Graphic Design Tips: Copyrighted Images vs. Royalty Free Images

Posted by Universal Printing on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 @ 09:57 AM

We’ve said it before, and will probably say it again:  Technology changes EVERTHING! This is especially true in the field of Graphic Design.  The growth of personal computers and desktop publishing software made EVERYONE an amateur graphic designer. Now, the internet has become a wealth of knowledge and resources; especially for people looking for photos. This brings us to a VERY important topic: Image Use and Copyright Law.

While most professional graphic designers already know all about this, the constant influx amateur freelance designers are often completely unaware.  Here are a few VERY important things to know.

  1. UP copyright blogGoogle is NOT “Public Access to Free Pictures!”
    Google, and other search engines, are exactly what they claim to be:  Search Engines.

    If something exists on the internet, Google WILL find it.  Unless you’re savvy enough to clearly keep your photos offline, or only available to restricted groups of people, Google will catalog and reference every image it finds.

  2. ALL photographs are owned by SOMEONE.
    ALL images are initially owned by their creator, whether it’s a photograph or digital art. The creator is the person who must give permission to use the image.  There are exceptions, of course, like those cases where a company or organization has hired an artist or photographer. These images then become the property of those who bought the rights.

    Sometimes a photographer will sell the rights with a company that deals with “Stock Photography,” which means they make these images available for public use. Sometimes these images are available for free, but more often they will charge per use or require a subscription to their service.  Either way, this becomes a reasonably affordable AND very legal way to have access many images.

  3. “I didn’t know” and “I’ve done this before” are not valid excuses.
    Laws regarding Copyright and Image Usage Rights are just like every other law; not knowing you’re doing something wrong doesn’t make it legal.  You certainly don’t want you OR the client who paid you to create something, to suffer the consequences if your choices.

Help is on the way!

As we mentioned, there are a bunch of Stock Photography options available online. Below are just a few that we’ve used for some of our projects:

bigstockphoto.com        

photospin.com

istockphoto.com

freedigitalphotos.net

BUT… if you REALLY think Google is the best option, there’s a way to help find those images which are available to use commercially.

Step 1. Go to Google and search for what you’re looking for (for example “Cool Cars”)

Step 2. Select “Images” (just like you normally would) but this time click that little gear icon on the right, and select Advanced Searches.

Step 3. Under the Advanced Search options, find the “Usage Rights” dropdown, and select the appropriate “free to use” option.  If you need images for commercial use, like advertising or marketing, make sure you chose one of the “even commercially” choices.

Step 4. Click the Advanced Search button and you’ll still see several images, but this time they are all images that can be used with permission of their owners.  NOTE:  You may still need to credit the owner, which will be noted with you click the images you chose.

For more information about Copyright Law, Fair Use, and general Graphic Design ethics, check out this site:  ethicsingraphicdesign.org   They have a ton of resources and information to help you AND your employer or client.

 

 

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Universal Printing
Offering quality printing and communications solutions to
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the Triangle since 1979.
www.universalprinting.com

Tags: graphic design, tips and tricks, commercial printing, business solutions, Graphic Design Durham, Photos

Learn How Small Businesses Can Vastly Improve Their Sales and Marketing Response Rates By Completing the Simple Exercise Below.

Posted by Robert Moura on Fri, Jul 06, 2012 @ 01:30 PM

Are you clear about what value you bring to your clients?

Do you speak your customers language?

Most of us speak in our marketing and presentations about what “we” do and the great tools “we” have to do “it” with.

Consider what drives you to buy from Vendor A over Vendor B.

Universal Printing Understanding Client NeedsIs it about them and their tools, or is it about you and how their tools solve your problems?

Consider the following when preparing your sales and marketing campaigns:

Speak in Your Clients Language

  • Understand their needs
  • Use their language and terms
  • Tailor the pitch to their business
  • Propose a solutions that solves their problems and needs, not yours

Here's the Simple Exercise:

Can you fill in the information (in parenthesis) below regarding your company?

