THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Innovation and enterprise blog

16 May 2014

Book Review - Copywriting: Successful writing for design, advertising and marketing

Copywriting coverI came across this book, written by Mark Shaw, while I was browsing the Small Business Help shelf in the Business & IP Centre, looking for a more recent book on the same topic, which hasn’t arrived yet. 

Copywriting: Successful writing for design, advertising and marketing, published by Laurence King Publishing Ltd in 2009, is a practical guide on how to use creative writing in business for the following purposes:
•    Advertising and direct marketing
•    Retailing and products
•    Catalogues
•    Company magazines and newsletters
•    Websites and digital formats
•    Brand, marketing and internal communications

Even though the plain book cover does not imply it, the most interesting parts of the book are the numerous visual examples, based on real cases, which the author uses to illustrate every point he makes.

He also presents interesting interviews with creative directors and case studies of companies and other organisations on their approach to creative writing in business.

  Amnesty flyer


The above illustration is one of the examples presented in the book. In the case study on direct marketing, the creative director of the graphic design agency Different Kettle explains how he created this hard-hitting leaflet for Amnesty International.

Another interesting feature of the book are the practical tips that the author gives at the end of each chapter, including:
•    A checklist, with the main tasks to be done
•    A practical exercise
•    A round-up of the main points of the chapter

Overall, the book is comprehensive and well structured as a practical guide with a lot of illustrations. If the text was made a little easier to read it would be better. Nevertheless, even though the book is not very recent most of the suggested techniques and tips apply regardless of time.  

Irini Efthimiadou on behalf of Business & IP Centre

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