Plug & Play

As the craze for fonts and typography reaches a fever pitch, foundries are going to all-new lengths to sell their target audiences—designers—right where they live: in Adobe Creative Suite. And just which programs within the Creative Suite the foundries choose to make their pitch is truly telling. Not to mention, potentially unsettling.

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On creativity—and creatives—despised Written 9.22.2012 using Thimble The world around us is filled with the results of creative individuals’ extremely hard work. From the books that fill our shelves to the newspapers that help us wile away our commutes and then litter the sidewalks to the graffiti that adorns urban walls, people are constantly creating. […]

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The Coverage Counselor's start page

Esurance—and it’s copywriting staff, natch—are all about transparency, i.e., helping you understand car insurance in the easiest, most intuitive manner possible, without all the confusing legalese. Enter the Coverage Counselor, an interactive tool we built to help drivers understand their unique car insurance needs based on their answers to a few simple questions. The landing […]

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Don't just say the old lady screamed. Bring her on and let her scream.

Any writer worth the name knows that you have to tailor your message to your target audience. No matter what your personal writerly inclinations are, no matter how vast the breadth of your vocabulary, you may need to rein in your natural style to suit the people who’ll be reading you.

For many writers who work for contemporary brands, that means aiming a little lower than your own capabilities: sentences may need trimming to make them easier to read, three-dollar words like ubiquitous may need to bow before more common terms like widespread, and what you learned to be a strong, classical paragraph may need to split itself, amoeba-like, to accommodate less skilled readers.

But no matter what measures you have to take to speak properly to your whole audience, one thing you can never do is make them aware you’re talking down to them.

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I’ve been an in-house copywriter for about 7 years now, having worked at several very diverse companies. But one characteristic that unites them all is the limited range of tools they provide their copywriters. No matter the business type, no matter the target audience, companies seem to think copywriters need nothing more than a functional (read: woefully outdated) version of Microsoft Word and whatever fonts come with the operating system.

Here’re a few reasons why they’re wrong.

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