WG Design Group
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Benicia Chamber of Commerce Business of the Year 2011

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WG Mini-Brochures — Proofing

WG Design Group has been creating promotional material for many businesses since 1989. It is always frustrating when we see a printed piece sneek out with an error. Below are some tips to help avoid errors in your brochure. Apply these tips to all your business promotions.

Can you read this?

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the first and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can still raed it wouthit a porbelm. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?

Were you able to read it?

Of course, you were. As you can see the ability of the brain is amazing. However, this is exactly why you need to proof over and over again and, better still, have someone who has never seen your brochure, read and proof it for you. There are many things a spell checker will not find.

Our role

We hate to see mini-brochures get printed with mistakes. If we are involved in the design process, our designer will fix and/or point out obvious errors if they spot them, but they are not proof readers. Before going to press we will ask you to sign off on the draft. WG Mini-Brochures cannot be held responsible for typographical errors.

Tips for proofing

  • Read it out loud and also silently.
  • Read it backwards to focus on the spelling of words.
  • Have others, who have never seen it, check it.
  • With your finger, point to each word as you read it.
  • Don't proof for every type of mistake at once - do one proof for spelling, another for missing/additional spaces, consistency of word usage, font sizes, etc.
  • Print it out and read it.
  • Print two copies and read back with someone else. When you are finished switch roles.
  • First, proof the body of the text. Then go back and proof the headings. Headings are prone to error because copy editors often don't focus on them.
  • Double check fonts that are unusual (italic, bold, or otherwise different).
  • Carefully read type in very tiny font.
  • Be careful that your eyes don't skip from one error to the next obvious error, missing subtle errors in between.
  • Double check proper names.
  • Double check little words: "or," "of," "it," and "is" are often interchanged.
  • Double check boilerplate text, like the company letterhead. Just because it's frequently used doesn't mean it's been carefully checked.
  • Double check even if you are sure something is right - certainty is dangerous.