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Archive for the ‘web journalism’ Category

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Being in the content creation business means the Fed-Ex and UPS trucks pull up every other day with an armload of books. Three months ago, with our shelves at the breaking point, we delivered an entire pickup truck of mostly new books to The Salvation Army. Last week we found our office shelves full again, so we took inventory and then we took action.

With all the books, magazines and catalogs that arrive, we have trained ourselves to be expert snapshot readers, page glancers ,and generally proficient at ‘judging a book by it’s cover.’ With so many different types of media and so much great information available, we have to filter our time, (and eyes) in order to focus on information that is relevant, informative, and well written. Sometimes that’s a decision based on experience and sometimes on just a first glance.

The Design Makes a Difference

On the web, a great article printed in Helvetica Light 10 does not make for good reading, doesn’t alias well, and is going to stop me from getting any farther than sentence four. On the other hand, a poorly designed book cover can be the difference between 50 sales and 50,000 — or a book review vs. a last minute dusting and gifting.

There are books like “Made to Stick“, with great cover art that draws you into the content. And there are others like “Something, Something or Something”[sic] sans a visually engaging cover, which once opened reveals a bright-white background (tiring my eyes) and uber-cramped leading. Great content that goes unread sadly becomes kindling, or hopefully new paper. I read Made to Stick cover to cover, I thumbed through the other book (featured on many content marketing sites), and time will tell if I pick it back up.

With all the talk about content driving sales and corporations being more cognizant of the role of content, content producers, managers, and marketers should put more emphasis on the relationship between the writer and the graphic designer.

A Few Tips for Filtering Your Media

Catalogs — you get too many, we do too. A good article here about Catalog Choice

Magazines — find another business or friend to exchange magazine subscriptions. Put an ad listing on Craigslist in the arts section, many artists use glossy magazines for collage.

Books — Donate to your local library.

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