Proofreading, editing, sanity checks…people typically think of proofing for a written piece. When you have a postcard or direct mail piece, you want to make sure that multiple sets of eyes review the document to look for spelling or grammar errors. But, as we’ve seen in the news lately, big errors can happen on other types of marketing materials, like promo items. Here in Boston, the Big Papi debacle has demonstrated the importance of taking multiple proofing steps before finalizing a promotional piece of any type.
We get it…people have busy schedules. There are probably a million things on their mind and taking a good chunk of time to review a proof can get pushed down to the bottom of the list or at the end of the day. However, keeping in mind the potential impact of not reviewing a proof thoroughly and including this step throughout the entire creative process can be extremely problematic and there is a huge benefit to taking that extra time for review.
As a partner for our customers in producing thousands of promotional items and printed projects, we’ve got our proofing process down pat to help avoid any mistakes and produce the final product to your exact specifications. So, today on the blog, we’ve put together a few proofing tips for your next marketing project of any time!
- Go Beyond Wording: Yes, your company and website is probably spelled right, but take an extra look around the final proof – particularly for a promotional item. Color, sizing, clarity, spacing…how does it look? Review each element separately to ensure that it will produce the final result that you’re anticipating.
- Multiple Sets of Eyes: Anything that is representing your brand must be reviewed by multiple people for a sanity check. It’s certainly easy for someone so involved and ingrained in the project to overlook a simple error and proofing will do just that. So, pass it around and get lots of feedback. The more the better.
- Proof Early, Proof Often: This is one of our favorite phrases at Ambit. We believe that you need to start the proofing process from the very beginning to avoid mistakes and also save time and money. Your idea and vision of a specific project may need to be tweaked depending on materials, budget, or other factors, so it’s important to find those issues and the right solution sooner rather than later.
- Talk to Your Vendor: Speaking of finding the best solutions from the get-go, one of the best ways to proof your project is to work with a trusted printing or production company. At Ambit, we always say call us early. That way, you can talk through the project from the start to ensure a smooth process. We can guide you through your vision, discuss logistics and have an open line of communication throughout the process. This may be where it’s better to work with a local company you know, as we’ve discussed on our blog.
- Make a Dummy Don’t Be a Dummy: Whether you are thinking about a printed piece or physical piece like a Bobblehead, make sure to create a “Dummy” as part of your proofing process. The concept here and what we do at Ambit is to produce a mock up or “Dummy” during the project – a virtual or physical sample depending on timing (this is where the “early” factor comes in). This ensures that everyone is on the same page from the get-go about all the details and can modify if needed. For example, print out the saddle-stitched book to make sure the pages line up, test out the folds and die-cuts of a project to ensure the material works with the vision or get a physical sample of that bobblehead. This ultimately saves everyone time and money.
- Take Time & Focus: As our last tip, it’s important to remember to take the time to review the piece in a focused manner. Whether that means setting it aside until the next morning so you can review with a fresh set of eyes, waiting an extra few hours for that third person to review, or simply going through it one last time turning off the radio or in a quiet room, time & focus are two essential factors in the quality of the final product.
Looking to work with a superior proofing partner to help you along with your next promotional or printed project? Contact us today!