Newsletter 17_You get what you pay for

COMPRESS.dsl: You get what you pay for image of an owl tilted head in surprise

Quality takes time, and it also costs money

Hellooooo there

As we enter the Silly Season (the busiest time of year for many businesses in South Africa, which comes just before the Annual Collapse), we are being asked more and more if we can ‘quickly do this’ or ‘squeeze this 200-page job into a 100-page budget’. We at COMPRESSdsl will always do our best to help, and have an excellent track record of value for money, but it is also important to remember that project management, translation, design and proofreading are highly specialised skills – and, at the end of the day, people deserve to be paid for the quality of their work.

Below are a few funny instances of managers cutting corners in those four areas. All I can say is, I’m awfully glad I wasn’t in charge of any of these projects!

Translation (and project management): Getting the wrong end of le baton

Translation is often the most expensive element of a project, especially when it is into a non-European language such as Arabic. However, it is not a step where you can afford to skimp, or worse still use Google Translate. Below is a hilarious example of a translation gone awry – mainly through poor project management and quality control.

Below is a sign in a Welsh carpark. All road signs in Wales are bilingual, so the local authority emailed its in-house translation service for the Welsh version of, ‘No entry for heavy good vehicles. Residential site only.’ The reply duly came back, and officials set the wheels in motion to create the large sign in both languages. The signpost went up and all seemed well – until Welsh speakers pointed out the error. The English version may say, ‘No entry for heavy good vehicles. Residential site only’ … but the Welsh version says, ‘I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated’. Ooops!

Translation of an English to Welsh: ‘No entry for heavy good vehicles. Residential site only.’ … but the Welsh version says, ‘I am not in the office at the moment. Send any work to be translated’

Design: quality takes time. Please don’t rush us

Imagination and creativity are not things that work 9 to 5. We all know that our best ideas appear in the middle of the night – or while lying in the bath. Coming up with great design ideas for a project takes time. Please do not give us a morning to design an entire book project – or, worse still, tell us we have a week and then phone after two days asking if we’re done yet. If you do, this may be what you get:

Image depicting and artist sitting on the floor and behind him a painting he did of the backside of a horse perfectly done and the front part in kids line art

Proofreading: Sod’s law dictates that the misspelt word will be a) in the heading; and b) a most embarrassing mistake

Pity the person at Bristol City Council who thought they’d save money, and speed things up, by skipping the proofreading stage for this bus stop sign. Keeping your distance saves lives, but proofreading saves embarrassment.

Public sign in England with a misspelled word "pubic" and not "public"

But my favourite of all proofreading mistakes is the following:

Painted word on the street depicting the word "school" as "Sohool"

End of year break: we don’t want to ruffle any feathers

COMPRESSdsl will close on Friday 17 December for the Annual Collapse. We shall open with renewed vim and vigour on Monday 10 January 2022. Timelines for all projects that are ongoing at that stage will be discussed individually, and nothing will fall between the cracks. The holiday is calling!

Magnificent bird with a tufted, hoopoe, colorful feathers, forelock, wild bird

Last chance to order your organisation’s desk planner/diary for 2022

Every year COMPRESSdsl produces a fantastic desk planner/diary, that can be tailored and branded for your own organisation. We can produce as few as 25 copies, at a surprisingly low cost. It’s a fabulous way to remain front-of-mind with your clients and partners for the entire year. Click on the image below to see the entire publication.

Do be in touch for a quote if you would like a diary for your organisation.

Compress 2021 desk planner diary visual of different pages

How can we help you?

Please do < contact us > for a free quotation for assistance with translation, copy-editing, graphic design, layout or proofreading of any of your corporate publications. Have a look below to see how we can help you with your next project. We can work with any sensible budget or timeline, and are keen to reach out especially to those who need our help during these exceptional times.







We would love to hear how you’re doing.
Please drop us a message.
082 787 5555


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