Julie Song Ink
There is nothing, I repeat nothing, worse than opening your much anticipated box of invitations to find . . . a typo! Or better yet, sending them out and hearing from friends and family that you forgot crucial information, such as the time. Full disclosure, the former just happened to me and I know it happens all the time in the print world (at least that’s what the printer told me!). I give you these editing tips at the expense of my own mistake, in hopes to save some couples the time and money of reprinting. Whether it is your fault the content is incorrect, the designer for mistyping your content or even the printer, make sure you take your time when it comes to printed materials.
1. Read It upside down and backwards
As an English major I know the importance of reading and re-reading content before you submit it, however, when you have seen an invitation or program so many times your eyes begin to register the content as correct, although it may not be. Reading it upside down won’t help you that much, but a trick of the trade is to literally read it backwards. Your eyes will register the words differently as they are not strung together in the same way you’ve seen them before. Another tip, always read out-loud when you are editing. Again, your brain registers the content differently when you hear the words as you read them aloud.
2. Print It
Many of us are on our computers all day long and on our phones on those off moments. Printing the stationary PDFs early on in the process will help you see everything in a more realistic view. This is another trick for your eyes and brain to see the content in a new way, which will likely help you catch typos. Also, it will allow you to see the colors more realistically. Colors look drastically different from one persons computer screen to another and also different from your phone screen. What is clearly gray on your computer, may print blue. To ensure color will be correct, print it!
3. Ask for a Proof
Ask your printer for a proof (of every piece of your stationary package) before you go to print. This is standard practice, but sometimes you have to ask for the proof. Once in a while misprints are actually the printers fault. This is particularly important when you are doing letterpress as they are making plates. Its very easy for mistakes to happen when someone is transcribing content electronically. The same goes for working with a designer for custom stationary. You may have written the material in Word, which alerts you of all spelling or grammatical errors, however, when a designer is using Adobe products, they are having to transcribe your content and these programs do not have spell check. Lastly, receiving a proof shows you exactly what your stationary will look like, so if you decide the paper is too thick, not thick enough or the wrong color, you can still make changes at this point in the process.
4. Pass it Around
Do not edit on your own! Likely, your brain is filled to the brim with wedding stuff and you have seen this invite multiple times and perhaps you even wrote the content. Give a hard copy to at least 3 others to read-over. I encourage you to give it to people who are good spellers- this usually helps 😉
5. Be Ahead of the Schedule
Feeling like you are in a rush or a panic will often lead to mistakes. Patience friends, your invites will get sent out. This is where being ahead of schedule is so key. I wanted to send my invites out on the 1st, so I created a “fake” send out date of the 23rd. When we found the typo, we still had plenty of time to get it fixed and alas the invites were still sent out on time.
6. Say a Little Prayer and Don’t Look Back
Even when you have done all of these things a hundred times over, mistakes happen. My best gal does large scale sporting events, where she creates printed materials for thousands of people to see. Every time she sends material to get printed, she winces and tells everyone in the office not to tell her if anything is wrong, because sometimes its just too late. And in the words of my dad, “in a hundred years no one will know the difference!”