Client: The Yealm Development
Project: Brochure copywriting for lifestyle magazine special
When: Summer 2018
“We’ve contracted Graeme at DropCapCopy to work with us on client projects for a couple of years now. He’s always a delight to work with. He responds quickly, produces a high-quality set of copy every time, and always maintains active communication. We’re impressed with Graeme’s copywriting and will continue to work with DropCapCopy on future projects.”
Ben & Clare Stirling, Made With Maturity ~ Web & Digital Marketing Specialists.
While the majority of my copywriting work focuses on writing for web, once in a while a wonderful brochure project comes up. Working with the team at web and digital marketing agency, Made With Maturity, I wrote and copyedited editorial content for a special, one-off brochure.
The Yealm is a new luxury and boutique housing development along Devon’s south coast, breathing new life into the former Yealm Hotel. The old building overlooks the harbour of the twin villages of Newton Ferrers and Noss Mayo in a stunning location. Local residents were keen to keep the building, rather than see it razed to the ground. But they were sceptical about how a new development of homes and apartments would and could work.
Together with developers, Red Earth, MwM devised a one-off brochure magazine to celebrate the life, work, and people of the two villages. The brochure would also be an opportunity to tell residents, visitors, and potential buyers about the development in more detail.
With MwM project managing, they drafted me in for brochure copywriting services on all its content. But getting the locals involved was the key to the success of this project. So MwM had already received written submissions on life in the villages and its pubs, yacht club, school, and church. Taking this supplied content, I put it all through a copyediting process that included:
– Proofing: checking for spelling, grammar, and consistency throughout each piece
– Editing: making stylistic edits to improve how each piece sounded and read, plus proofing
– Rewriting: making larger changes to structure and content, plus editing and proofing
This left around 10 articles I needed to research and write from a standing start. I’d already visited the development site and met the owner of Red Earth, so I had a good understanding of his ethos and what he wanted to achieve. This really helped when it came to writing the brochure’s intro and the articles on Red Earth and the development itself.
Two articles written on the development’s architects and interior designer both needed phone interviews. This would get the back story and inside look to how it all came together from their perspective. Features on the ecology and conservation of the River Yealm, the harbour, and four of the area’s local beaches all had huge amounts of research behind them.
Keeping it short and easy to read
Never intended to be an in-depth publication, the aim of River Life was to provide a snapshot of village life and the new development. But it was always intended to be something of a souvenir, set aside for future reference. Each article needed to be short and easy to read, so they all range from around 200 – 400 words. While not exactly micro-copy, I needed to keep the writing concise but without losing too much detail.
The length of content also allowed the MwM graphic design team to include plenty of professionally shot images. The final layout design works really well in making it a real visual feast for the eyes. With a print run of around 2,000, a copy of River Life got hand delivered to every house in both villages. A small quantity were also left in the pubs for visitors, as well as with the estate agents looking after the property sales.
River Life remains one of my favourite brochure projects to have worked on. Though it involved a lot of research, planning, and coordination, I’m really pleased with the quality of writing. And there was a certain amount of satisfaction in getting to finally touch, see, and smell it in all its printed glory.
To see the River Life magazine in full, have a look through the digital version here.