All posts in the Writing category

Once upon a housing estate

Since Procter & Gamble hired Jim Bangel 40 years ago and made him their official ‘Storyteller’, the profession of ‘corporate storyteller’ has become increasingly mainstream. Storytellers now pop up all over the place, not just in their natural habitat – marketing and advertising – but in oil and gas companies, the automotive sector and software […]

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Language: with extra chilli sauce

‘Arrange the langoustines on top in a wigwam fashion’. This instruction caught my attention when I was cooking dinner the other night.  I’ve never made a wigwam of langoustines before, but this was an admirably clear piece of stage direction. Of course, if the shellfish had been alive it might have been tricky. But as […]

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Designer Soapbox: Dave Petherbridge

Dave Petherbridge is one half of the Two Teas design partnership based in West Yorkshire. As ‘Purveyors Of The Finest Pamphlets, Motifs, Slogans & That’, the agency works with clients including the RSPB, Kelly Hoppen, Motorola and WharfeBank Brewery. They may work with a brewery, but these are people with a serious love of tea. […]

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Designer Soapbox: Gill Thomas

Gill Thomas has played many roles since she left Liverpool Poly with a fresh BA Hons in Graphic Design. She’s been a designer, team leader, creative partner and board director. She’s worked for some of the most influential design agencies around, including Pentagram, Newell & Sorrell and The Partners, and her clients have ranged from […]

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Once upon a time there were 62 words

We weren’t quite sure what would happen when we unleashed the power of children’s imaginations on the 21st century objects in the Modern British Childhood exhibition. But we were amazed at the results. A ten year old girl gives the MMR vaccine a voice – “When I was born, everybody feared me”, a Lily Allen […]

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Three months, 104 treasures, one extraordinary book

How Sam Gray designed the book of 26 Treasures How’s this for a brief? Create a book that features 104 treasures from four museums across the UK and the work of around 100 writers. Use photography from various sources. Show artists’ interpretations of the treasures on a quarter of the pages. Have another quarter in […]

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French grapefruit and stripy deckchairs

Thanks to 26, the writers’ collective, for putting the spotlight on me in their latest newsletter. Read the article to: Find out about the latest 26 Treasures exhibition at the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green. Read my advice on tweeting. See why you should read ‘Bird by Bird’ by Anne Lamott. It will […]

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D&AD Writing for Design Awards 2012

In the mix: colour, film clips, tomato sauce, magic and Martini soup On Monday this week I spent the day at Olympia judging the Writing for Design category at the 2012 D&AD awards. It was a privilege to be involved as a first-time D&AD judge and I was in great company. The jury included some […]

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How we reveal ourselves through metaphor

Apparently, we use a metaphor every seven seconds. Unless, of course, you’re Dr Gregory House, the embittered anti-hero of the US tv series, whose speech consists almost entirely of metaphors. House is a one-man metaphor factory who spits out pithy phrases for every possible ailment and situation. Here are a few of my favourites: “I’m […]

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26 Treasures live in Scotland

The 26 Treasures exhibition went live at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh on St Andrew’s Day and will stay up until Burn’s Night 2012. See ‘my’ treasure – Alexander Peden’s mask and wig – here: http://www.nms.ac.uk/our_museums/national_museum/exhibitions/26_treasures/the_treasures/alexander_pedens_mask_and_wig.aspx You can also read an article about the show in The Scotsman: http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/heritage/historic-sites/26_treasures_an_in_depth_look_at_a_historical_project_with_a_difference_1_1989235

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Meet my scary mask

I’ve been working on a fascinating project where writers are paired with historical treasures and asked to respond to them in just 62 words. It’s a follow on from a V&A project last year. This year, 26 Treasures is joining forces with the National Museum of Scotland, the Ulster Museum and the National Library of […]

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The new rules for SEO: use video, engage users and be original

The landscape of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is changing fast. It’s no longer enough to stack your copy with keywords and hope that you’ll fool Google into shooting your site up the rankings. Search engines are getting smarter, so it’s time for a new approach. “Clients want their assets to sweat more,” says Ryan Kliszat, […]

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