Signs must communicate quickly and efficiently. Imagine if all your communications had to communicate visually all the time. A sign of the times is that new media is changing how we write, design and think about communications.
You might say that new media is not changing us for the better. Regardless, we are all changing. The biggest change that I see is the tendency for smaller blocks of copy. Texting is changing and shortening our spelling: “idrc” or “idk.” Twitter only allows you 140 characters of copy. People will only spend a few minutes on a website and then they are gone.
However our scanning, 24-hour Twitter, smartphone, herky-jerky, Facebook lifestyles are really changing in ways we can never anticipate. What I do know is that new media is changing our patience with copy. Our copy blocks need to get shorter — and in my opinion, harder to write. So take a look at that long mission statement, that long letter, that verbose brochure, that 50-slide PowerPoint: New media is giving us Media Attention Deficit Disorder.
- Cut down copy.
- Bullet when you can.
- Use short little lines.
- One thought per paragraph.
- Bold or highlight key words.
- Underline what I need to know.