I’m Impressed By Things That Are Brown

Seattle-based Things That Are Brown is “a small, intelligent web design studio with good ideas and lots of experience.”
Matt Brown works there and Tiffani Jones works there. Jones also runs her own copywriting and content strategy company, Second and Park. Both sites are impressive, beautifully designed and instructive. For instance, here’s Jones on things to consider before you hire a writer.

Matt and I are lucky, because every time one of us runs into an obstacle with our business, the other gets to learn about it. One obstacle we’ve come across lately is people who come to me for web writing or copywriting, but who really need strategy, IA, and design help.
Strange gripe, considering that most the time we run into the opposite problem–people who think a good design can solve all their business problems, even though there’s no content (or content strategy) to support it.
Fortunately, investing in solid, web-optimized writing can do a lot for your website: it can make it easier to navigate, more appealing, increase your readership, and help your audience connect with your message. But just like design, IA, or content strategy in isolation, good writing is not a magic tool for generating sales or refining your brand.

A magic tool it is not, but “good writing” is a tool and with proper use of this tool much can be achieved.
In related news, content is expensive. Erin Kissane, a content strategist and writer based in New York City says:

Online publishing requires resources: planning, big doses of both creativity and disciplined analysis, writing, editing, design, project management, production, ad sales, and so on. It doesn’t usually require a separate person for each of those tasks, but it still tends to be a lot of work–more than most readers and clients tend to imagine.

Amen to that.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.