I was going over some written text provided by the client this morning and I found some pretty blatant grammar mistakes. Usually I will write down these mistakes in a designer note section when I provide the proofs.
When a client sends over the text to be used in a graphic design job, is it the designer’s job to point out spelling and grammatical errors (assuming there is no copywriter on their team).
Is a graphic designer expected to always do a “spell check”?
For technical design assignments (e.g. healthcare), should a graphic designer be expected to look up/suggest corrections for organizations and/or industry terms?
Is it common for a freelance designer or agencies to include such clauses in their contract for grammar and spelling mistakes?
If there is a spelling mistake, how have you informed your client of a potential spelling mistake (is this too broad)?
Short answer—No, it isn’t your job.
Is a Graphic Designer expected to always do a “check spelling”?
If the client needs copywriting or editing, by all means specifically charge for the service. Otherwise it is down to the client. In the past I have corrected spelling mistakes only to be told later that it was intentionally misspelled—I then had to front the cost of corrections. Since then I won’t change anything unless I am explicitly asked to do so. I will send a nice friendly email letting the client know that there are mistakes if they are obvious, but nothing more than that without an explicit request.
For technical design assignments (Ex: Healthcare), Should a graphic designer be expected to look up/suggest corrections for organizations and/or industry terms?
For anything outside your area of expertise, the answer is a definite no. Even if the client specifically requests it, you should say no. It would take you longer and cost more for you to research industry specific terminology etc. than it would to hire a copywriter knowledgable in the subject (reading a Wikipedia page isn’t good enough).
All of this should be clearly stated in any contracts and I of course make this perfectly clear up front. Everyone needs to enter any project with the correct expectations.