How (who you sell to) can (insert verb) (insert problem) through (insert solution).

Universal Printing example for pharmaceutical marketing:

How (leading Pharmaceutical companies) can (improve their patient recruitment results and lower cost) thorough (leveraging the benefits of QR codes, mobile optimized web sites and social media).

Now do this exercise for your company and your customers and watch your results soar.

PS: Did you notice that the title of this article conforms to the exercise? Got your attention, didn't it?

Keeping it Simple and Clear -

Happy Sales!

Bob Moura

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Universal Printing
Offering quality printing and communications solutions to
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the Triangle since 1979.
www.universalprinting.com

 

Tags: tips and tricks, business solutions, Tips for improving direct mail and email marketing, emarketing

Understanding Resolution – Digital Printing from Digital Photos

Posted by Universal Printing on Fri, Feb 10, 2012 @ 03:48 PM

In our previous blog post, we started our New Year’s Resolution of “Understanding Resolution” (if you missed it, just click the link to check it out.)  This time, we’re helping you put this information to good use by helping you get better images from the very beginning, starting with your Digital Camera.  Maybe you just got a new one over the Holiday Season, or perhaps you’ve had one for a while now.  It’s never too late to review your settings and make sure that your getting the best your camera can offer.

How MEGA are YOUR pixels?

Guess what?  Megapixels don’t matter!  That’s right… I said it, and I’ll stand behind it.  Of course, we need to really know what a “megapixel” is.  “Mega” stands for million, as in 1 million “bytes” is 1 “megabyte.”  So 1 million “pixels” is 1 “megapixel.”  The digital cameras of the late 80’s / early 90’s started out as 640 pixels X 480 pixels (i.e. 640 x 480 = 307,200 pixels). 

So now, let's consider your amazingly impressive HDTV.  Maybe you have a 38" screen or even a 50" screen.  The size of the screen doesn't matter, because it simply means larger pixels.  Even at the highest 1080p, you're looking at 1920 pixels wide, by 1080 pixels high. So you're amazing HDTV, which is sharp, clear, and crisp in your living room, is only supporting an image that's... wait for it... (1920 x 1080 = 2,073,600) 2 megapixels! 

Camera manufacturers know that any print larger than 12" x 18" is going to be viewed at some distance.  It's generally understood that anything over 3 megapixels is adequate at that size, so when we start talking about 5 megapixel, 6 megapixel, 8... and so on; it's more about the hype and sounding impressive.  At the end of the day, it's really all about the quality of the image.    I GREAT photo taken with a 3MP camera will always outshine a blurry, unbalanced, unfocused photo taken with a 12MP camera.  For another point of view on this check out this blog by David Poque of the NY Times.

Get the best resolution from your camera:

If you have not yet taken the digital image, adjust your camera to the highest quality setting.

Taking the photo on the highest setting will maximize both the quality of the image, as well as the range of sizes at which you will be able to use it in printing projects. If possible, save your image as a lossless TIF or EPS file before doing any editing to best preserve color and sharpness.

Determine the resolution and maximum usable dimensions for any images you want to use in your project. Images should have resolution of 300 dpi at their final size in the file; 400 dpi if the image includes text. Resolution and image size are inversely proportional to each other. In other words, enlarging an image will decrease the resolution and shrinking an image will increase the resolution.

2 x 2" image @ 300 dpi = GOOD

...enlarged to 4 x 4" = 150 dpi = BAD

17 x 13" image @ 72 dpi = BAD

...reduced to 4 x 3" = 300 dpi = GOOD

To determine resolution from pixel dimensions, divide pixel width and pixel height by 300. This will give you the maximum size that you will be able to use your image, while maintaining a quality resolution of 300 dpi. Divide by 400 for images that include text.

