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Clerestory copy

I’m a visual thinker.

Probably the reason why I enjoy combining copy and design.

At the same time I don’t dive into the nitty gritty, but prefer to keep it high level (why I do UX and not UI).

You could say I like visual ideas.

One that stood out recently, comes from architecture. In particular from a trend that was popularized by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in the early 1900s.

Enter clerestory windows.

You might have seen these “slices” just below the roofline of modern houses. They are a great way to let light come in but still preserve the home’s privacy, and create a nice, smooth vibe, rather than blinding you with sunlight like normal windows might do.

Clerestory windows actually date back to ancient Egypt when they were used in temples.

So what’s all of this got to do with copy?

Well, I love the fact that these windows have multiple functionalities. And I believe good copy should work just like clerestory windows.

Let’s look at why they’re useful first.

From a “Masterclass” article:

  1. Natural light: Clerestory windows help illuminate interior spaces by drawing in light from the upper levels of a home.
  2. Privacy: Primary living spaces such as living rooms, dining rooms, and master bedrooms stay well-lit while staying out of view.
  3. Limited distractions: A home office with clerestory windows will be bright and airy while limiting distractions from the outside world.
  4. Wall space: By freeing up wall space, clerestory windows allow for more built-in storage, wall art, and other interior design elements.”

How do you map this to your copy?

  1. Natural light: good copy should use natural conversational language to “illuminate” people’s minds and resonate with what they’re thinking.
  2. Privacy: good copy should feel “private”, almost like you’re having a conversation with one person only.
  3. Limited distractions: good copy should be to the point and avoid fluff. No distractions are allowed when it comes to selling (except anything that distracts people from their anxieties or fears).
  4. Wall space: good copy should free space in your reader’s mind, not crowd it with more stuff. Free them from doubts, free them from objections and let them fill their “walls” with beautiful pictures.

I think it’s a nice model for thinking of writing your copy.

Anytime you’re about to sit down and write anything for your audience, how can you build clerestory windows with it?

On another note, today marks the 113th Conversion Alchemy Journal entry and I’m super happy of how this whole thing is evolving and how it’s helping me and some readers.

From this weekend I’ll be taking the first few weeks off since starting this, but mostly just because I’ll be hiking in the middle of Yosemite in California, and writing would prove quite difficult. It will be a good time to get a fresh perspective and come back on July 18th with new weird and crazy (but hopefully useful) ideas.

Until then, I wish you a great start of the summer and thanks for reading.

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