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Great copy is great design

Tom Lloyd

By Tom

I’ve written previously how writing is design, and a few months ago I saw a great example of brilliantly-written-copy-as-design this on a shopfront.

It was by a new coffee joint in Cardiff called 200 Degrees, in the form of temporary window graphics—put up while the place was being refurbished. The premise is simple, but brilliant. Rather than creating fancy graphics, the designer has supposedly pasted the briefing email into a document and hit print (again)...

The tone and content is perfect. It’s written in a way that makes you feel that the team behind the brand are friendly, but out to impress. It’s self-deprecating, which makes them sound welcoming, but without an ego. It’s detailed and promotional in a subtle way, making them sound like they really know what they’re doing. It’s complimentary about the area, without kissing arse. And it’s humorous, but in a way an internal team might be—not for the sake of it.

It’s a great reminder that while us designers often choose photography, illustration, branding, colour, type or layout to convey a message and personality, brilliantly crafted copy can do the job just as well. Or in this case, better.