What are words worth? Words
Words in papers, words in books
Words on TV, words for crooks
Words of comfort, words of peace
Words to make the fighting cease
Words to tell you what to do
Words are working hard for you…

Lyrics taken from the marvellous Tom Tom Club’s Wordy Rappinghood, released 1981.

What are words worth in the context of good design? In many cases they are central to the development of an idea and the creative spark. In any new commission, here at Touch we often think about the letters, the words, the shapes, the symmetry, the feel of the text, just as much as we do about the shapes, sizes, colours and images used in the design and branding. There is an interplay between text and design, one informing the other, and back again.

In a recent commission for the Wye Valley NHS Trust we were asked to help shape the campaign creative to support the Herefordshire-based Trust’s recruitment activities. A multitude of messages were needed to be conveyed about the appealing work-life balance at the Trust, the range of clinical opportunities, and its calm, rural location yet close proximity via road and rail to key cities in England and Wales. The campaign needed to reach out to a varied skill mix of professionals including consultants who were interested in matters of clinical excellence as well as a lifestyle destination offering good schools, good walks, good living.

As ever, there can be a tendency to try to say too much, with too many words, in the campaign creative. It needs to touch all potential clinical applicants, appealing to their diverse motives, but say something coherent and simple to all. The answer this time was facing us on the page. Why should you pursue your profession in Hereford? For all these many reasons in the campaign, that’s Wye. Through digital media, the message became #ThatsWye. As the Trust states: “The scale of our ambition to make a difference for the population we care for cannot be underestimated… as a senior clinician in our team you could live here too. Why pick Wye Valley NHS Trust to move to the next level in your career? That’s Wye.”

What are words worth in this respect. The word ‘Wye’ is everything. It shapes the whole campaign around the organisation and the place. It distinguishes this Trust from others. It’s the basis for why positions within this organisation might offer that little extra something. One word, one uniting message. In this campaign, “Words really are working hard for you…”



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