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Welcome to Copy Corner


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#1 wizely

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 09:12 AM

Welcome to Copy Corner!

I'm hoping to be able to contribute to this amazing forum by offering advice on how to make the copy (text) of your designs do justice to the great designs you all produce. I want to avoid jargon and enforcing the rules of grammar and instead give you some things to think about.

Copy is an important part of design - not just in itself, but as a tool to inspire and shape designs, overcome 'designers block' and create more unified designs.

I want to use plain English and fuel your creativity so you can make better sites so it'll be ideas, concepts, tricks and tips – not lessons in English. I'll be posting articles and starting threads to get you going - but please start your own!

Please question, suggest alternatives and give me feedback to help me provide what you want. If there's something you don't quite get or want more explanation or just to discuss then please post in the threads and help make this a vibrant part of WDF.
If you find an article useful then please post something up (even if it's just a thanks) so that I know I'm not spending lots of time for nothing!

If your post isn't about a particular topic then please post it into the "general Copy Writing Discussion" thread or start your own.

I hope this will be as valuable an asset as all your design expertise is to so many.

Articles in Copy Corner
Part 0: The Importance of Copy
Part 1: Integrating Copy and Design
Part 2: A Moment of Clarity
Part 3: How to Write Killer Headlines
Part 4: Bowel-Looseningly Funny Copy Writing Howlers
Part 5: Words as Brushes
Part 6: Poetry in Motion
Part 7: An Ear for Copy
Part 8: Vivid Description
Part 8a: Copywriting is MORE Important than Web Design
Part 9: Pofint
Part 10: Piece of Mind
Part 11: The secrets I'm not telling you
Part 12: Creating a Brand
Part 13: The nuts and bolts of robot food

Please support this section of WDF and spread the word - Digg it

Edited by wizely, 31 May 2010 - 10:21 PM.


#2 Rob

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 09:18 AM

With Wizely at the wheel this is going to be a great a valuable section to WDF.

You'll be finding me in here often, one day, just maybe, if I wish upon a star, I might be a decent copy writer.

Keep up the good work!

#3 notbanksy

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 09:31 AM

At last, my chance to study the black art under its master...

#4 rjdejong

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 09:40 AM

Very usefull new section :)

Gratz Wizely on your own section :pp I'm sure you'll make it totally awesome.

#5 Scott S

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Posted 26 May 2008 - 10:55 AM

Nice one. Should make it easier for me to find the new posts.
Very interesting series of articles, and very well written. You Truly are the master Wizely. *bows*

#6 Glen

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 03:37 PM

I'm not exactly sure of what you mean by "copy". Are you talking about page source copying?

#7 Dizi

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 03:47 PM

I'm not exactly sure of what you mean by "copy". Are you talking about page source copying?



No the content on your site, as in what you write and how to get the correct tone within the writing, so that you get the most out of your site :)

#8 brendan_qu

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 12:54 AM

I just came across this section of the forum, and am so annoyed with myself for not finding it earlier!!! Amazing stuff here Wizely! Keep up the good work :D

Regards,

Brendan

#9 wizely

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 02:15 AM

I just came across this section of the forum, and am so annoyed with myself for not finding it earlier!!! Amazing stuff here Wizely! Keep up the good work :D

Regards,

Brendan


Don't worry yourself - it's buried out of sight so as not to offend web designers by talking about an important skill in web design they might not have! :o

#10 brendan_qu

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 02:27 AM

Haha, very well said! Unlike most other aspects of web design, you can't learn copyright from a book! Must come with practice and experience! Hope this will help me and many others become bettwer at copywriting.

Regards,

Brendan

#11 wizely

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 04:45 AM

Unlike most other aspects of web design, you can't learn [copywriting] from a book!

You can learn the fundamentals of both copywriting and design from books but both take practice and a natural flair. I can code well enough in XHTML and understand the principles of design, but it doesn't make me a designer - there are plenty much better on the forum and I couldn't call myself a designer.
I just meant that there are 'top-level' forums for CSS, browsers, SEO, Actionscript, Flash, CMS, Google, Photoshop, Hardware, Inkscape, Hosting, Server Management etc. etc. But copywriting gets tucked away under Website Design and Layout so it can't be too important to designers! :o

#12 brendan_qu

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 12:35 PM

To a certain extent though, it's mostly practice, seeing what works, natural flare, etc... not just the technical aspects of it.

copywriting gets tucked away under Website Design and Layout so it can't be too important to designers! ohmy.gif

This isn't necessarily true, I just think that it's not know to a lot of designers how important your copy is! Maybe if we get more people aware of the importance of copy, you could get upgraded to your own section instead of sub-section of the forum!!!

