Proofing print is very important. But when mistakes are made, they can be quite costly. Sometimes they can be amusing.
Let’s face it; nobody is perfect, and that includes us here at Afford A Print! Even the best visionaries, designers, proof-readers, and the like make mistakes. The great inventor Thomas Edison was once asked about the many times he failed to create a working lightbulb. He said, “I have not failed. I just found 1,000 ways that won’t work.”
In this article, we will look at several failed attempts to print business cards, mailers, and the like and why it is very important to proof read your print.
Here are five examples of where unfortunate mistakes were made.
- The Stretching Business Card. It’s not just important to read what you do, but think about the practicalities of the card itself. One innovative person thought it would be a good idea to develop a stretching business card to advertise his personal training business. The problem: it took two hands to stretch the business card, in order to read the business contact information. The obvious problem: with two hands stretching the card, a person could not write down or dial the phone number.
- A customer of ours, asked us to print their business card. We had to reproduce the card and once we finished, we tried to call them. We used the number on the design work from their previous card. After many failed attempts, we emailed, asking them why they were not answering their phone. It became apparent that this was not their phone number. So until that moment, the last batch of business cards they had produced elsewhere carried the incorrect number!
- Costume Jewelry Prices. In 2013, a Macy’s store in the USA decided to offer a considerable discount on a necklace—reducing the price from $1,500 to $497. Excited to pass along the savings to their customers, Macy’s printed and distributed a bulk mailer. The problem: a typo in the mailer listed the price as $47 per necklace, not $497. Macy’s has not disclosed the number of necklaces sold at the costume jewelry price before the typo was caught.
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- Racist and Cannibalistic Cookbook. In 2010, Penguin of Australia published “The Pasta Bible.” One recipe called for “salt and freshly ground black pepper.” Unfortunately, the publisher was rightly horrified to learn that the word “pepper” was inadvertently replaced with the word “people.” When made aware of the epic typo, the publisher quickly destroyed the 7,000 copies of the cookbook remaining in stock, at a cost of $20,000!
- Everyone’s a Winner! A car dealership in New Mexico, USA, printed and mailed 50,000 scratch-off ads, promising that one person would win a $1,000 Grand Prize. The problem: an error at the printer resulted in every scratcher being a winner! It cost the dealership $250,000 in $5 store gift cards to appease all of the people who claimed to be the Grand Prize winner.
What happens if you find you did a major typo in your design after it’s printed by us?
What if you accidently put a wrong phone number or email address?
Don’t panic. Watch our video on the matter:
The importance of proofing print
You may have had people ask if you have had your work proofread when you are ready to publish. Many people know the key benefits of having their work proofread, but for a refresher, here are the benefits that can be gained from proofreading:
- Errors such as grammar, spelling, misplaced words, and formatting can be detected and corrected.
- To ensure the article makes sense and fits its purpose for the intended audience.
- Achieve a high-quality product after the printing process.
Have you ever read something that contained errors?
The message of an article can quickly be lost if there are errors. It does not matter how professional looking it is from a glance. This can also affect your reputation and the quality of the finished product, with the reader being more focused on errors than the actual message of the article. Some people like to try and proofread their own work. This is very hard to do, you are the person who wrote the article, so you know what you wanted to say, and you know the message that you wanted to convey. This is why it is much easier for someone else to point out your errors, when you may have missed them yourself.
As you were going through exam-taking years, you may recall teachers telling you to reread your work to check if you have made any errors. This is easier said than done, as you can miss the same mistake again and again, even by rereading the text.
I have read many books and articles over the course of my career. Sometimes, the mistakes are such, that it is not evident that a piece has been proofread at all. Certain grammatical errors can even alter the meaning of your text. A text that should be an ‘easy read’ can quickly become more complicated due to mistakes. A great way to minimise the risk of errors is to have your work proofread before printing. Publishers will not proofread your work as standard, so you could find errors in your finished product. This is no fault of the publisher, they just print what they are provided with. To save time, and embarrassment and to have a high-quality finished product, make use of a proofreader first. Proofreading is not always perfect, but it reduces the chance of errors.
Grammar can completely change the meaning of a sentence.
‘Let’s eat kids’ could create a major problem, but ‘Let’s eat, kids’ changes the meaning completely.
Whether your product is a printed flyer, leaflet, poster, or booklet. For a reasonable cost, do not skip the proofing print! Be proud of the finished copy, and have no regrets, thus maintaining your professionalism. It could be the difference between acceptance or rejection.
Here at Afford A Print, we want the very best for your print project. We never want to see your project on a list like the one at the top of this article! Would you like proofreading for your print project? Contact us for details.
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