Services

Proofreading and Copy Editing

 

Definition: "Proofreading" refers to my checking copy/layout against a "Master" copy/layout to ensure that it matches said Master.

"Proofreading" covers my calling attention to actual (does not match "Master") and possible (matches Master, but still warrants flagging) errors and discrepancies in:

  • spelling and grammar

  • content and consistency

  • typeface, type size and font       

  • density

  • leading

  • color registration

  • design and layout

  • photos

  • art

  • FPOs

  • kerning

  • positioning

  • alignment

  • FIMs and barcodes

or any other aspect I feel it necessary to question.

 

Definition: "Copy Editing" refers to my checking copy/layout with no accompanying "Master" or guide to check against.

"Copy Editing" covers my calling attention to, and offering suggestions regarding, actual and possible errors in:

  • spelling

  • word usage

  • grammar

  • tone

  • clarity

  • sense

  • uniformity

  • and/or focus.

Note: always include "Copy Editing" as part of my "Proofreading" services, unless specifically requested by client to not include it (i.e., to only match the Master).

Experience

Because I've worked as a full-timer and freelancer at such a diverse array of companies (see Clientele/Accounts), I have extensive experience in content, including...

  • legal

  • pharmaceutical

  • medical

  • healthcare

  • religious

  • technical

  • financial

  • insurance (life, auto, homeowners, health)

  • credit card/bank

  • cosmetics

  • sportswear

  • office supplies, and

  • general,

and in media, such as...

  • magazines

  • newsletters

  • direct mail (OSEs, BREs, brochures, letters, apps, coupons, flyers)

  • print ads

  • radio and TV scripts

  • books

  • product labels

  • display ads

  • pamphlets

  • websites 

  • slides

  • PowerPoint presentations

  • manuals

  • catalogs

  • annual financial reports

  • marketing plans, and

  • directories,

as well as at every stage of the production process, as follows...

  • copy deck/manuscript

  • dummies

  • mock-ups

  • PDFs

  • photo-ready printouts

  • "soft"/first-round mechanicals/proofs

  • "hard"/final mechanicals/proofs

  • bluelines

  • color keys, and

  • sign-offs.

My clients find I've gained an "edge" over other proofreaders at both companies at which I full-timed (see Clientele/Accounts). For example, my very first proofreading job was at a small, yet extremely quality- and detail-oriented, graphic arts company. There, I gained most of my understanding of the entire production process, being that, when things in my own department were slow, I would be drafted to learn and do paste-up and typesetting, make stats and process repro. This allowed me to experience, first hand, the techniques, problems, concerns and time constraints which were intrinsic to each of these departments. And although the production process is ever-evolving, and has changed and advanced greatly through the years (i.e., PDFs vs. hard mechanicals and online vs. on-premises), both I and my clients have found that this knowledge and experience still proves no less relevant and invaluable today

Moreover, at both of my full-time positions, my Proofreading Department proved extremely central and pivotal, serving also as the Traffic Department. As such, I worked closely with:

  • Account Executives

  • Art Directors

  • Graphic Designers and Mechanical Artists

  • Copywriters and Copy Controllers

  • Typesetters and Word Processors 

  • Marketers

  • Buyers

  • Legal, and/or

  • the Clients, themselves!

 

It's been through this hands-on experience, interfacing and diversity in material, companies and procedures, as well as by my merely having observed as another department's work was done, or by having listened to another department's view of a particular departmental or interdepartmental problem, that I've gained more than just a proofreader's perspective. What evolved is an understanding of why certain errors occur--and some more than others--in each individual department. This, in turn, has helped me be more aware of their probability even before I begin proofing a piece, making it easier for me to zero in on certain common errors at a mere glance. (This is what I call, Seeing the forest before the trees.)

Content

Media

            Production           

            Stage

Can   yo  find the error...?

 

The image in this photo is a perfect example of a printed piece with a glaring error. (Well, actually, there are several consistency/punctuation errors, but one is an actual typo.) Odd as it may seem, large type and minimal copy are often more prone to these embarrassing, and potentially costly, overlooked mistakes. 

However, even while not actively searching for them, I've quickly, effortlessly and consistently caught errors like this one in:

  • published books and other reading material

  • billboards

  • posters

  • menus

  • store- and business-front signs

  • T-Shirts

  • TV newscasts

  • websites (even other freelance proofreaders' websites!), and

  • (my personal favorite)--of all places--Webster's Dictionary...!

So...just imagine what I can do for you and your company, when I am trying!

This is the very awareness, accuracy and attention to detail which prompted past employers and co-workers alike to dub me "Eagle Eye." These are also the unique abilities for which I was repeatedly recommended to new, potential clients by past and present employers, co-workers and clients alike, and for my having been offered a full-time position at every single company at which I have done on-premises freelance proofreading/editing. However, despite these flattering offers, my wish is to continue serving several

companies...to which I would now very much like to add yours!

 

Consulting

 

Definition: "Consulting" covers my identifying procedural and/or creative errors.  That is, errors in the layout, organization, handling, transference, and/or tracking of materials.

 

Logically, because I would need to witness said procedures to catch procedural errors, this service is only available for on-premises work. However, consulting on creative issues can be done both on- and off-premises.

 

Note: While offered as part of my proofreading services, the consulting provision is totally optional on my part, and will, therefore, be provided or not provided, at my sole discretion...unless otherwise specifically requested by your company to include, or exclude, any such suggestions.

 

Experience

 

As a consultant, the question I pose is this: Since many errors that go to print are due to procedural or creative 

flaws (versus errors in proofreading), what's the point and, most importantly, the cost-effectiveness, of dedicating X amount of hours (and dollars) to find and correct every spelling and grammatical mistake in the proofreading cycle, if then, somewhere else down the production or creative line, an error in that process causes the job to be printed with a costly error anyway? This is why I say, Great proofreading is a

process, and not merely one part of a process.

 

This aspect of my on-premises services is uniquely marketable since most proofreaders have the heaviest (or sole) concentration of experience in that which is the grammatical and content-related. However, for the reasons detailed in the above Proofreading Experience section, my error awareness extends into procedural and other errors, as well.

 

As a result, some of my suggestions to improve the quality and efficiency in the creative and/or production process (in order to further ensure the correctness of each job as it leaves each department) have, in the past, been approved and adopted as procedure at some of my free-lance client companies (see Clientele/Accounts):

Example of Production-Process Consulting: 

Hired by Aramark to...

  • check the accuracy of both full-time and free-lance in-house proofreaders, and

  • identify gaps/flaws in their production process which had resulted, or could result, in errors going to print.

 

Example of Creative-Process Consulting: 

Hired by Parachute Creative to...

  • compose a Marketing Analysis on why the prior direct-mail catalog for their Burpee Seeds Account did not sell well.