Why it’s important to

own your errors!

Home » Why it’s important to own your errors!

Mark Coster

Founder of Pixooma

We’re human, we’re busy. We’re distracted. We make mistakes. It’s often unavoidable, but the brilliant thing is that we get an opportunity to learn from them and not to repeat them. But first we must own them. Admit that we made a mistake and then look to rectify things, promptly and thoroughly.

As a designer I never believe that what I create for clients is 100% right first time. That’s why I build robust consultation and proofing stages into my processes. When I send the results of my creative efforts, I want feedback, questions, suggestions, amendments and additions, that way we can all benefit from true collaboration.

Whilst I admit to some design and proofing errors, like any relationship, there is an onus on my clients also to check that they are happy with the work that I have done and that I have correctly interpreted their ideas too.

We’re in this together

Ok so over the years, I’ll admit, I’ve sent proofs where I’ve inadvertently left lorem Ipsum text, images still sporting the Shutterstock logo, the odd typo and perhaps a punctuation error. All in all, nothing too onerous, but evidence nevertheless that even despite my best attempts at checking and proofing, which I do on every project, there are still some things that get past me.

Whilst I admit to some design and proofing errors, like any relationship, there is an onus on my clients also to check that they are happy with the work that I have done and that I have correctly interpreted their ideas too.

Shared responsibilities

Essentially as a client it is your responsibility to make time to carefully proof your artwork. If you find an error after the design has been published/printed, this is down to you and if you want to reprint, then you will have to cover the costs.

Not just content

So, as well as checking spelling, grammar, layout, font, colours and images you need to make sure that your headers, footer and content is accurate and that any print information such as crop marks, bleed, fold/trim lines are also correct. If you find it difficult to proof online, or via a PDF, you can ask your designer/printer to produce a single sample so you can hold it in your hand, experiment with it and make sure it does what you want it to do.

This reminds me of a project several years ago where a client wanted me to produce a leaflet for them. After a couple of rounds of proofs I didn't hear from them for a little while. I checked back in with them and to my surprise learnt that they had printed the leaflet because they were happy with it. So, what’s the problem I hear you cry? Well, the file they used wasn’t of a suitable resolution as it was only a proof, and didn’t have bleed or crop marks. They were happy, but it resulted in a less than perfect product, which was disappointing for us.

Well executed communications

But whilst the clients may have been happy enough, it didn’t sit right with me that we had missed a vital step in the process due to a misunderstanding, which could have been a costly error on their part. Since then, I make sure that all my clients understand the design, proofing and printing process and how they fit into it. Because let’s face it, if you are going to the time and effort of employing a designer, you want the results to be eye-catching, memorable and 100% perfect.

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