Example:

  • Start with 1200 pixels x 1600 pixels as the dimensions for an image with no text.
  • Divide your dimensions (1200 ÷ 300 = 4 and 1600 ÷ 300 = 5.33). If the image included text, then you would divide by 400 instead.
  • So, the maximum usable dimensions for the image are 4" x 5.33". It will print crisp & clear at this size or smaller.

Digital cameras primarily use the RGB color space. To print on a four-color printing press, all RGB images need to be converted to CMYK.  When we receive RGB images, we do a standard-value conversion to CMYK, which may not be perfectly to your liking. You're welcome to convert it yourself to control the color in ways that matter more to you.  For a better understanding of the differences between RGB and CMYK images, check out More About Color: RGB-vs-CMYK

 

 

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Universal Printing
Offering quality printing and communications solutions to
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the Triangle since 1979.
www.universalprinting.com

 

Tags: graphic design, business solutions, digital printing, Graphic Design Durham, Digital camera, cross-media marketing, Photohop

New Printing & Marketing Technology: I want it, but where do I go?!

Posted by Universal Printing on Fri, Nov 04, 2011 @ 12:30 PM

Technology makes a lot of things easier and more efficient.  Take QR codes for example.  EVERYONE has taken notice of QR codes, and more people want to know how to use them better.  This is true for a lot of the new technology now available for design, print, or direct mail.

Sure, there are free online service to create QR codes; but if you want to brand them, build in tracking code to see the impact, or use them along with your other marketing efforts to maximize your reach to your clients, then you need to find a graphic communications partner that can help you get the best results possible.

Universal Printing QR Code
Scan or click to see just ONE example
of how QR codes can work.


Direct Mail is another place where technology is making HUGE impacts.  Variable Data Printing can turn each postcard or letter into an individually customized ice-breaker.  Universal’s Symphony does just that AND MORE! Symphony takes your flat mail piece and turns it into a multi-channel cross-media marketing machine.  Immediately, you can see the advantages of customize your message to every individual on your list and track then your results in "real-time."

Universal Printing cross-media marketing SymphonyImagine this: You are using your Marketing and Advertising budget to reach your audience in multiple ways – Billboards, Direct Mail, TV or Radio adverting, email marketing, to name a few.  Without solid, dependable metrics data, you can’t even BEGIN to start making meaningful sense of your marketing spend.  Sometimes, having two or three solutions in place won't give you the apples-to-apples comparisons. This is why you need to consider a more robust solution provider, who can give you all of the tools, products, and services that you need!

After all, it just makes good sense to have ONE mail list that contains all the elements for variable data printing, pURL generation, direct mail processing sorts and requirements, QR code generation, variable image data, and more.  No more worrying about how to compare one list versus another, what special software you’re going to need to purchase, or how you’re going to even get all your valuable data back out you’re finished with your campaign.

Universal Printing has all of the tools needed to give you the fully-formed, robust solutions that you’re looking for.  Contact us TODAY and speak with any member of our helpful staff. Our team of eMarketing Experts will be more than happy to consult with you on any upcoming projects or campaigns, or help you create a custom solution that will take full advantage of all these new wonderful new technologies that you crave!

 

 

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Universal Printing
Offering quality printing and communications solutions to
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the Triangle since 1979.
www.universalprinting.com

 

Tags: business solutions, email marketing, emarketing, direct mail, multi channel marketing, variable data, QR code, cross-media marketing

Understanding Paper Weight... Mysteries Revealed!

Posted by Universal Printing on Fri, Jun 17, 2011 @ 02:27 PM

A few months ago we posted a 2-part Blog about Choosing the Right Paper but we still get a lot of questions about one VERY confusing topic:  Paper Weight and Thickness.

FACT: It’s complicated!

ANOTHER FACT:  It’s complicated for NO GOOD REASON!

Don’t feel bad if it doesn’t make sense.  There’s nothing wrong with you…  it’s just that there are a lot of terms used in the world of paper. Some of them mean the same thing, and some of them don’t.  But here’s the good news!  Universal Printing is FILLED with people who love paper, know paper, understand paper, and deal with paper DAILY; and we’re more than happy to share anything we know about it with YOU!

