Typos are bad for business

What do typos say about your business?

You may not know this – in fact you most likely don’t – but typos and spelling errors really bug some of us here at Argon (some a lot more than others!).

There is nothing worse than flicking through your junk mail catalogues or reading the news online and seeing a glaring typo. It really makes you think differently about the business that has published the catalogue or article, and retracts from the overall message.

Spell Check

A selection of spelling errors picked up around Adelaide

It might seem a bit funny at the time, until it happens in your own marketing piece that you have spent weeks having prepared and spent some or even quite a bit of money on.

Here are some general rules to be aware of:

1. Spell check isn’t a magic wand!

You might think that it should be up to the designer to run a spell check on your document, and sure this can be easily done to pick up any simple spelling errors, however spell check doesn’t understand context and it doesn’t know what your phone number is or how to spell your CEO’s surname.

2. Proofreading is a priority

Don’t get distracted by whether you like the hero image used on the cover of your Annual Report, or the colour used for the headings in your marketing brochure. It is important that you read through all of the text included in the document carefully. Has all of the text been transferred from your Word document or email correctly, are important details such as your phone number and address correct? Have one or two other staff check the document as well – fresh eyes assigned to check just the text often pick up so much more.

3. Context is crucial

If spelling and grammar are not your strong suit, ask someone else in your organisation who is great at it to check the document over. A simple spell check in Microsoft Word is not going to pick up spelling errors that come down to context (eg Draw/ Drawer, To/ Too/ Two, There/ Their/ They’re). A helpful online tool for checking context spelling (though definitely not fail proof – we’ve run a few tests) can be found here.

4. Approval is your responsibility

When you receive a proof back from a designer, don’t get caught up in whether the design looks pretty! There are a lot of aspects that you as the client are responsible for approving including the general design, the design in terms of meeting your branding guidelines, and most importantly the content.

Check out some rather unfortunate typos below, make sure you don’t make it to any of these sites!

The Guardian
Adweek
Funnytypos.com

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