Infographic design and structure

Infographic about stock market behavior











Modern Copy loves infographics. These deceptively simple devices manage to communicate a lot of complicated information. When you dissect one, you start to see the patterns emerge beneath. Good infographics always have a narrative. They tell a story, with an intro, beginning, middle and end. Sometimes, even a smart sign-off. They relate technical data in a way that only demands a few seconds of your time. They can be dipped into, or consumed as one, like a good magazine feature. The trend for the long, scrolling infographic like this one about stocks also demands that you physically engage with the graphic by moving up and down with your cursor.

This particular infographic explains how stock market investors are ruled by five psychological traits. These are often counterproductive, illogical and self-destructive. It’s a powerful message that affects everyone, and this infographic explains the horrifying fact that our economies are influenced by some very strange buying and selling indeed. It does it with solid facts and a sprinkling of humour, and of course a great story.

A really simple explanation to Google’s zoo updates









Ever wondered what the difference between Google’s Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird updates are? For writers, it’s essential to know how the system has evolved. At a basic level, this isn’t hard to understand. We just received an update from Receptional  that manages to do it in just over 100 words. They’re in the same school of thought that we are. Five years ago, SEO experts may have charged you a fortune to optimise your site and copy. In the future, only the best writers will succeed, full stop.



Forces Sauces copy project with bluemarlin agency

Respect Deserved: The Creation of a Brand Hero from bluemarlin on Vimeo.

Just been sent a superb short video that explains some of the thinking behind Forces Sauces. It’s a condiment brand I was lucky enough to work on with the Stoll Foundation and bluemarlin this year, helping with tone of voice guidelines, campaign copy and packaging. Have a look to see how choosing a sauce can mean helping others – especially in the run up to Remembrance Day.


What’s the ideal length for a blog post?

We get to write copy for many different websites, and online marketing has become a world coloured by metrics and analysis. It’s also a great place to find people hawking solutions, even if the problem is non-existent. This blog post from one LinkedIn influencer came through to us at Modern Copy today. It’s a fantastic piece of information. The answer is exactly what we would hope to hear as writers: there’s no such thing as ideal length, it’s quality that matters.

Google’s Hummingbird algorithms confirms that it’s about good writing, not tricky SEO

Feature on Google Hummingbird from Daily Telegraph








Modern Copy are often asked by our digital copywriting clients whether SEO is for them. The answer, as many online copy specialists have told the world, used to be ‘It’s for you, and it’s twice as expensive as you were thinking.’ What most sensible people suspect is that SEO means very little without good content ideas, executed well. You can pay through the nose for expensive SEO consultants, but it’s a smoke and mirrors game that looks to be delivering diminishing returns.

Each incarnation of Google goes in the same direction, and that is towards promoting sites that have great copy, not technical SEO. The two things aren’t mutually exclusive, of course. But people who have leant on SEO as the core of their strategy, while executing the rest of their content badly, are going to see their artifically-lifted figures toppling.

Check out the latest Telegraph feature on Google Hummingbird and find out for yourself. Then check the comments. Look for the SEO experts – and see how happy they feel about it. That tells you the good news: having beautiful, well-planned content you can be proud of will be the only way your site can guarantee long-term success.


Lifelogging cameras challenge naming conventions

A photo of the white Narrative Clip lifelogging camera

The Memoto – or Narrative Clip

Modern Copy write about technology for quite a few commercial clients – we recently named Tesco’s THX electronic styling range, we’ve handled content for QinetiQ’s in-house magazine and we’ve just finished a project on cloud computing for a financial services client.

We’ve just finished writing a contribution for a newspaper about a new technology that could change many of our lives: lifelogging cameras.

Simply put, they’re wireless buttonhole cameras that take still photos of your everyday life – around 2000 photos a day.

The two main players are Autographer (launched last month) and Memoto (launching next month). Memoto, a Swedish company with venture backing, has just announced a last-minute name change to ‘Narrative Clip‘.

Let’s talk about names. Autographer is descriptive, evocative and classy. It tells you the owner is individual, has a mark to make in the world and wants to do it independently. It may sound a bit vintage to some, but the photographic link is clear.

Memoto is weird, but memorable. Again, it’s individual, but quirky and modern – nearly robotic, perhaps a touch of Japanese cool in there too. It rhymes with photo, but that’s a fairly weak connection.

Narrative Clip? The concept is to bring out the lifelogging aspect more, to accent the idea that your life is a story unfolding, a story that the camera helps you tell. The clip part has a double meaning. Firstly, it physically clips to your clothes. Secondly, it creates ‘clips’ in photos – but doesn’t that suggest it shoots movies, too? (It can’t shoot video.)

‘Narrative’ is now the company name, too, opening up more possibility for stretching the brand, but I’d say ‘Narrative Clip’ is a pretty dull effort compared to their previous product name.

We tested both cameras, and they’re fantastic, by the way. You can read what we thought in this weekend’s Sunday Times.




Condensing the world’s greatest race into 500 words

We love writing content for the web. Modern Copy has collaborated with some great brands online over the years, and we’ve learnt that online copywriting is really a fantastic exercise in brevity. We’ve had a great relationship with Red Bull Adventure, a new website for adventure sports, and today a new story we’ve put together for them went online. It’s about the Clipper Round The World race: a 40,000 mile trip for amateur yachtsmen. Founded by Sir Robin Knox-Johnston to give ordinary people a chance to taste the real challenges of sailing, we were tempted to put Modern Copy forward to do it next year.

Check out the story here