One of the worst things you can do is let your clients be the proof reader on a project when they don’t know they are the proof reader. It makes you look bad and it wastes everyone’s time when they have to point out mistakes rather than focusing on the result.

A little while back I worked with a company that had hired a graphic designer to make ads, he would get the ads OK’d, and then funnel the ads to me for the company’s web site and newsletter. While working with the ads the company or I would often find spelling errors or other miscellaneous errors. They would then have to go back to the graphic designer to get the errors fixed. This happened month after month.

Overall this issue wasn’t minor as it wasted everyone’s time and resources. The company now had to look at the ads twice. I had to wait to do my work, or do work twice because I had already put the ads up. Plus it made me look bad because I recommended they hire this graphic designer.

I knew the graphic designer could do excellent work but for some reason time after time there were mistakes. After talking with the graphic designer I found out he did the ads last minute and usually late at night. He would get the ads done then send them off to the company and I so we would have them for in the morning. Even after binging the issue to his attention the mistakes lessened  but still happened a little too frequently. So I purposed a few changes. These thoughts can be applied to any project or task.

  1. If you can, don’t do the project or task last minute so you’re not rushing.
  2. If you can, instead of presenting the project as finished right away. Wait. Go do something else to clear your head, come back and look at it with fresh eyes.
  3. Have someone else proof or double check your work. Preferably not your client.
  4. Have a short check list: Check spelling, check grammar, check size dimensions, etc, etc. (create a checklist that hits the major points for your project or a list of common errors to check)

The designer took me up on #2. He would double check the ads the next morning before sending them to the company. Mistakes dropped to next to none. It was a simple change but it saved on time and resources.