Proofreading: Ten Quick Tips

Proofreading is incredibly important, as we all know, because there is nothing as cringeworthy as looking back at something in print and seeing glaringly obvious mistakes. In fact, it’s downright embarrassing – particularly when the mistake was yours!

We can laugh at these examples, sure, but only because someone else made them. It’s not funny at all when it happens to you. It can make members of staff look bad and, more importantly, it can reflect very poorly on your business.

But with stellar proofreading skills you can go a long way to avoiding all of that.  Here are ten quick proofreading tips that have always served me well:

  1. It may sound weird but read your article backwards. Instead of skimming through what you’ve written, which you’re already very familiar with, go back. That way, you check each word, without the distraction of what follows next.
  2. Go and take a break. Put your feet up for a while and come back to your copy. Brilliant. Taking time away from your content will make errors and issues much clearer and easier to spot.
  3. Get a colleague to read it through, second opinions are worth their weight in gold.
  4. Double check those common errors, ones like “your” and “you’re”. Yes, those old beauties often catch us out, but they are VERY important to get right. For example, if you state “we can help you’re business” on a flyer… well, you might as well write “please don’t give me any work!”
  5. Just like journalists do, think about getting your facts right. They are crucial. So double and triple check any business facts, figures and especially names. Getting someone’s name wrong is, in football commentator parlance, a schoolboy error – especially when it’s your CEO.
  6. Read your text aloud – you may feel like a child at school, but it definitely works. It’s brilliant for checking how your copy flows too.
  7. Setting it Straight
    The Sentinel

    Use a spellchecker. May seem the cheaters way out but sometimes the machines do find things that we miss. Especially often hard to see things like single quotes (‘).

  8. Be old fashioned and print a hard copy. Even though we are encouraged against too much printing, to help the environment, nothing beats getting that red pen out and finding errors.
  9. Use a thesaurus to prevent yourself from repeating the same word too much. An overused word can get mighty annoying for readers and suggests you probably don’t have a good enough command of the English language to be writing this copy in the first place.  The result?  You appear amateurish, and you don’t want that!
  10. Make a list of those common words (like your/you’re, there/their, its/it’s) and look out for them in your copy. They are the ones that are the most common for making people and businesses look a little bit silly. So just check them over!
  11. Here’s a bonus tip – if you’re referring to a business in your copy, make sure you stay singular.  For instance, “CWDmedia has published a blog on proofreading tips” is correct.  CWDmedia is a single entity, not a collective.  “CWDmedia have published…” would be incorrect.  “Is/has” = good.  “Are/have” = bad!

Checking allows you to be confident in your copy so just do the right thing, proofread away!

Got any tips of your own that you don’t see listed above?  Why not share them below?

5 Reasons Why Print Specifying is Important

Back in January, I gave you some tips for making your graphic designer’s job easier. Well, today the focus is all about making your printer’s job easier.

We’ve all been there – you have a big project that needs to go to print, maybe it’s a last minute job, it’s usually the most important job you’ve done in ages, and it’s the worst possible time for something to go wrong. But sod’s law says it will! Errors definitely occur when forward planning is ignored, so by taking these 5 points about the importance of print specifying on board, you can help ensure your end product turns out exactly as you want it to.


Think about how many copies you want of your prints and even if you are unsure of exact amounts when putting forward your estimate, try to provide a rough range. Then at least pricing can be broke down for you.


We mentioned the importance of your paper choice previously but you definitely should do a bit of research as to what kind of paper you would prefer. As you can imagine differences in weight and style vary greatly in price, in fact the options are almost endless. It may be worth considering that if your UK printer is FSC approved/registered, by association you can use the FSC logo on your own printed literature – a great big tick in the box in these days where Corporate Social Responsibility and, more specifically, environmental policy are scrutinised that much more closely!


A very similar idea with the finish of your product. You want to make sure you have seen samples of the finishes before you set a print date. Pick a style appropriates the message that you want to send across to your customers, luxurious, modern, quirky etc, and go for it.


Think about how many pages you want for your project. Now ‘pages’ to you and me probably equates to a page leaf (covering 2 sides), but to a printer 1 page equals one printed side. Bear this in mind when you get an estimate that states your 20 page booklet is quoted for 40pp instead. They are not trying to rip you off, so don’t worry.


Be super specific with your deadlines to the printers. If you need all your documents by a certain time, specify that. And if you can be flexible, explain that to your printer too, because you never know, that could even result in some savings.


I hope these tips are helpful, but there’s lots more to consider as well as these. You can take away this whole headache by letting CWDmedia handle your print requirements. Get in touch today, and see how I can help!

How to Get Your Model to Act Naturally

It can feel a little awkward for clients standing in front of a camera posing, particularly if they’re not used to it.  And especially when the photographer is not someone they know.  But after doing numerous shoots for various projects (from wedding shots, to live performances and business profiles) you tend to pick up a few tips along the way to get your model to act naturally in front of that lens.

Talk to Your Client

This might seem like an obvious one but it really will help make everyone feel at ease. Chat over the phone before the shoot and do a little pre-snap pep talk. By doing that, you will not only show them that you care about being on the same page as them – you both want a quality outcome, right? – but also that you want it to be a comfortable experience for all involved. Instant stress relief for you and your client.

Have a Laugh!

It sounds a bit weird but there is nothing more calming than being able to have a laugh when you’re working. Make the shoot as fun as possible!  Chat as you take photos about things they care about and you will see the real model begin to shine through.  Natural smiles and laughter always look the best in photos after all.

Encourage Comfort

Ask your client to wear something that they feel good in. If they feel uncomfortable then they will certainly look that way too.  Relaxation is the key to great results.


Some poses can be really uncomfortable for clients to hold, so always be open to trying new postures.  For example, if it’s a dance style shoot and they are struggling to hold that perfectly pointed leg, take your shots quickly and then move on to other ideas.

Give Encouragement

Show off a few of your photos so far to show them they look great and definitely tell them when a shot has really hit the mark – it’s an instant confidence boost!