Insights from MSU’s Misspelling Gaffe

The Missouri State University (MSU) made headlines last week – but not for the right reasons. Earlier this year, the institution handed out 6,000 free book bags with the word ‘university’ misspelled not on the text but the logo itself.

Although making mistakes is human nature, it’s not acceptable if an institution’s reputation is at stake. No one would also put up with any type of excuse when thousands of dollars are budgeted for the project.

Mistakes happen all the time – but the probability of their occurrence can be decreased. If you take a look at MSU’s mistake, there are actually a few insights worth remembering. These will not just help you prevent mistakes, but help ensure overall success for your business.

Getting a professional graphic artist

MSU’s book bag logo was reportedly designed by its marketing manager. Although we’re not privy to the guy’s graphic design skills, we’re pretty sure marketing and designing are two different things.

When it comes to logo design, short-changing has its consequences. So instead of settling for a second-rate designer or employing a DIY approach, hiring a professional graphic artist is safer. The best ones take ownership of their work and will never let mistakes like this see the light of day.

Hiring a reputable printing vendor

Although MSU is the one getting flak from this gaffe, the vendor is partly responsible for the mistake. Again, we don’t have all the details about the issue. But the folks over the printing company should have noticed something as glaring as a misspell on the logo.

Hiring a reputable printing company definitely prevents mistakes like this from happening. Having the communication lines open between you and your vendor is also important. This will facilitate the completion of the project and ensure in getting the best quality for the results.

Setting up an accountability strategy

The past few months has been rough for MSU, especially in August after the bookstore’s former manager was forced to resign after half a million went missing. In the institution’s most recent embarrassment, the bookstore reportedly handed out about 6,000 bags despite the misspelled name and destroyed the remaining 2,500.

When asked who is accountable for the mistake, reps said that the former manager had nothing to do with it. Yet the mistakes happened before the new one took office. As for the other gaffes, the blame was pointed to the bookstore staff.

Although the mistake could always be dismissed as a negative effect of the transition or lack of turnover from the outgoing and incoming managers, someone should still be held accountable. The project is worth $70,844 after all.

Setting up an accountability strategy is always helpful in this case. The goal is not to find someone to blame when something bad happens. But to make sure someone dedicated and dependable is overseeing things and upholding the reputation of the business or institution.


About Signs Now Mill Creek
Hi! My name is Rani Bal and you can learn more about me and connect with me here: Rani Bal Google+ Profile

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