Paper Weight Comparison Chart

Here’s a handy-dandy comparison chart to help you figure which paper weights are equivalent.

Universal Printing's Paper Weights Chart 

Dying to know more?

For the sake of this blog, we’re not going to talk about color, shade, texture, finish, or anything else like that.  We’re JUST talking about weight and thickness.  But to start, we’ll break it down to 2 main categories:

Text  
“Regular” Paper

Bond
Writing
Ledger
Book
Offset
Multipurpose
Text

Cover
("Cardstock")

Cardstock
Cover
Index
Board
Bristol
Blanks
Tag

Weight and Thickness are DIFFERENT

The different classes of text or cover each come with their own “weight” determined by Basis Weight.  Basis Weight is the weight of 500 sheets, at the base size for that type of stock.  Bond or Writing paper has a Base Size of 17” x 22”, so if 500 sheets weighs 20lbs than it’s called 20# Bond or 20# Writing no matter what size it’s cut down to.  Offset and Text sheets have a Base Size of 25” x 38”, so if 500 sheets at that size weighs 50lbs, than it’s called 50# Offset or 50# Text.

You’ll notice, that in our comparison chart further down, the 20# Bond and 50# Offset are the same thickness, which now makes perfect sense, because the Base Size of Offset is over double the size for Bond… so the Basis Weight for Offset will also be more than twice the weight of Bond.

GSM – Grams per Square Meter

Whether you’re familiar with the metrics system or not, you probably know that it one of the principles is to keep the math simple and make all things equal.  GSM is the metric systems classification for paper, because they don’t care about how it’s made or what it’s used for. They just want to know a simple way to determine volume.  So one sheet of these same papers (20# Bond or 50# Offset) cut to 1 meter x 1 meter, will weigh 75 grams  (which is 75gsm…  grams per square meter).  Again, this isn’t a measure of thickness…. but generally speaking, the more grammage a single sheet has at a fixed size the more density it has, which often relates to thickness of the sheet (but can also involve bulk and manufacturing process).

Again… it can get very complicated.  If you’re interested in knowing even more, you’re welcome to explore some of our past blogs about paper.  Or you can always speak with any member of our helpful staff.

 

 

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Universal Printing
Offering quality printing and communications solutions to
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the Triangle since 1979.
www.universalprinting.com

 

Tags: printing, tips and tricks, commercial printing, printing services, business solutions, digital printing, offset printing

5 MORE sites every Graphic Design & Printing Professional should know

Posted by Universal Printing on Fri, May 20, 2011 @ 03:24 PM

Our previous blog (6 sites EVERY Graphic Designer or Printing Professional should know) was so well received, that we decided to share five MORE. Check out these sites for even MORE tools and information!


dafont.com

If you're looking for JUST the right font for your next printing or graphic design project, your first stop should be dafont.com.  They are like the Facebook of Fonts, with a cool community atmosphere where typographers can share their latest creations and talk about type.  The Forums section allows you to interact with peers and professionals for help recognizing a font, or getting feedback on new fonts and logotypes. Plus, their grouping and categorizing of all those fonts makes it SO easy to find what you need.

 

graphicdesignforum.com

Maybe we're a little biased... but these guys have been linking to our templates and resources for years. It's an online community of talented designers and prepress professionals that share a wealth of knowledge. You can also get critiques on your current or past design projects. But it's not for the faint of heart; These guys are tough, fair, sometimes harsh, and the occasional newb will get pwned! But still, it's a great resource for finding answers to just about any question.

 

designiskinky.net

If there's ONE thing better than an irreverent Aussie, it's MANY irreverent Aussies that knows a helluva lot about ART! These guys have daily updates about anything and everything going on in art, print, web, and design. Just this past week they covered events in their native Australia, over in Morocco, an all the way up to Portland, Maine! They don't miss a beat, and neither should you!

