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I am a graphic designer and my project was to design and print a cocktail catalog. Everything worked fine till the client realized, when I delivered the printed catalogs, that a cocktail΄s description which was given to me was wrong.

The thing is, I sent many presented files of the work and was asking to check that everything was correct before printing the catalog and that because he made a lot of changes till the end of the desired layout.

I understand that it is also my fault, but isn't the client also responsible for this mistake?

  • 7
    I agree with Scott. It sounds like you gave the client every opportunity to review and approve the work which they themselves created. It's annoying that a "mistake" got through, but it happens and both you and the client should understand and accommodate for that. Mistakes happen. – bemdesign May 11 '15 at 0:23
  • Hi Triangle, welcome to GDSE and thanks for your question. If you want to know more about the site, please see the help center or ping one of us in Graphic Design Chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site! – Vincent May 11 '15 at 9:48
  • Please be certain to mark an answer "correct" if it helps you by clicking the checkmark tot eh left of the answer. – Scott May 12 '15 at 16:13
  • I am interested in the outcome of this problem, please update us when you have settled to a solution – borislemke Jul 22 '15 at 1:00
36

If the client was given opportunity to proof read final files before they went to press, it's the client's responsibility.

If you failed to allow the client to proof read before anything went to press, it's your responsibility.

Clients should always have the final say before anything is reproduced. That means the client should proofread all files once all changes have been made and files should only be sent to press if no further changes are requested and the client has expressly stated "yes, this proof is good for production." If they then miss a mistake, it's the client's responsibility to pay for corrections.

Your contract should state that you are not responsible for content errors after the client has approved files for reproduction. But even without a contract, if you have email or written approval of the artwork, the onus lies with the client, not you.

If you are not in the habit of asking for print-production approval from the client, you should start immediately.

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    I agree 100% with this but would just add that checking the work on the design side is also important and can help elevate you over your competition if your clients never find errors in your work, or you take the initiative to ask them about something that seems off. Great way to build trust in the relationship. But as Scott said the final approval should be from the Client. – Ryan May 11 '15 at 12:18
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    Except you can not really do it in this case @Ryan. I mean yes you can correct typos and such but if your get the description from your client and its wrong its kindof hard to compensate – joojaa May 11 '15 at 13:35
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    @joojaa if the description is inaccurate you may not know, but you can do more than just typos. Sometimes things just don't make sense or even contradict other statements. A little common sense can go a long way. Quick example say you got a cocktail description for a Brandy Alexander that doesn't include Brandy. Even if you don't know the drink you might be smart enough to question if that was a mistake. – Ryan May 11 '15 at 13:58
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    It's not unreasonable to say "This sentence/paragraph sounds funny to me... Is it just me?" The only thing I'll change in any supplied text are absolutely clear typos (and I tell the client where those changes are). Otherwise, I do not alter supplied text. And if the supplied text has an abundant amount of typos, I kick it back and ask the client to review it again before I begin using it. – Scott May 11 '15 at 19:19
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    I'd emphasise that proofreading and factchecking are professions, there are professional proofreaders and factcheckers, and unless your contract specifies proofreading and/or factchecking as additional services (in which case, charge extra!!), you can't be expected to take on this extra professional duty, just like you can't be expected to fix your client's computer or cook them lunch (if you chose to anyway, it'd be a zero-obligation friendly favour). It's a very good strategy to explicitly state there are no proofreading responsibilities in your contract - but it's not essential. – user568458 May 12 '15 at 17:07
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When the client is the knowledge expert, the client must be responsible for the accuracy of that content assuming the client had the opportunity to review the material. I authored a technical manual and hired two editors. One of them knew nothing of the content. Her job was strictly clarity, continuity and grammatical accuracy. With the second editor, who had strong knowledge of the covered material, there was shared responsibility for content accuracy, but still the final buck stopped with me.

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In simple terms, the person that is responsible for the typos is the person that signed off on the proofs.

In your deleted answer, you mention that you might try a fix such as blanco. This is actually something that is done quite often. If it's just one or two typos, you may be able to get by with having stickers printed that can cover the typo. The cost will be in time, as you'll have to have someone apply all those stickers. But it is a solution that is used at times.

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I always have my clients sign off of proofs. Once signed they are responsible for any mistakes they may have overlook. If they need proof reading or editing, I charge extra. As a graphic designer I am responsible for the design and layout, not their content.

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You are a graphic designer, not an editor. You gave the client every chance (as you should have) to correct their mistakes and they did not. Typically, when I have noticed copy errors that clients/employers have made, or when I have tried to make changes to the copy, in any way, I typically just received a blunt response that it's not what I was hired for, and it's true. You cant be responsible for your clients lackluster editing skills or the mistake your client made by not hiring an editor if they didn't have the time to at least check the copy when being asked if it was ready to be printed.

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Well, in the place where i work .. we were brand new to these stuff .. and 100% of the time we didn't require the client to proof reading or anything like that.. and of course mistakes happen .. sometimes when you write so much text you start missing certain things after 4 - 5 hours of writing and adding all sorts of elements in the design or your just in a hurry. What i started doing after reading different posts on SO and all over the internet was to say to them that i will do a proof reading but for this you need a clear mind person ( which didn't interact with the text before ) to proof it after me and after that send it to client for final yes since then no problems got in the way after the press print. It's a requirement for me when i do freelance or for the office that the client should always check images, texts and anything. Sometimes when i'm the mood i correct for them things if i don't have anything else to do and 80% of the time i ask stupid questions like .. are you sure this goes here or umm this text look weird can you check it out. I don't git a ... if he doesn't like it if he doesn't i just write what he sent me then send it back he gives his ok if something goes wrong i tell him well i asked you about this you didn't had time i sent you a proof well problem you had the chance to check it out before.

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    Hi Bogdan, welcome to GD.SE and thanks for your answer. I don't want to be rude, but can you please add some more structure to your post, and clarfiy what your actual answer is? As-is, it reads more like a rant than an answer to the question. We are a Q&A site, not a forum, after all. Thanks! If you have questions about the site, have a look at the help center or feel free to ping any of us in Graphic Design Chat. Keep contributing and enjoy the site! – Vincent Nov 13 '15 at 13:33

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