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Letting Writing Rule Design

Writer Rebecca Fulleylove sheds light on some creative advertising tips and brings us some of the best creative advertising copy examples used in graphic design.

Writing For Design

Copywriting for design D&AD

Always an eclectic mix come awards time at D&AD, some fantastic examples of Writing for Design have emerged this year with carefully constructed copy being expertly interwoven with striking design work.

The buzz surrounding the Wellcome Collection’s Institute of Sexology exhibition is the perfect example of this. Clever billboards and posters could be seen all over east London in the run-up to the show that focusses on the study of sex. Cropping up in bright, primary colours and asking blush-worthy questions, it’s a fantastically original campaign.

Brilliantly bold and simply designed, the museum’s marketing materials were created in-house at the Wellcome Collection by Liam Relph and Marianne Dear under the direction of John Morgan Studio. Passers by were invited to note down their responses to their sex lives and it’s this direct interaction and personal response in such a public space that’s so exciting and innovative.

Copywriting for design D&AD

In particular the survey-like wording of the billboard at Old Street becomes an impartial and forgiving voice in uniform type, giving the public the freedom to answer candidly. It’s a well-considered and provocative way of encouraging interest around an exhibition and also does so well in practising the show’s aim to change attitudes.

Copywriting for design D&AD

Also in the Capital

For years now Art in the Underground has continued to produce inspiring work for the public to engage with on their travels, with Mark Wallinger’s incredible Labyrinth series receiving a Yellow Pencil in 2015. Artist Richard Wentworth has maintained this strength of work with his series, “If history could be folded, where would you put the crease?” and “When You Look You May Not See”.

As part of 14-18 NOW, the WW1 Centenary Art Commisions, Richard’s work looks at the London Underground as a hub of mass communication but delves deeper to explore personal archives during the war through letters and postcards to uncover the individual realities and experiences during that time.

Art on the Underground Richard

Richard has created posters using the Tube’s recognisable Johnston font, and physically reflects a reproduced letter written by young solider Herbert Wilson to his wife, Martha Wilson. With installations throughout Piccadilly Circus station, a wonderful dialogue is created between the open space and the private words of the letter with the public compelled to engage with the work up-close to truly absorb the words written.

Looking like reversed information notices at first, Herbert’s words to his wife brings warmth, personality and bridge the historical distance between the contemporary audience and the personal experiences of the people involved in the world conflict, enhancing the emotion and intimacy the whole project elicits.

Hans Brinker Hotel

Copywriting for design D&AD

Playfulness and humour can be hard to communicate to a wide audience, but the latest campaign for the Hans Brinker Hotel in Amsterdam is a successfully witty plea to become the most likeable hotel in the world.

Created by communications agency KesselsKramer with artwork from graphic artist Anthony Burrill, the hotel has become known for their deadpan and honest advertising, and this campaign is in a similar vein with a series of tongue-in-cheek posters and short films.

Copywriting for design D&AD

Adopting the recognisable thumbs up and ‘like’ function from Facebook, garish neon gradients are the background to brash black lettering, expressing needy sentiments to ‘like’ the Hans Brinker Hotel. Stretched to fill the page, the cheerful design is a canny way of reaching customers on a new level.

Writing for Design can be a challenge for any creative team – constructing copy and design that both informs and enhances one another. What these three examples demonstrate is how powerful and innovative creative campaigns can be when writing for design is used so effectively.

Writing for Design at the D&AD Awards

Here are the Writing subcategories you could consider:

Writing for Design
What is it? Long or short copy that is integral to a piece of design, and helps bring the creative idea to life.
What can I enter? Packaging, environmental graphics, leaflets, posters.

Writing for Brands
What is it? Copy that forms an integral or stand-alone part of a brand campaign.

Writing for Websites & Digital Design
What is it? Copy that is integral to the design of a website or piece of digital work, and helps bring the creative idea to life.
What can I enter? Websites, apps, digital installations.

If you think you have a campaign that deserves a Pencil, enter your work into the D&AD Professional Awards and see if our judges agree. When it comes to awards, nothing matters more.

For more creative inspiration and the opportunity to get up close and personal with the world’s best design and advertising, join us at D&AD Festival.
 

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