Decorative pattern

Why professional typesetting is essential in corporate documents

April 2024


When thinking about how to create professional business documents, typesetting can often be overlooked. Good typesetting is like so many other things in design – when it’s done well, it goes unnoticed. But when it’s done badly, it really shows.

This is why organisations underestimate the importance of typesetting at their peril.

Professional typesetting can make all the difference to your corporate documents – and when you’re showcasing results to shareholders, communicating with potential investors or preparing M&A documents, professionalism and attention to detail are key.


What is typesetting?

Typesetting is the process of arranging text to maximise its readability. This can include elements like spacing, font and font size, and the amount of white space to retain – all of which combine to make documents look aesthetically pleasing and easy to consume. Our previous blog on typesetting looks in more detail at all the elements involved and their combined benefit to the finished document.


Why is typesetting important?

Typesetting – like many under-valued skills – might sound slightly old-fashioned; even quaint. But today’s typesetting processes are digitalised, bringing the latest technology to bear on design challenges and delivering impeccable results.

There’s no corporate document that can’t benefit from professional typesetting:


With typesetting such a vital aspect of all corporate documents, and documents essential to the positioning of your brand to shareholders, corporate investors, customers and peers, it’s not an exaggeration to say that typesetting can make a difference to corporate finance success.


Why can typesetting be neglected?

When companies are under pressure, typesetting can be viewed as an unnecessary luxury that they can bypass. But DIY design can have significant pitfalls. And today’s best typesetters are supported and powered by cutting-edge tech – a world away from the manual processes of the past.

Alongside this revolution in typesetting tech comes a wealth of additional benefits delivered by the typesetting process.

Many organisations think they can design their corporate documents themselves – but doing this risks a sub-standard finished product. When companies present printers with PDF documents created from MS Word, they can print them, of course. But the result won’t be same.


The benefits of professional typesetting go beyond the final document

Professional typesetting doesn’t just benefit the end result. The process of working with a professional typesetting team can speed the design process, increase accuracy, improve rigour – and therefore compliance – and remove some of the stress from your role.


How typesetting can supercharge your business documents

There are many benefits of professional typesetting.

Professional typesetters use software that isn’t available to organisations simply using MS Word or other in-house programmes. Like with any job where you employ a professional, their tools – not to mention their expertise in using them – are a step above anything available to amateurs.

This software delivers a number of benefits, making the design process more efficient, quicker, easier and more compliant:

  • Blacklining – tracking changes made to documents during the proofing process: new content is underlined; deleted content is flagged. The document owner gets a clear record of all changes made, making reviews easier and simplifying the process of capturing versions for compliance purposes.
  • Strikethrough – showing deleted items as crossed out, again, helping you to keep accurate records of changes.
  • PDF Proof Comparison – cutting-edge typesetting software allows the typesetter to run a comparison of two documents and provide a report showing differences between the two. This can be very useful if you’ve forgotten to track any changes, or want to compare a non-tracked document with a later version.


Enhanced security as standard

Alongside the benefits to be achieved by using the latest typesetting software, partnering with a professional typesetter has other benefits – including some you might not think of.

If you design your corporate documents yourself, how do you send them to your printer? Email, most likely. But email isn’t always secure, and these documents often contain your most sensitive, confidential corporate information. Sending proofs back and forth via email opens up the potential for data breaches – either malicious or unintentional. Data emailed to the wrong recipient made up the bulk of data security incidents reported to the Information Commissioner’s Office in Q3 2023.

Why would you entrust your corporate secrets to email when the best professional typesetting firms operate secure data rooms? For FCA-regulated businesses, security isn’t just best practice but a regulatory requirement. The reassurance of knowing that files created during the typesetting process and in subsequent proofing rounds are stored and shared via the highest-security data rooms is priceless.


Helping you achieve your challenging deadlines

We all know that quality and security aren’t the only considerations when creating corporate documents. Speed is of the essence – hence in part the move to self-serve design, with firms thinking that it can be quicker to produce documents in-house than seek external help.

But as we’ve seen, this can be a false economy when it comes to quality, and the same is true of time. A professional typesetting operation tends to be part of a bigger design, print or software operation – which can deliver huge benefits when it comes to efficiency.

  • Round-the-clock support. Leading typesetters and financial print businesses operate 25/5 as standard. The best can also support weekend working where deadlines require it.
  • Fast turnaround times. Financial print and typesetting specialists understand the need for speed; they have vast experience of the tight deadlines prevalent in corporate finance. They are structured to deliver quickly.
  • As we’ve noted above, market-leading software brings unrivalled professionalism to today’s typesetters. But a good typesetter is also skilled at working outside of this software, and able to pick up documents in whatever form they’re sent.

Experienced typesetting teams have vast experience of receiving and accurately dealing with edits received in a variety of ways. Whether they come via comments handwritten on paper copies, annotated PDFs, track-changed word files, edits scanned and instructions sent by email – or any combination of these – they take them in their stride.


Understanding and supporting your brand

Because the best typesetting operations are part of highly-experienced design and print houses, they have an innate understanding of brand identity. Entrust your typesetting to a company with experience in design – even better if they are specialists in corporate documentation like Annual reports, M&A documentation and IPO prospectuses – means they can accurately and easily incorporate branding elements like your logo, colour palette and font into your typeset documents.

Standard forms – such as proxy or application forms – can be customised by professional typesetters, fitting all required content into the space available, with a legible, compliant and on-brand end result. To save you money and time future years, these standard templates can be reused every year – future-proofing your corporate documents in one step.


Don’t underestimate the benefits of professional typesetting

It’s clear, then, that typesetting can be the ‘Cinderella’ of corporate document production – under-appreciated and often subject to dated assumptions about its ability to support not just look and feel, but the entire process of creating, storing and sharing professional corporate documents.

Security is enhanced, branding is incorporated and the editing process is smoothed, making the lives of those responsible for corporate documents easier and calmer. Not a bad list of achievements for the humble typesetting process!


We mentioned security and the benefits of sharing proofs via a highly-secure data room as one of the advantages of working with a professional typesetter. You can find out more about Engage, Perivan’s data room, and how it enables secure collaboration on sensitive corporate documents, here.




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