September 21, 2004 Volume 4 Issue 14
Type & Layout
E-mail and the Web have done for writing and reading what the automobile engine did to horse back travel ... darn near destroyed it.
I've always wondered why anyone thinks a "new" marketing method means our body functions differently. Last time I checked light comes in through our eyes, is processed and our brain directs our body what to do. That has not changed for most of the ages the creature we call 'man' has been on what we've named 'earth'. Meaning the 'rules' for writing and reading are the same today as in the past, no matter the medium.
So, why then during this electronic age, has it been decided not to pay attention to what we've learned?
Colin Wheildon has written the book about writing so you are read. His book Type & Layout - How typography and design can get your message across - or get in the way is the 'bible' of our industry. It has been for two decades, at least since the first edition in 1984. If you do not have a copy to reference, get one. Strathmoor Press, Berkeley, California is the publisher - Barnes & Noble found it for me with just the authors name, Colin Wheildon.
The trigger to write about this topic - again - came because of a pair of magazines my Nancy newly subscribed to. We moved in the spring to a piece of California we'd visited many times, yet, really knew nothing about. It's called by those in the area 'the central coast".
Coastal Living is an infrequent publication about doing just that - living near the coast. They seem to understand serif type as a reading face, dark on light, captions for photo's, indented paragraphs with ragged right margins, bold headlines and other foundation basics that make writing readable. The magazine is very readable. Through-out.
And then there is VegNews. Nancy is an excellent cook, and plays around with the vegetarian direction. This magazine is all about that particular lifestyle. If you could read it! White type reversed on a lightly screened pale greenish background, in sans-serif type, no indents, loooooong paragraphs, graphic type alternating bold and not ... well, it is horrid to try to read.
Remember, this is a new pub for Nancy. She'd like to be 'sold' on her decision to buy it, and if so will pay for the sub. Yet, instead, she brought it to me 'screaming' about how un-friendly it was. She received her first issue and was immediately going to write the editor about it's poor use of type and design.
So, 'yes', I am openly attacking designers who think a picture says a 1000 words. That is just not so ... at least not in marketing. In fact, I challenge that any one person could show a dozen pictures that in fact do stand on their own - and tell a story without words.
Sure, there are such ... the Iwo Jima flag raising shot during WWII. The small naked girl running through Hiroshima following the atomic bomb drop. The sailor kissing his girl friend on Times Square at the end of that same war. The salute from the five year old son of JFK during his funeral procession. Isn't it interesting I can't -quickly, off the top of my head - think of any that are not tied to war or death.
This E-zine tirade began by me throwing a dig at E-mail and web sites that are reading disasters. Mid-summer a lot of ink went toward telling the story of author Lynne Truss and her book Eats, Shoots and Leaves. Truss writes British radio comedy; in a previous life covered sports and was a television critic.
Her thing for E-mail is punctuation will help the poorly written, all lower case stream, with dashes and smiley faces. And her point is we have far-far too little of it in our electronic communication world.
Although I'm for less vs. more commas and semi-colons, I agree with Ms. Truss. She says so much writing today requires the reader to wade through mountains of run together words that it is worse than a modern painting; how do you hang it? Which side is up? What are you trying to say?
There are some who will say 'that's different', I think not. This story makes it's point; Sir Roger Casement was 'hanged by a comma.' This British diplomat was charged with treason during WWII. His trial centered on the question; 'Did the law apply to acts of treason performed aboard?' The answer depended on whether or not there were a pair of commas in the relevant section of the law. It was ruled there were, and Casement was hanged.
Your life may not hang on writing to be read. And yet, your business might.
from our friends east across the water
Today we live in a color world. We know color plays a major part in marketing.
Yet, I trust this news from a London United Press International article does not apply to us. Why? Because it is nearly opposite from what we in marketing have learned about how to use color to support text and motivate our suspects, prospects and customers. Still, it is interesting ... and hey, maybe things are different today.
A British insurance company says aggressive people tend to drive black cars, which accounts for that color leading in the number of road accidents.
"The Churchill Co. looked at 130,000 claims and found drivers of silver cars the second most likely to crash, followed by those with green, yellow, blue, gray, red, pink and white vehicles. Drivers of cream-colored cars are the least accident-prone.
"We think about color all the time, from what we wear to how we feel. This emotional influence transfers to how we drive," psychologist Donna Dawson told Britain's Sun.
"The company's analysis of color and personality says drivers who like black see themselves as rebels. Silvers are cool and aloof; greens are prone to hysterics; and yellow are idealistic lovers of novelty. People who favor blue are introspective and cautious; grey calm, sober and dedicated with tendencies to slip out of personality; red energetic and quick-thinking; pink gentle and loving; white status-seeking extroverts and cream self-contained and in control."
The summer has been one of my most enjoyable riding seasons. Riding meaning my Harley-Davidson around the western USA and Canada.
This from Anonymous fits;
"There is a very fine line
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The RJm Story
It's common to ask people what they do. When you meet someone for the first time you often ask something like "what do you do?"
What do YOU answer? My quick response always is I am a professional speaker and a writer. If you need a speaker, and would like to know more about the marketing seminars I offer please visit www.powerdirectmarketing.com.
If you're looking for a more about the creative writing the RJm team does for clients just about everywhere, visit www.rayjutkins.com
Of course, you can call Nancy or me @+1+760-376-1858or send an e-mail to Ray@RayJutkins.com.
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.