 

howdesign.com

Most every design professional either currently HAS, or HAD a subscription to HOW Magazine. All of us at Universal Printing are proud supporters of paper; so while there's no substitution for the printed magazine in your hands, we can't deny the shear awesomeness of HOW's online presence. They have forums, blogs, tools, lessons, lists of events, and so much more.

 

psd.tutsplus.com

Who doesn't love Photoshop?!  EVERYONE knows how cool it is, but let's face it... unless you're a graphic designer or prepress professional with at least 5 years of solid experience, then you haven't even STARTED to scratch the surface. (And sorry, you Photoshop SE and Photoshop Elements users, but you're even FURTHER behind!) Fortunately, the folks at Psdtuts+ have a TON of easy-to-follow tutorials on every possible effect and technique. Definitely a "Must-Bookmark" for your browser.

 

 

 

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Universal Printing
Offering quality printing and communications solutions to
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the Triangle since 1979.
www.universalprinting.com

 

Tags: graphic design, tips and tricks, setting up your files, commercial printing, printing services, business solutions, product reviews

QR Codes: More than Just Internet Marketing Chic!

Posted by Universal Printing on Fri, Apr 29, 2011 @ 03:10 PM

QR codes are quickly gaining traction here in the US.  With almost 1/3 of Americans (ages 12 and up) carrying smartphones, and given the spontaneous and instantaneous nature of the web, it’s very little surprise that QR codes are becoming accepted at an amazing rate!  Add to this, the viral nature of most marketing strategies, and you get an even broader appeal.  Heck, even the US Postal Service sees the QR code potential, and is planning to run a special Mobile Barcode Promotion later this summer.

 

What are QR codes?

UP sample QR code | Scan it to get directions

QR codes (Quick Response) are 2-dimensional barcodes that were originally designed for inventory tracking.  You’ve probably used QR codes without even realizing it – like when you’ve rented a movie from any of those RedBox machines. The little checkerboard-looking code in the middle of that DVD case is a QR code which is scanned inside the machine to help it know which movies are available at that location. At any time, RedBox knows who has what DVD, where and when they returned it, or if it’s been reserved online and needs to be made unavailable until it’s picked up… all using QR codes.

Most smartphone and web-enabled phones have QR code readers available, allowing anyone to take a picture of any QR code and instantly trigger whatever event was intended.  In most cases, it might be a link to a specific website or video, but can also be used to add someone’s information to your phone's contact list, or to enroll in SMS/text message promotions.  The possibilities are endless, and MANY marketers are jumping at the chance to find now and creative ways to use QR codes.

 

Why use QR codes?

Aside from the “cool” factor which might appeal those who get excited by tech, there are so many practical reasons for using QR codes:

UP sample QR codes | Scan This and SEE!

Connect people anytime, anywhere – So many people have smartphones, and they almost always have them with them.  So if they want to snap the QR code in that moment, they are connected to whatever information you want them to see!    

Update info INSTANTLY – If you plan your QR code and links correctly, you can constantly update or change the information that’s being linked.   So you can update product information, switch linked videos, change the SMS/texting messages, or anything else you want to keep current…. WITHOUT having to change out all your QR coded pieces.

Possibilities are LIMITLESS – You can literally add a QR code to ANYTHING:  Posters, Banners, Flyers, Business Cards, Postcards, Envelopes, T-shirts, Tablecloths, Menus, Napkins, Place Settings, Table-top Displays, Vehicle Wraps, Window Clings, Billboards, and on, and on….  And when THAT list ends, you start to consider how many things you can LINK to: product videos, assembly or usage instructions, social media channels, e-promotional signups, discount and savings memberships,
new promotional information, employees interviews, testimonials, driving directions, contact information, and so much more!

 

I’m convinced!  Now what?

