A heart stopping moment or collector’s item?

Printing errors: brown-trouser moments or collectors’ items?

Anyone who has ordered print will know that goolie shrivelling experience when they spot a printing error …

Sometimes it’s a nasty typo. Just try typing Shire and realising two weeks too late that you’ve hit the adjacent “t” key instead of “r” by mistake and you’ll know what I mean.

Or it can be an incorrect telephone number, email address or, heaven forbid, a pricing error.

Can any be classed as less bad than the next?

Probably not.

When the brown stuff hits the air conditioning the fall-out can be catastrophic.

But, perversely for some, they can be hugely profitable.

In 1918 it was discovered that 100 24-cent stamps created to celebrate the US Postal Service had been printed with the image of a Curtis JN-4 aircraft upside down.

This became affectionately known as the inverted Jenny and one was sold for almost £1m in 2016.

Just for the record, proofing errors shouldn’t happen.

But they do. And some are more catastrophic than others.

So …

If you’re ever put in the proofing hot seat here are a few golden rules:

  1. Always double-check things like phone numbers, email addresses, website URLs and postcodes. Twice. And read them out aloud as you check them.

  2. Even better, call the number, send an email and see if you get an answer.

  3. Check names, titles, and prices if there are any.

  4. Never check your own work. It’s best if done with a fresh pair of eyes.

  5.  Avoid checking proofs on screen if you can.

 And NEVER check anything if you are in a rush.

Forensic proof checking is a skill so if you have an eagle-eyed colleague who can spot an aberrant apostrophe at 100 paces then grab them with both hands and don’t let go.

But for now, …

If you want a sounding board or just want to bend my ear, I’m on hand for a chat about anything to do with Print or Web Design.

Stay safe.