Proof reading: Who is involved?

Proof reading: Who is involved?

My recent set of articles has been looking at proofreading. I have talked about the step change it can make in the quality of your process and what is involved.  In this article, I am talking about the difference between what each group reviews and how to control that and what happens at centre versus the affiliates.

Proof reading – it is important to be clear what needs to checked and by whom

The first check is completed by the artwork operator with the second step being the full, comprehensive and independent proof read completed by a proof reader. Normally after that there would follow reviews by the functional and country representatives. It is important to distinguish for each group the checks required. Procedures must explain in detail the elements to be checked and who must perform the review. Checklists are a common way to differentiate the different tasks required for each group.

It is probably useful to look at an artwork element to illustrate this point. So let’s look at storage conditions. After creating the artwork for a launch, the artwork operator does a simple check – have the storage conditions been added in accordance with the brief? The proof reader, however, will go further and as well as checking against the artwork brief will check against the source text document and separately with what is registered.

Procedures – it is important to mention the ‘how’

It is important; procedures detail not only what people are reviewing, but also how they are going to perform the task. So when checking the EAN bar code, the SOP needs to describe what needs to be checked and how to use a bar code verifier to make sure the code reads correctly and is displaying the right information.

There is a significant difference between the checks performed by the central and local affiliate regulatory groups

In most companies and for some markets, it is the central regulatory group who will produce the core text in English for use in all the products’ artwork components. It is often the affiliate’s role to translate the core text for use in the artwork brief, although often translation houses are used. Sometimes there is a mismatch regarding the information held centrally versus what is registered locally. Therefore, the checks performed by the local affiliate can pick up issues in this area.

The local regulatory team has a key role when checking the artwork from a native speaker’s point of view. It is important that they check there has been no change or loss of meaning, due to the way the artwork has been laid on the component.  The classic example being when artwork is laid onto a leaflet, in columns as is normal, and it states ‘Take three times a day’ and then on the other column it states ‘with food’. The meaning is potentially lost and only a native speaker can confirm if there is a problem or not.

In my next article, I will look at the importance of training for all those involved in the reviewing steps.

To help you in your Artwork Improvement Program, you can also find useful information in my book Developing and Sustaining Excellent Packaging Labelling and Artwork Capabilities


Should you have any questions about this or any other of my blogs, or would simply like to request a copy of my booklets, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly on my email.

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