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Too Much Talking, Too Many Words

Too many words

As a writer among graphic designers, the most familiar critique I get is, "Can you trim the copy?" This is the succinct saga of my professional life.

Good writers favor brevity. Good communicators practice it, too. We're often guilty of using too many words.

John Huston, our founder and creative director, not known for mincing words, once tossed me a book titled Brevity. "Read it," he said. I did, and it’s time I revisited those lessons. I’ll share the insights soon.

Having really experienced graphic designers around is a huge advantage. They compel you to strip down, simplify, and focus. By forcing you to use fewer words, they help you say more.

Imagine crafting a website without a designer's eye — it's akin to watching Joey Chestnut, hyped-up, attempting to devour a record number of hot dogs. He might succeed, but it won't be pretty.

Many business websites resemble a competitive eating contest, bombarding users with an indigestible amount of information, offering little clarity in return.

Here’s the hard truth: users won't absorb it all, and frankly, they don't want to. 

Discipline becomes essential. Take time to distill what unique value you offer and articulate it clearly and concisely. Your message should resonate in seconds, not minutes.

Recall Mark Twain’s famous words, “I didn’t have time to write you a shorter letter, so I wrote a long one instead.” What he meant was simple: brevity takes more time and discipline than verbosity.

  • Saying Less Requires Discipline. To say less, you must filter out the non-essential. This demands deep thinking and a profound understanding of what truly matters to your customer. Focus solely on their core concerns.
  • Saying Less Requires Confidence. The clearer you are about what you offer and how it aligns with your audience's needs, the less you need to say. State your piece with confidence and then stop. Insecurity leads to rambling, hoping something will resonate. Remember, when everything is emphasized, nothing stands out. Build your confidence in your value proposition, then eliminate the superfluous.
  • Saying Less Requires Design. Perhaps Mark Twain didn't imply this, but it’s a point worth making. Superior graphic design reduces the necessity for words. Strong creative concepts lessen the reliance on verbal explanations.

As a writer, I’m astounded by how effectively we can communicate with minimal words when we collaborate with designers to encapsulate an idea visually.

Want to convey more with less?
Enlist a really great graphic designer. Our team excels in creative problem-solving. We're eager to understand your challenges, ask the right questions, and devise effective solutions that elevate your business — without overwhelming your audience.

Book a strategy session today.