So you want to find out the most creative and innovative ways to use QR codes to help you stand out, arm your customers with up-to-the-minute info, or simple earn some extra COOL points?  Well, a great place to start is by giving us a call and speaking with any member of our helpful staff.  Our team of eMarketing Experts will be more than happy to consult with you on any project, and help you take your flat printed pieces to the NEXT LEVEL!

 

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Universal Printing
Offering quality printing and communications solutions to
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the Triangle since 1979.
www.universalprinting.com

 

Tags: business solutions, digital printing, Social Media, internet marketing, email marketing, Tips for improving direct mail and email marketing, emarketing

Is Printing Offshore a Good Idea, or Just Plain Lame?

Posted by Robert Moura on Fri, Apr 15, 2011 @ 02:59 PM

Offshore Printing - Just Plain Lame

We’ve noticed over the past several years that some of our clients have tried the offshore printing gig (like in China, for example.) As far as we can tell, they have all come back to buying locally with someone they can trust, have a face to face conversation with, and avoid experiencing any of the challenging cultural differences.

This experience has been both rewarding and frustrating for us. Frustrating because we usually don’t find out until a client has already printed overseas, been burned or let down, and then come back. Rewarding because they do come back, with similar stories and a realization that the trust, professionalism, quality and reliability we provide as a “given”, which they had previously taken for granted, has real value to their companies.

The most common issues we've heard are: longer than promised delivery times, unanticipated shipping expense, and customs tariffs and delays. Add poor quality, short count delivery, inferior packaging causing freight damage and spoilage, and the impossibility of making up those shortages in a timely fashion, and you’ve pretty well summed up the top challenges.  Communication is also usually sketchy but, somehow in the buyer’s mind, worth the allure of savings and the adventure of international intrigue! (P.S. The last thing we are told is that the savings never really materialized, which made the rest of the above even more painful for them to endure!)

Having lived overseas for over 15 years I understand that international trade is a good thing. Unfortunately, the printing industry is already highly commoditized in the U.S., despite including all the value benefits mentioned above. So the question becomes: Why would you want to go overseas, where you typically give up all the benefits your local printer offers and add all the risks? Not to mention, your work will probably be produced on equipment that the rest of the world has previously discarded.

I am sure that some may have different takes and experiences regarding offshore printing, but these are my experiences and my views for what they are worth. Let us know if you have any experiences, good or bad.

So if you want to “Think Globally and Act Locally” and be a contributor to your local economy — where your kids and ours go to school, your friends and family live, play, worship, and pay taxes  — then maybe you are on the team that thinks Offshore Printing is just plain lame!

Tchau for now!

Bob Moura

 

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Universal Printing
Offering quality printing and communications solutions to
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the Triangle since 1979.
www.universalprinting.com

 

Tags: commercial printing, Universal Printing, printing services, business solutions, digital printing, offset printing

6 sites EVERY Graphic Designer or Printing Professional should know

Posted by Universal Printing on Fri, Mar 04, 2011 @ 02:50 PM

These six websites are LOADED with great tools and information.  If they aren't bookmarked in your browser yet, they SHOULD be!


www.foldfactory.com

Trish Witkowski (self-described “Folding Fanatic”) is the driving force behind this creative informational site. If their handy InDesign plug-ins don’t interest you, maybe their YouTube Channel will.  It's full of creative ideas for custom folds that can make any of your design pieces standout from the pack.  They even have additional Fun Fold Facts available to impress and inspire you.

 

new.myfonts.com/WhatTheFont

Trying to figure out what font was used for that logo or headline?  Simply upload an image file of the type in question, and they will search their extensive library of fonts to find the closest matches along with links of where to the purchase them, if needed.  They also feature Hot New Fonts and a vast array of additional typography tools and resources.

 

www.universalprinting.com

Of COURSE we are going to toot our own horn a bit, but it’s our blog and we make the rules!  In all seriousness though… our traffic doesn’t lie, and the numbers of links and referrals we get only help support our belief that we have one of the most informative websites of any printing company out there today.  We have assembled a bunch of handy tools (like our Proportion Calculator, Folding Guides, and Envelope Diagrams) and our Blog continues to have more and more helpful hints and information.  In fact, feel free to fill out the Subscribe by Email form at the upper right of this page to have our blog posts delivered right to your inbox.

