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December 13, 2010 / Sophie_Paterson

The Language of Design

We all know that designers are creative and visual people, but does this focus on aesthetics mean they’re missing out on vital elements of communication? On the path of clear communication, leading to the dream destination of business success, how many creatives can walk, cycle and drive before they can walk? And as communication is a two-way street, where are they getting the vital listening and comprehensive skills?

Washington-based designer Matthew Inman known to his fans as ‘The Oatmeal’ offers a tongue in cheek exploration of the communication problems between web designers and clients here.

Communicating with clients is one of many examples of the written and oral communication skills that Designers will need in their professional lives; proposals, presentations, letters, brochures, copy for websites, reports and job applications.

The University of Glamorgan Education Drop in Centre offers workshops on all manner of academic skills, and there are some excellent books available on the topic such Writing for Design Professionals by Stephen A. Kliment (former editor-in-chief of Architectural Record).

The drop in centre also lists a number of useful websites, listed below.

BBC Skillswise – this site provides clear, concise information about a range of issue, from the basic to the more advanced. The site has sections that deal with grammar, spelling, reading, writing, listening and vocabulary, although it does not include using academic language.

Using English – this site is an extensive reference for grammar, irregular verbs, phrasal verbs and idioms. It is suitable for both native and non-native speakers of English and it covers English usage at all levels from beginner to advanced level.

Purdue Online Writing Lab – this site offers writing resources and instructional material to improve writing skills for all levels.

Send us your top tips for resources for designers!

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