Recently, though, we’ve struggled to cover some issues, such as whether to capitalize black and white when referring to race (see the December 2016–January 2017 issue), are more involved than we can cover in 300 words.
That’s why we decided to expand In Style to a full page in the newsletter. Our In Style writer, Karen Yin, will be able to dig deeper into thorny questions and give you more tips to use in your daily work.
Here’s a sample from our latest issue.
Beyond Kerning: How to Proofread Design
by Karen Yin
If you love catching a zero in place of a capital O, a curly quote in place of a prime, or two single quote marks in place of a double, you can hone your eagle eye by learning to spot flaws in design.
Why should copyeditors care about design? Design directly correlates with function. A core part of the plain-language movement, good design enhances usability. And let’s be honest: We judge books by their covers because doing so works. Poor design hints at below-par contents, whereas good design suggests professionalism and credibility—results we strive for in copyediting.
Errors in typographical or graphical style might not be as awful as, say, a typo on a book cover, but those who believe this have never been haunted by not stopping a gap in 96-point type, a misaligned photo grid, or a low-resolution logo from going to print. Scrutinizing design and layout from a designer’s point of view helps us expand our roles and usefulness as editors and proofreaders.
Building on the methodology in The Chicago Manual of Style’s “How to Proofread and What to Look For” on checking typographic style inconsistencies, here are some tips for proofreading design that I developed from years of working closely with and training more than a hundred designers and editors in the advertising industry.