If you're wondering why I haven't posted so much recently, it's because I married my girlfriend, Kyle. Hooray!
And for anyone who's been involved with planning a wedding, you'll know it can take up a lot of your free time. Thankfully, it wasn't all hard work. In fact, some of it was good fun. In particular, I had the pleasure of teaming up with Dan Osman at Bravo & Tango to create our stationery.
Because we live in a digital age (and because Kyle and I wanted to save money), we sent most communications to our guests (like the save the date, invitation and thank you note) via email. Apart from the occassional mail being intercepted by the recipient's junk filter, we think it was a big success. And the wedding was perfect too.
I’ve just finished writing an accessibility site for a client. It aims to communicate their approach to accessibility and show customers how to use their products’ accessibility features.
As you can imagine, to give the site any credibility the copy needs to be accessible too.
“I’m sure my copy’s already pretty accessible,” I thought to myself smugly as I started the project. Well, after working with accessibility experts like Scope, the Digital Accessibility Centre and MPH, I now know I had a lot to learn.
So I thought I’d put together a quick guide for anyone who is also faced with the challenge of making their web copy accessible to all.
Recently I had the pleasure of being interviewed by fellow copywriter Glenn Fisher at All Good Copy.
I'm pretty sure this is the first interview I've had that wasn't for a job, so that made a refreshing change. Nevertheless, Glenn had some thought-provoking questions about me and many aspects of the copywriting industry.
So if you've ever wondered how I got into copywriting, what books I'm reading or what influences the way I write, check it out.
In fact, while you're at it, why don't you download Glenn's 'Conversations On Copy' PDF and read a whole bunch of interviews from copywriters currently working in the industry?
I'm not usually one to blow my own trumpet, but this time I'll give it a little toot.
One of the concepts I produced for Virgin Media's Discover project has been featured on the Creative Pool homepage. I usually stare in amazement at the standard of work that makes it to the front, so I'm chuffed that it got the recognition.
The only problem is, to see it you'll need a powerful telescope. (Letterbox images don't seem to fit the format very well.)
But if you like Where's Wally, this one's for you.
If you still can't see it, I'll give you a clue. Arnie knows.
Here's proof of how powerful long copy can be. Created by Dublin-based agency Chemistry for the National Newspapers of Ireland, it won gold at the Cannes Lions for press advertising. Yeah, it's a bit OTT, but I like that. It's got a lot of personality and it shows you that you don't need images to bring an ad to life.
I've been meaning to write a blog post about how to write a great strapline for a while, but (in time-honoured copywriter tradition) I keep putting it off. Until I get my act together, I thought I'd quench your thirst with a quick entry that answers the very important question, "Do you need one?"
Many brands - particularly start-ups - think a strapline is essential. Truth is, it's not. Written well, straplines are brilliant. They can help your reader quickly understand what your brand is all about and, most importantly, remember it in future. But, written badly, they can create false promises and be misleading. And no brand wants that.
Credit to Richard Spencer at A Thousand Monkeys for showing me this one.
It's just another example of a brand that has completely nailed its verbal identity. Have a look at their copy from their site, below.
That's got to be one of my favourite About pages. It's clear exactly who their products are aimed at - and everything they do is buzzing with personality and humour.
But it doesn't stop there.
It’s a running joke among copywriters. Time and time again, clients will say they want their copy to sound “just like Innocent” – whether they’re selling food, trainers, financial software or screwdrivers. Even if, to many, that tone of voice just doesn’t fit with that brand (yes, Barclays, I’m looking in your direction.)
Anyway, take a look at this leaflet and it’s easy to see why.
Here’s a clever idea from Expedia.
They've used the destination codes that are put on your luggage at airport check-in to spell out the copy for their new mobile app. It must have been a fun project to work on – but I wonder how many copy lines they had to can because they couldn’t find the codes to fit the message.