Regards,

Brendan

#13 Dizi

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 12:54 PM

Don't worry yourself - it's buried out of sight so as not to offend web designers by talking about an important skill in web design they might not have! :o



OI! now this comment annoys me, I brought up good points to Ben so that there was a Copywriting section in the first place....hey wait even better then that I suggested that this section be created, as you didn't like all your corners being in one thread and didn't like the blog format, so I came up with the idea of having a full section for it... but I guess when gratitude fades, it is only natural to want and expect more and more and not be happy that there is a section about it :rolleyes:


Now don't get me wrong I love how much you write and share to help designers improve, I'm just pissed that you don't think this section is good enough any more.

#14 wizely

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 03:54 PM

Now don't get me wrong I love how much you write and share to help designers improve, I'm just pissed that you don't think this section is good enough any more.

It wasn't ingratitude I just got misunderstood before that I meant you could learn design from a book and was just explaining what I meant - that this is a sub forum and not a main forum. Sorry it pissed you off and I'm grateful you did help sort what to do with Copy Corner.
Sure I don't like Copy Corner tucked away when I put so much content here and it just gives the impression that copy is probably the least important element here. It's not my forum or my decision where things go and Copy Corner can stay, be moved or even deleted.
Don't read too much into a quip - if I had an axe to grind I would loud and clear. I think I do my fair share of contributing to the forum and reckon I've covered my debt to WDF by the help I've given. Hopefully you'll swing by Copy Corner again under happier circumstances.

#15 Dizi

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 04:47 PM

Sorry I took my bad mood out on you, ohh and just because I don't post in here much doesn't mean I don't read what you have to say :)

#16 wizely

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 05:02 PM

Sorry I took my bad mood out on you, ohh and just because I don't post in here much doesn't mean I don't read what you have to say :)

You're all good - nothing to apologise for! Because I love it here so much it never crossed my mind that what I wrote could be read that way - I just like teasing designers, I'd never WDF bash! You have my permission to put the evil mod outfit and punish me severely if you catch me intentionally moaning! :diablo:

#17 Roberto

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 06:30 PM

Sure I don't like Copy Corner tucked away when I put so much content here and it just gives the impression that copy is probably the least important element here.


Hello

Like all the best clubs, its kept away from the Hoi polloi + the johnny come latelies. Never thought of it as being tucked away, its a very popular part of the site. Sulky old git ;)

Rob

#18 wizely

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 06:39 PM

Hello

Like all the best clubs, its kept away from the Hoi polloi + the johnny come latelies. Never thought of it as being tucked away, its a very popular part of the site. Sulky old git ;)

Rob

I object to the word 'old' - I'm a sulky git in the prime of life!
Just for that I'm going to ask Dizi to move the Flash and Actionscript forums into sub forums of Community Design Competitions!
:pp

#19 Roberto

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 08:32 PM

I object to the word 'old' - I'm a sulky git in the prime of life!
Just for that I'm going to ask Dizi to move the Flash and Actionscript forums into sub forums of Community Design Competitions!
:pp


I'm not sure if anybody would notice :(

There's a distinct lack of flashers hanging out on the forum. Maybe the F+A sections should be merged and the sulky section promoted to the big leagues?

Rob

#20 Luke Terry Design

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 02:39 AM

I'm just wondering...
I might sound stupid, and I'm not saying you have to have a degree to be good at something HELL NO!
I'm not saying that at all as I'm a self taught design & developer and donít believe for 1 minute you need a qualification to be good at something but...
is there a degree in copyrighting? Like can you get a qualification at collage or uni in copyrighting?? Or is it part of a design course???

#21 wizely

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 03:12 AM

is there a degree in copyrighting? Like can you get a qualification at collage or uni in copyrighting?? Or is it part of a design course???

I think there may be a few but they'll come under journalism or advertising or marketing:

Journalism - but that's not writing to sell
English (lots of flavours) - but that's not writing to sell either
Marketing - a waste of 3 years!!!! (ever worked with someone with a marketing degree and no experience?!!! ;) )
Business Studies - good for knowing how to sell but won't help you write any better.

