Writing about Writing

Sometimes it’s easy to forget that a long time ago (but really not that long ago) only a few people knew how to write. Nowadays, in most of the world at least, we’re actually very lucky to not even have to think about it. It’s hard to walk into a bookstore and not see a book reminding you that A is for Apples, and Z is for Zyzzyva, which is probably the best word in the whole world. (It actually means any South American weevils of the genus Zyzzyva, and at least 43 points in Scrabble. Keep that definition in mind though, you’ll definitely have to fight for those points.)

Design and writing
Source: PeculiarMomma’s Etsy store

At If You Build It, we still do our writing old school style on this photogenic vintage typewriter. Okay you’ll know we’re lying just by the fact you’re reading this. Yes, we look decidedly less glamorous than that, in fact we write on ordinary computers just like you.

Communicating with writing as opposed to in person brings up the interesting problem of getting of across how you’re feeling. Especially in the digital age. No one these days wants to read through pages and pages of florid Victorian prose. We all know just how hard it is to have a D&M over Facebook, that’s probably why after a brief and torrid period when we were 17, we just don’t do it.

Writing is everywhere, everyone uses it. It’s so a part of our lives, sometimes it seems to fade into the background. So much of the content we digest each day is written. Your morning coffee communicates with your barista. Maybe it says ‘FW, Mary’ on it, or if you prefer a skim cappuccino and your name is Andy; ‘Skim Cap, Andrea’. All those reports you wish you didn’t have to skim through, those are all written information. When you’re lying on the couch later that evening with your iPad, browsing through your favourite blogs, you’re absorbing a whole lot of written content. Even the little blurb on the back of that cheeky after work beer you might have whilst doing that, even that’s been considered and drafted and edited by somebody. Copywriters write for money, I think sometimes people can forget you can be paid to do that.

Design and writing
Source: http://myfoodtrail.com

We’re designers, we’re visual people, sometimes we wish we could just draw you a picture, but that wouldn’t work for everyone. Nor us all the time, we write a hell of a lot about the design work that we do, and we need to. Because writing is important. A great looking website without written content is like a gorgeous person with nothing to say. Lovely to look at, but how long will you hang around? Let’s be honest, probably much longer in the case of the blank faced, beautiful person than the website.

Featured image by Raphael Boguslav

by Radi Safi

Radi Safi is the Creative Director at IYBI. In 2012 he launched Happy, a music blog and media company.
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