Design 101: Avoiding Small Mistakes
If there’s one thing that can turn a prospective client away from a business with frightening efficiency, it’s mistakes. Usually small ones. Whether it’s grammar, spelling, or an image that’s been cut wrong. People don’t like blunders, and naturally they feel less trusting towards the people who make them.
But sometimes mistakes can slip through the cracks, because everyone’s human. The odd misplaced apostrophe here, a word that shouldn’t have been capitalised there. So, how do you go about avoiding those small mistakes? Here are some pointers. . .
This first and most important point. A study has found that a single spelling mistake on a website can reduce a company’s revenue by half. This highlights (albeit quite dramatically) the importance of quality even on a minute scale. When it comes to grammar, it’s not enough to rely on auto-correct alone; remember that word processors don’t flag up the improper use of words. Its and It’s. There, Their, and They’re. Where and Were. Misplacing apostrophe’s. Unfortunately these also happen to be the easiest mistakes to miss when checking back over your work.
This is why proofreading is so important. Make an effort to proofread everything, more than once. Preferably it should be done by someone who didn’t write the content, because the writer often knows the text too well and will miss some of the smaller mistakes. So it’s good to send it to a fresh pair of eyes, and then to go over it again yourself, ideally with a magnifying glass and a pair of tweezers.
Consider the loss
Remember that mistakes on print jobs cost money. If you discover a typo on your website, it doesn’t take too much effort to set it right. But printed mistakes are not so easily corrected. And ultimately they will cost you either time and money in correcting the mistake, or credibility if you send out a run of flyers that all feature spelling or grammatical errors.
Respect your customers
Above all else, taking the time to comb through your work and protect it from mistakes is about respecting both your current and prospective clients. Small mistakes risk projecting an unprofessional image and can cause people to question your authority on a subject. And it can make customers feel like you don’t really care. So it pays to be thorough.
Remember that by respecting your customers you’ll automatically work to make your marketing flawless. So it’s a win-win!
For more on the fundamental principles of design and marketing, download Red Square’s free ebook, How Good Design Makes Marketing Sense.