What can copywriters learn from collage?

What can copywriters learn from collage?

While writing copy for a web project recently, my mind wandered to the years I obsessed over collages. I collected beautiful images, pieced together emotive words, developed themes and patiently built up the layers to create the desired effect.

As much as tablets and touch screens have transformed web design, they have opened up warrens of opportunity for copywriters to explore.

Sites have morphed into interactive dens, with walkways and panels to flick and skip. They’re touchy-feely scrapbooks to leaf through at your leisure, play hide-and-reveal and tumble down long pages.

By piecing together a complementary blend of copy styles, a mood can be created. Gritty or humorous little touches can sit slightly askew from the main tone of voice to give an interesting edge.

While online environments should quickly inform, they must continually intrigue; one visitor will want fast facts, while the next may have all the time in the world to dig around in your content. You can keep their interest with teasers and topics, statistics, sign posts and asides.

Hard facts can be softened with touches of emotion, and sales information intertwined with feedback snippets and stories.

Blogs, videos and comments are skimmed, shared and pinched .. tagged and tucked into nooks and crannies. Readers open drawers to peer inside, looking at words that shine and quotes that catch their eye.

Writing online content will never be as tactile as sitting down to create a collage. But there are pleasing overlaps: exploring concepts, playing with tones, pulling out words and weaving in motifs.

I call it collage copywriting. And you don’t even need glue.

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