A matter of life and 60p

Hoax calls cost lives. Minimum fee 60 pence

BT phone booth message

This is a great example of messages getting muddied by bad juxtaposition.

It’s easy to do as a designer or marketer: you’ve got a portal to the public and half a dozen departments wanting you to include their message there. Pushed for time, you submit to whatever hierarchies are in place. This is why it’s always a good idea to show your work to a third party. Marketing led organisations will have approval boards for this purpose, but sometimes the person who sits behind you can perform just as valid a role. If his or her response “What? Why? Huh?” you may have the urge to explain your thinking. If you’re not able to do this in real life, don’t do it to your neighbour, suck it in and set about redesigning your idea.

The example above is by no means the worst, but it could easily be improved by setting the two messages apart.

To paraphrase Bill Shankly: Is layout a matter of life and death? No, it’s far more important than that.

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About Sam Elfer

Blogging about writing
This entry was posted in Bad communications and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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