 

www.brandsoftheworld.com

These folks proudly claim “the world's largest library of brand logos in vector format available to download for free.” It doesn’t get any clearer than that!  It doesn’t matter whether you need the logo for AAA or ZhuZhu Pets or anything in between, these guys probably have it available as a vector file.

 

www.graphics.com

As host to several utilities, downloadable resources, and user forums, this website is a place where any graphic designer or graphic communications professional can submerge themselves in for hours.  Their forums are a great resource for sharing information, tips, and critiques (whether solicited or not!)  Their ever-changing gallery of images helps to get your creative juices flowing. They even have current job listings for Full-Time or Freelance Graphic Design positions available all across the country.

 

www.colorschemedesigner.com

Petr Staníček describes himself as a “professional designer and developer, amateur musician and bardling, dropout typographer, happy father of two beautiful daughters, mathemagician, lazy linguistician, and almost professional cook.”  To us, he’s the cool creator of this handy web app that does EXACTLY what it says: Helps you design color schemes.  Every graphic artist and web designer runs into a mental block at some point, trying to figure out new ways to make your pages stand out. This tools is very easy to use and when your satisfied with the results, you can export the palette as HTML or XML, or as an ACO to import right into Photoshop.

 

 

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Universal Printing
Offering quality printing and communications solutions to
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the Triangle since 1979.
www.universalprinting.com

 

Tags: graphic design, tips and tricks, setting up your files, commercial printing, printing services, business solutions, product reviews

These 5 Tips Will Make You a Better Proofreader!

Posted by Universal Printing on Fri, Feb 18, 2011 @ 10:30 AM

Let’s face it... NOBODY enjoys proofreading. Ok, maybe there’s a rare few that get a kick out of it from time-to-time, but nobody really "likes" it. Still, it’s a very important step in any graphic design project or page layout process, and one that sometimes gets overlooked. It’s easy to “pass the buck” on this, and assume someone else should have proofread; but anyone involved in putting files together for printing should take a moment to proof their work. Granted, I’m only talking about proofing for completion and accuracy. Grammar and punctuation can be addressed in someone else’s blog! For us, we just want to help get it on press quickly, and address any concerns BEFORE the project is plated and printed. These tips will help make your proofreading process a little easier.Focus on Proofreading your design project before going to press!

1)      Print it out – It’s way easier to read from paper than on screen (sorry Kindle and Nook people, but it’s true)

2)      Read it out loud to yourself – When you incorporate other senses it helps keep you from making assumptions about what you’re reading.

3)      Read it slowly – In fact, it’s helpful to run your finger along under the text to keep your eyes focused on each word one at a time

4)      Read out of sequence – If you’re proofing tables or charts, try reading in columns instead of rows. Also, sometimes taking paragraphs in reverse-order, or reading body copy separate from headings will keep you from making assumptions about what you’re reading.)

5)      Take extra care with special text – If you have special instances like fine-print, call outs, italicized type, and such, be sure to proofread them more than once.

6)      Double check small words – “or” “of” “on” and “it” “if” “is” are often interchanged without people realizing it.

7)      Watch out for homonyms – Spellcheck only checks spelling errors, not homonyms; so take extra care to check for instances like “their” “they’re” and “there.”

8)      Avoid fluorescent lights when possible Fluorescent lights are harder on your eyes and can lead to eye strain if you’re reading for a long period of time. If you can avoid it and there's a lot of text to proofread, try to take occasional breaks.

 

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Universal Printing
Offering quality printing and communications solutions to
Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill, and the Triangle since 1979.
www.universalprinting.com

 

Tags: printing, graphic design, setting up your files, Universal Printing, printing services, business solutions