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Verbal brander seeks visual experts

November 16, 2010

I wrote recently about how brilliant the Young and Rubicam campaign for the OED is. Save The Words was so much fun I forgot a few things, and appreciate designer Natalie Zensius’s take on the site.

What did I forget? That the design, the navigation, the functionality, the social networking capabilities, and the execution of savethewords.org are actually pretty bad.

While playing around on the site I got frustrated trying to find a word, trying to read the annoying fonts of the words, trying to remember which words I’d clicked, trying to see the selections available, and trying to send words to friends. A lot of trying but not much success or ease. Alarms should have gone off, but I’m a sucker for words. So I didn’t even notice my frustrations, let alone articulate them.

It’s taken a while, but I’m now prepared with a few caveats. When I said the campaign shimmered, I meant the idea. I meant the logocentricity of the site. And I forgot that, as a linguistic type, I am easily blinded by words. I was so busy drinking in obscure words I almost choked on the interface, architecture, and execution.

Thank goodness I work with great graphic designers, web coders, interface and architecture experts, and visual creatives who can point out the importance about things beyond my linguistic world. Because the synergy between words people and picture people is where great branding really happens.

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