7 Print Production Tips for Bloggers

My boss, the marketing manager for the magazine I was employed with loathed all things related to bad copy. Grammar errors, misspelled words, sending final files to print with text in the crop lines and so on. Understandable. I whipped my skills in shape by finishing a one-thousand file project in a week but, yet I still make mistakes. Alas, we are all human.

To this day, I cringe when I see two spaces after a period. This is the kind of stuff my husband and I debate about. The validity of one space or two. Especially when he asks me to edit his writing.

Most of these rules apply to print production yet I think many carry over to blog content. Here are a few tips from the boss lady to make your content prettier:

1. One space only after periods. It is just an etiquette some crazy person made up to make our lives harder. Many editors will sneer at you from afar if you put two spaces between sentences.

2. Running levels in photo editing software to the extreme. Sure it looks artsy-fartsy but only you get it. Choose a different photo.

3. Adhere to keeping copy and images inside crop lines. Bleeding an image is fine but copy belongs away from the edges of your art file. If you want people to read it.

4. Keep it simple, spell it out. “But I can’t do that cause I don’t talk like that.” Unless you are quoting someone, too many contractions make it a tough read.

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5. Spell and grammar check. We are human and do not catch everything. Take a few extra seconds to go back over the work. Try a tool online, like the Hemingway App.

6. Standard fonts are best for copy. For example: Arial, Times New Roman and Geneva. These are universal and best for eyes of all ages.

7. Light colored text on dark backgrounds is a no-no, especially when the font size is 5. In print, this makes bosses want to cry. It is very difficult to read and not easy on the eyes.

Finally. As my boss would say, fix it.

Take the Walkabout Challenge

This year marks the 3rd annual Walkabout Challenge through Vionic Footware.

Starting today, sign up and take the Walkabout Pledge! A 28-day commitment to walk at least 30 minutes each day. It seems so difficult to carve out time for ourselves. I was walking nearly everyday, then got side tracked.

The official kickoff date was yesterday, March 3rd. I will still walk the 28-days and am pledging to get myself back on track. Will you join me? Follow my daily updates on Instagram

Don’t forget to share your photos on Facebook with the hashtag #VionicWalkabout to enter to win weekly prizes plus a grand prize trip to Los Angeles. See their Facebook page for more details.

Walkabout Challenge for good health!

Walkabout Challenge for good health!

The Unconventional Guide to Judging People

What does judge mean: “Judge: verb (used with object), judged, judg·ing. To form a judgment or opinion; decide upon critically. You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

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Often we try not to judge. This seems silly when we encourage our children to use their critical thinking skills in decision making. In other words, judging people, places and things is a necessary part of life. For example, your youngest son plans to get married to a girl he has been dating for 3 months. It is necessary for him to use good judgment and rationalize through the situation. Is she looking for a way out of her parent’s home? Is she stable? Does she pull toilet paper from the top or bottom?

Follow these fail proof guidelines, where using good judgment just might be okay. Mom approved.

Before you spout off, remember what your Momma said

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. This includes the judging thoughts that go on inside your head. Manage them. Out with the negativity and in with the civility. When you start to feel you are expressing your opinion more than you are listening, you are judging too much. Go sit down and be quiet.

Simmer down and take a look in the mirror

Everyday you roll out of the house, you are not perfect. Neither is anybody else. Stop taking each single moment you interact with someone to be who they are every other day of the week. For example, you see a father getting agitated with his kid at Costco. While observing him you take mental notes. Later, you mock him in a blog post gloating about how great of a parent you are to boost your traffic. Pretty gross. Instead judge him as being parent who needs a break. Offer a distraction with conversation. Diffuse the situation. Be more helpful. Like Vancouver’s JACK FM Deejay Tara Jean.

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Image credit Facebook. Pictured: Tara Jean’s photo from the indoor playground where she watched after another mother’s child. As she wrote on Facebook, “Less Judging, More Helping“. I could not agree more.

Don’t talk to strangers, talk to your mom about politics

This includes religion and so on. Why? Cause unless you like drama, nobody cares. Do them a favor and save the banter for your mom. She’ll be happy you called to talk to her. It makes for a more harmonious environment especially if you ride public transit. Then you’re less likely to judge that stranger for their political or religious affiliations. This is huge for people who have a predisposition to dispensing their opinion without anyone asking for it. Steer away from the rocks. Instead judge strangers for their effectiveness in communicating and pleasantness to be around. This applies to everyone, including you.

Don’t hang out with the wrong crowd

There are instigators who have made it their job to entrap you into their one-sided dialog about every heated topic of the week. Government policies, legalization of pot, gay marriage and the list goes on and on. There is no way you will convince them to think otherwise. Save your energy, use good judgment and avoid them if you want to have a better day. If there is no way to avoid them, change the topic to puppies, unicorns or cupcakes.

Nobody made you do it

Boundaries and borders are great. Create them and stop being a people pleaser. People who are unable to say no, draw people like candles draw moths. Then you get judged the moment you say no and in your aggravation, you judge them. Then you complain to your friends. This is a lose-lose-lose scenario. Say no more and mean it. At least when you criticized, you will be a happier person who can sleep at night.

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