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APPLYING DESIGN CONCEPTS TO WRITING
When asked how much writing she does at work, Andrea Costa, art director of marketing at Time Magazine reeled off the following list: • E-mail (“of course”) • Proposals to her clients and boss (“You need to know how to phrase them in a succinct way that has marketing pizzazz.”) • Formal letters • Cold-call or first-impression letters • Thank-you letters • Information-gathering letters for meetings (“You need to come up with a graceful way of saying ‘I need it now!’”) • Letters to the client regarding skills and services (“with an upfront focus on the benefits you can give to the client”) All in all, Costa, like most graphic designers, spends a fair amount of her work time writing business messages, and she works hard at writing “short, direct, and polite” messages. Business writing is a challenge, but a necessary one in the design workplace. Our hope is that the way we’ve chosen to present the basic writing concepts in the following sections (comparing them to design concepts) will help to demystify the writing process for you. You already know more about good business writing than you think you do. As a designer, you’re familiar with the processes and principles of creating good design. For instance, you understand the need to navigate the terrain between your design aims and your client’s. Here are some more analogies between good design principles and good writing principles.
DESIGN PRINCIPLE
“The first question to be asked about any Good business writing is based on design problem is who is it for? This is a writer’s careful identification of question that obviously relates to nature the reader’s needs, wishes, and of the audience. Who are the people in the expectations? Must reader analysis audience? What do they know? What come first in the writing process do they desire? The job is empathizing because it informs the selection and sufficiently with them in order to shape the organization of the content as well as the message to accommodate their the style and tone of the successful nature. . . . Finally, the question emerges completed message. how can I express that message most forcefully and most appropriately?”