Lucinda Hooley, executive creative director at Blue Moon, is committed to helping us to communicate effectively. Beyond the Blue Moon language style guide ("which is only the tip of the iceberg, really," she says), creating client-specific language style guides allows us to breathe creativity into defined style structures that convey a specific brand voice.
Here are the reasons why any language style guide is essential:
- Identity is as much about language as it is about visual reference. Language and design style work together to express a brand.
- Communication of information defines our effectiveness and success.
- Language is a flexible and subtle element of communication. Often a language choice is not so much about right or wrong as it is about consistency.
- A language style guide helps you, the communicator, to use language more effectively. After that, the challenge is to find fresh, clear and uncontrived ways of engaging your audience.
- Clarity is a key part of the style guide process. Edit. Edit. Edit. And beware of bad habits.
Lucinda also held an internal language workshop, where Blue Moon employees had the space to explore their personal relationship with English and the importance of being able to express yourself authentically. Current language trends were also covered.
If it sounds like we put a lot of work into learning about language, consider the diagramming of sentences, which was all the rage 165 years ago. Kitty Burns Florey best describes it, saying, "Out of the general murk of its tiny print, incessant repetitions, maze of definitions and uplifting examples emerged the profoundly innovative, dazzlingly ingenious and rather whimsical idea of analysing sentences by turning them into pictures." A Picture of Language
But not everyone was a fan of this seemingly useless invention. Even some of the writers at Blue Moon might agree with this blogger's comment: "My nun-inculcated hatred of sentence diagramming approaches the fanatical. It is to language what a skeletal X-ray is to dancing." Let's stick to the style guide, shall we?