Posts in category: Communications

National minimum wage – a photo is worth…

National minimum wage – a photo is worth…

I spotted this somewhat odd choice of photo used to illustrate the Fair Work Ombudsman’s web page on the National Minimum Wage. What does the man’s expression say to you about the minimum wage rate of $15.51 an hour? I reckon they over-thought the choice...

The perversion of words

Have you noticed how when a word becomes trendy and overused, it not only loses its original meaning but can often become perverted to mean the opposite? A political party with the word “one” in its name is usually more about division and exclusion than...

People are not fully themselves online

There is an “online disinhibition effect” according to psychologists. Because of the “anonymity, invisibility and fantasy” conditions of online communities, we can become disconnected from others even as we can actually be in front of more people’s faces than ever...
Too many words

Too many words

Here’re two examples of signage that used too many words strung together in unnecessarily convuluted writing. This is one in a shopping centre: Suggested improvement: This is one on a bus: Suggested improvement: Don’t make it hard for the punters! There...
Missing the point

Missing the point

I know we can all get fixated on technology, or fixated on what we do and how good we are at that. I spotted this great example on eHow. The title promised one thing, while the actual content completely missed the point. had nothing to do with Early Literacy at all!...
I know no one reads anything…

I know no one reads anything…

Least of all official government official looking stuff. This 2011 Perth CHOGM (The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting) website has two doozies that really should not have been allowed into the light of day: The spelling of CHOGM in the (barely legible) navbar...
Pushing the limit of clarity

Pushing the limit of clarity

Road signs are meant to communicate immediately and clearly. This sign snapped at a roadworks in Singapore a month ago was clearly pushing that...
Six internationalisation tips

Six internationalisation tips

Target your seasons appropriately. When it is winter in the Northern hemisphere, it is summer down under. When I get a summer promo in winter, I think you don’t get it or don’t care enough. If you are selling seasonal goods, run your campaigns twice, reversing the...
What does a typeface say?

What does a typeface say?

This is the logotype/logo on Perth’s new District Court building. It struck me as an odd and somewhat jarring choice. Was it made on the basis of fashion, in a not-quite-thought-through attempt to create a more contemporary feel? It is certainly a very ‘modern’...
Bad handwriting at Kastrup

Bad handwriting at Kastrup

I have recently travelled through Copenhagen’s Kastrup airport for the third time (first time was in 2005). They still have the same crappy Chinese handwriting on their signs. I can see that the Japanese has been properly typeset. So why not the Chinese? As I am a...
Changi Arrival and Departure

Changi Arrival and Departure

Singapore’s (beautiful) Changi airport is the only airport I have been to where the signs say “Arrival” and “Departure”; instead of the more usual “Arrivals” and “Departures”. I would have thought it is more common to use the plural form when naming categories. Such...
Dove integrity fail

Dove integrity fail

I ran into a chemist the other day to grab a stick of deodorant. Dove is ok – or so I thought. They are the more socially progressive brand – notable for their ‘Real Beauty’ campaign that featured normal-looking women, and the retouching piece on...
Asking for a cynical response

Asking for a cynical response

I spotted this sign in a Singapore post office. I am guessing it is for a life insurance business. (Making the customer guess is not a good start.) The tagline “Your future is our priority” is just cynicism bait don’t you think? My immediate response upon reading this...
Creepy bank promotion

Creepy bank promotion

This came from my Singapore bank: The big print on the envelope says: “IMPORTANT. Open up and get more.” I don’t think I like the idea of opening up for a bank. Do you? And what would I get more of if I were to open up? Is this creepy or what?!! Amusing definitely....
A case of say but not quite do?

A case of say but not quite do?

I walked past this bill board in downtown Perth recently. It belonged to a credit union and featured the tagline “Bank with us & we’ll put you first.” My immediate thought as I took the picture was: If they were serious about putting me first, shouldn’t they put...

A clear, compelling and engaging vision

Here’s a great example of how a business can set up a powerful vision of the future for themselves, their products and their customers. Here’s A Day Made of Glass … Made possible by Corning: In one single video, Corning has enabled 360° of emotive hooks...
Mercure email user-centric communications fail

Mercure email user-centric communications fail

A recent email announcing the Mercure hotel group’s new website was a perfect how-not-to-do-it example of unconsidered, unthinking and self-centred communication design. I present the Before with my immediate responses (as a customer): Note I have cropped away some...

The junk-food-ification of media and knowledge

In the early days of the post-tsunami Japanese nuclear plant accidents, the spate of sensationalised fear-mongering “news” was staggering to behold. Big scary words were used. Inflated comparisons were drawn with Chernobyl. Not to mention the cherry-picking of...
Social media the old way

Social media the old way

A supermarket’s community noticeboard is a way to build a community. It doesn’t actually directly make the store any profit. But it does become a focal point for gathering around a store. Replacing this with an online version will defeat the purpose. People will still...

Context in communications

The Jordanian representation of prices seems to be highly contextual. The following all meant 1 Dinar: JD 1000 (on a sign at the entry to a historical site) JD 1,00 (on a book in a shop) JD 1 (on a menu at a cafe) I am also reminded of the inconsistent use of the...
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