Sorry, been out of school for a while now! Oh, and my degree was in physical chemistry! :D

#22 Luke Terry Design

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 03:18 AM

I think there may be a few but they'll come under journalism or advertising or marketing:

Journalism - but that's not writing to sell
English (lots of flavours) - but that's not writing to sell either
Marketing - a waste of 3 years!!!! (ever worked with someone with a marketing degree and no experience?!!! ;) )
Business Studies - good for knowing how to sell but won't help you write any better.

Sorry, been out of school for a while now! Oh, and my degree was in physical chemistry! :D


So like, Journalism, English, Marketing, & Business.. hmm interesting... how di you go from chemistry to this? Oh and do you write presentations?

I have a degree in women.

#23 wizely

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 03:38 AM

So like, Journalism, English, Marketing, & Business.. hmm interesting... how di you go from chemistry to this?

Went from theorising and analysing in a research lab to doing it in business by becoming a Business Analyst - same skill set, just looking at different things. Then from helping businesses perform better (especially through marketing and sales) by understanding their markets it made sense for me to combine this with my love for writing and start my own business. There's some more on this in the 'Wizely interview' on Thomas' site (link in my sig).

Oh and do you write presentations?

Spent years reporting at board level - so yeah!

I have a degree in women.

That sounds like the hardest degree in the world.

#24 amysmith

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Posted 13 March 2009 - 09:04 AM

Welcome to Copy Corner!

I'm hoping to be able to contribute to this amazing forum by offering advice on how to make the copy (text) of your designs do justice to the great designs you all produce. I want to avoid jargon and enforcing the rules of grammar and instead give you some things to think about.

Copy is an important part of design - not just in itself, but as a tool to inspire and shape designs, overcome 'designers block' and create more unified designs.

I want to use plain English and fuel your creativity so you can make better sites so it'll be ideas, concepts, tricks and tips Ė not lessons in English. I'll be posting articles and starting threads to get you going - but please start your own!

Please question, suggest alternatives and give me feedback to help me provide what you want. If there's something you don't quite get or want more explanation or just to discuss then please post in the threads and help make this a vibrant part of WDF.
If you find an article useful then please post something up (even if it's just a thanks) so that I know I'm not spending lots of time for nothing!

If your post isn't about a particular topic then please post it into the "general Copy Writing Discussion" thread or start your own.

I hope this will be as valuable an asset as all your design expertise is to so many.

Articles in Copy Corner

Part 0: The Importance of Copy
Part 1: Integrating Copy and Design
Part 2: A Moment of Clarity
Part 3: How to Write Killer Headlines
Part 4: Bowel-Looseningly Funny Copy Writing Howlers
Part 5: Words as Brushes
Part 6: Poetry in Motion
Part 7: An Ear for Copy
Part 8: Vivid Description
Part 8a: Copywriting is MORE Important than Web Design
Part 9: Pofint
Part 10: Piece of Mind
Part 11: The secrets I'm not telling you
Part 12: Creating a Brand
Part 13: The nuts and bolts of robot food

Please support this section of WDF and spread the word - Digg it



#25 charliesaidthat

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 02:30 PM

those links don't work for me anymore. :(

#26 notbanksy

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 02:33 PM

those links don't work for me anymore. :(

Probably because that post was created during the previous iteration of the forum (v2 I think). You can find the posts easily just by browsing the copywriting section :)

#27 charliesaidthat

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 08:27 PM

Probably because that post was created during the previous iteration of the forum (v2 I think). You can find the posts easily just by browsing the copywriting section :)


Yeah I know. I was just being lazy. :D

#28 wizely

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 11:03 PM

Oh FFS! OK, OK... I'll fix the links - even though only 2 of you read the bloody articles!
:pp

#29 charliesaidthat

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 11:38 PM

hehe. Sorry dude.

It is a good resource, definitely worth making it easier for everyone else too...

Maybe the usability improvement will encourage more people to read your quality content. ;)

#30 wizely

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Posted 02 May 2010 - 11:59 PM

People don't read any more! The average time spent reading online is 0.4 nanoseconds, web content is 98% graphics (it's why the internet was invented - to share images), people search google by sketching images, Twitter shares images up to 140 million pixels, Amazon/ Google, ebay etc. only make money as people love the beautiful graphics of their sites!

Human communication has evolved! Sure in prehistoric times cavemen used to scratch words on cave walls (cave writing) but then we invented graphics and did away with clumsy things like the alphabet/ language to convey information.

:rofl:

#31 charliesaidthat

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 12:02 AM

Human communication has evolved! Sure in prehistoric times cavemen used to scratch words on cave walls (cave writing) but then we invented graphics and did away with clumsy things like the alphabet/ language to convey information.


