Writing is dificult. Not everybody can do it – sometimes you just have to except that it takes alot of practice. Their are many writing manuals out there, and you can pour over the details until you are blue in the face. And some people could care less about the whole art of writing! But we know better – the quality of an exhibit’s text is one of the biggest things that can effect the entire experience.
You might have guessed it by now, but today is National Proofreading Day. Yep, we at Taylor Studios aren’t truly that bad at writing – and, in fact, we had a lot of fun putting together that first paragraph with so many grammar and spelling errors! Can you find them all?
In all seriousness, writing is both an art and a science, and the quality of your exhibits’ copy can make or break the experience that visitors have at your site. Sure, a missing comma won’t kill you – but sloppy text with even a single glaring typo can ruin a visitor’s trust in your expertise. You end up looking lazy at best and academically suspect at worst. The public still views our sites as among the most trustworthy sources of information – let’s try not to change that!
Here at Taylor Studios, we invest much time, energy, and focus on writing (what we hope is) nearly spotless exhibit text. Sure we make occasional mistakes, but they truly are outliers. Why? It definitely is not because our writers are flawless (you saw that first paragraph of mine!). Rather, it is because we have a tried-and-true process that makes sure that many eyes see every single word that we write for our clients’ exhibits – and not just once, but in multiple rounds of reviews.
How does it work? Basically, our Interpretive Planners research and write an outline. This outline goes into an internal review, with the entire design department’s eyes on it. Edits made, the Interpretive Planners begin writing the actual copy – i.e. the text that will appear in the exhibits. Draft complete, the entire design department reviews this document one-by-one. Corrections are made, and then the copy is sent to the client, whose team proofs it one-by-one as well. The Interpretive Planner incorporates their edits and comments, fleshes out any remaining sections, and then once again submits the document to the internal design department team for review. Review complete and corrections made, the copy is then sent to the client for a second time. They again review and have their suggestions and edits incorporated. And just to make sure that no grammar, spelling, or content errors have slipped by all of these rounds of proofing, multiple more reviews follow: a final client review of all copy, at this point laid out with all imagery and graphics; a “pre-print” review by the entire design department before the graphics (with their accompanying text) are printed; and one last proofing once the printed graphics arrive in our shop. It is an exhausting process – but necessary to ensure that our clients’ exhibits are flawless.
So, yes, we here at Taylor Studios will take today to celebrate National Proofreading Day! For today at least, we will pause, thinking proudly of the hard work that we do to make our clients’ exhibits a success. And then we’ll go back to the grind – poring over our work with close eyes, while pouring ourselves extra cups of coffee for the worthwhile labors ahead!
Want to learn more about copywriting best practices? Download the Copywriting Cheat Sheet below.