out a proof of a menu card with copy-and-pasted text that the client had sent over, the whole time wondering what the heck “crab meta” was. Some kind of fancy crab meat? When I told Elizabeth about it, she had the good sense to guess that it was supposed to be “crab meat.” Our client also caught the error- points for good proofreading!

The point is- you can’t rely on your stationer or printer to proofread your text for you. For all they know, there IS such a thing as crab meta, and that’s why you’re responsible for carefully proofreading your final proofs:

– Proofread EVERYTHING, and ask others to look them over as well. More than one pair of eyes and multiple checks are the best ways to avoid errors in your final printed piece

– Read your text out loud or read it from bottom to top (basically, reading backwards so you don’t get tricked by context)

– You know the saying “Measure twice, cut once”? Think of it here as “Proofread three, four, five times, and then just print once!”

background image: kate ann photography

  • LOVE THIS POST. It’s so true. So… personal story on this note: my SIL, when she was planning her wedding to my brother, sent me their invitation to proof. And – get this – she had SPELLED HIS LAST NAME WRONG. Like, as in the last name she was acquiring! Of course she knew how to spell it, it was just a typo. But it was a typo that somehow she, my brother, and my mom had all missed. Can you imagine if they had gone out like that!?

    So, proofread proofread proofread, and then send it to someone else to do the same! Oy.

  • Oh, this is so very true! I tell my clients that I am a designer, not an editor, so it’s ultimately up to them to catch spelling and grammatical errors. If I happen to catch something, I’ll point it out — but like you said, for all we know that IS a food/last name/etc.

  • Great post! It’s amazing how many people don’t proofread or think of it as inconsequential. It’s the most important thing in, well, everything print related. Invitations, books, magazines, blogs. Sometimes the typo is silly and other times it’s major – but either way if you miss it and it goes to print – you’re going to feel silly (especially if people keep pointing it out to you)! Great, great post! Awesome! Thank you for putting it out there!

  • This made me laugh. :) Lauren’s Thursday Tips on ELD today were about invitations – so I was just commenting to her that I just watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding (AGAIN) and the invitations said Rodney and Harry! (Instead of Harriet!) So funny in a movie! NOT funny in real life. :)

  • Proofreading is huge! Another pair of eyes is crucial. I can’t tell you how many times I printed off a copy only to find a typo. And thanks for the tip about postage going up soon – I didn’t know!

  • Ah yes, proofreading is DEFINITELY a MUST! And so true- I’ve heard people complain that their stationer spelled their fiance’s last name wrong- but in essence, they didn’t know how it was supposed to be spelled, because they had only given them his name over the PHONE. And um, totally did not know about the postage increase! Thank you!

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