One of the coolest things to ever happen in my life was the first time I saw marketing copy I had written on the World Wide Web. Showcased in all it's glory. Live for the whole world to see! I had this conversation a couple weeks ago with a friend and colleague (and super talented designer), Angela Rumel, about how fantastic it is to collaborate on projects. Writing copy is well and fine, but the true beauty of your words come out when you integrate font, color, and spacing.
There is an inherent beauty in the written word.
When I was a little girl I remember toiling over my penmanship for hours (talk about foreshadowing for my writerly aspirations). The aesthetic value of my homework and my notes was of utmost importance to me. I would take the extra hour or so to slowly write out all of my answers to questions just to make sure that every letter was drawn as perfectly as my little elementary school hands would allow.
School supply shopping was (and is) my most favorite thing in the world. Nothing lights my fire quite like fresh notebooks and a new pack of my favorite pens. My obsessive organization tendencies came in handy in high school (when I was a complete nut). Each of my classes was assigned a color. And in its color each class would have a folder, a pen for my assignments agenda, a binder, post its, highlighters, and markers. But it didn't stop there. Oh no, friends. For my English literature classes I would annotate the crap out my books and fill them with notes in the margins and sticky notes. All color coordinated. By theme. A color for foreshadowing. A color for women's issues. A color for race issues. Yeah. I was a NUT.
But wait, there's more! When I was in high school I also one day suddenly decided to say EFF YOU to lower case Rs. I don't really remember why. But I just decided to train myself to stop using lower case Rs and switch ONLY THAT LETTER to all uppercase all the time. It just looked prettier to me, and I take GREAT pride in my handwriting. It's one of the few places in my life where perfection is an attainable goal.
Granted, I no longer spend hours obsessing over my handwriting and my day-to-day scribbles are far from perfect. But when you're passionate about something, it's natural to want it to look as good as it functions. When something really matters to you, you'll notice yourself taking the extra time to package it well too!
So here's my Industry Hump tip for the day, friends: When you're writing blog posts, web copy, a book, an article, thank you cards, or even a to-do list... don't forget the aesthetic value of what you're writing! Experiment with punctuation and spacing. Throw in a crazy font or two. Mix it up and write all your to-do lists in cursive just for the practice. Use bold and italic styles for emphasis.
It astonishes me how even though we read with our eyes, we so often forget to use all these tools to make reading and writing more enjoyable! For me, writing always has been and always will be an art form.
Scribbling away, xx Nikbear