Shup! Even cavemen preferred pictures. ;)

Posted Image

#32 wizely

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 12:20 AM

Oh no, no, no... I expected more from you! :blink:

I was being sarcastic! We evolved from cave painting to develop the written language... I was implying that focusing on 'visual communication' was backward thinking in the order of thousands of years!
:lol:

#33 charliesaidthat

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 12:43 AM

Oh no, no, no... I expected more from you! :blink:

I was being sarcastic! We evolved from cave painting to develop the written language... I was implying that focusing on 'visual communication' was backward thinking in the order of thousands of years!


Not the "expected more from you".... *sniffs* I know I know. ;)

Web designers = cavemen? is basically what you were implying... hehe.

*whistles*


You had me at the "The average time spent reading online is 0.4 nanoseconds". Wizely would never exaggerate this far without sarcastic emphasis... hehe :p

#34 notbanksy

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 09:37 AM

People don't read any more! The average time spent reading online is 0.4 nanoseconds

Sad but true.

Sadder and also true - people don't read offline (books) at all :( I actually think the internet plays a big part in this observation, despite it being a trend in the USA for many years now (Hey! What you readin' for boy? Why read when you can jus' flip on the tube?)

So here's the discussion that's slowly brewing in my bank holiday brain: has the internet ruined the appeal of books? Do people expect to find information instantly and in bite sized chunks, or in 'handy' lists at best? I would be interested to find out the statistics of book publishing over the last 3 years. Not only that, but the word on the street these days seems to be that a university education no longer gives you a thorough grounding in a given subject (I'm not talking about medicine or physics here, more like 'web design', humanities and such like. Maybe I'm just getting old, but how often do you hear that employers value experience over a degree these days because graduates don't seem to be able to cut it.

Are these two observations related? How many new books are being published on any given subject, and how much research are undergraduates now doing online? Is there a shift in the kind of information we value to the point where quality is less important than availability?

:unknw:

#35 charliesaidthat

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Posted 03 May 2010 - 08:26 PM

Interesting you bring that up. I found doing research for my dissertation lately that the internet sped up how quickly I could find relevant documents (usually academic/scientific journals). I have no idea how anyone used to be able to find anything, given that my uni's librarians are terrible and the hard copies were often missing. I found it incredibly hard to read journals online, in fact anything in dpeth past a list or a small article does tend to play havoc with my eyes. So I printed out the journals and sat and read them, also had the pdf to skip to relevant parts of larger texts, which is often more useful when tracking back references than scanning an entire book for the one page you want (indexes are usually not too good for author/references).

I do probably spend £300/400 on books a year, and this is purely because of the internet and the value in recommendation. Good ole Amazon ;). I realise I am but one of a few though.

#36 wizely

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 04:40 AM

I'd better stop being sarcastic... enough folks already think nobody reads any more!

I've worked in publishing and our (don't forget Mrs. Wizely!) biggest clients are major publishing houses (and a couple of small ones too)... don't fret, there are still thousands upon thousands of books being written and printed!
Online you get much quicker, infinitely wider and mostly free, access to so much information but some of the reasons I think why books haven't gone the way of video/ audio cassettes:
1. Offline reading is easier and more pleasant
2. Books are tangible - they live on bookshelves and feel like they're 'worth' more
3. The publishing process - peer review/ editing are mostly weaker online...

A funny thing in business... when faced with longer on-screen content (from websites or systems) most folks (yes I said most) will print it off - the paperless office is definitely a myth!
Look at Smashing Magazine, SitePoint etc. - leading design/ development sites with tons of online content and yet printing books too... and that's for the most techie/ most lazy-reading target audience - web designers! :lol:

Funniest thing of all is the thousands of articles out there with their hundreds of words each plus comments saying "no one reads more than 4 seconds on the web"! Or how many popular/ well-read long and wordy design articles there are out there and yet still, according to the beliefs of most web designers, no one would ever read them! :fool:

#37 notbanksy

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Posted 16 May 2010 - 06:25 PM

All fair points Wizely - you've obviously spent more time considering this than I did :) You definitely should stop being sarcastic, lest I embarrass myself any more :p

#38 ServerStorm

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 05:00 PM

Disappointment has set in? I read and loved all articles that reshaped my thoughts on writing! Your teaching and efforts rock.

Regards,
Steve

Edited by ServerStorm, 21 September 2012 - 05:01 PM.





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