From The Golden Thread Mailbag …
Finishing the Live Assignment

One of the letters in last week’s Mailbag was from Terri. She had a question about including direction for the graphic designer in your copy. Today, Mike K. (a graphic designer), weighs in on the subject. He reinforces just how important it is for writers and designers to have an understanding of each other’s needs. Mike also adds to the study hint that Roy H. shared with us.)

Hey Scott,

Just wanted to comment on two things in last week’s Mailbag.

First, Terri’s letter: As a designer, I can’t say enough about how nice it is when the copywriter includes notes and formats copy the way he or she wants it formatted. I just finished laying out a promo written by Steve S., who did a masterful job of indicating to me how he wanted certain things to look. Even the basics – like where to use bold, underlines, or italics in the body copy – need to come from the writer and not be left to the designer, where a mistake can change the whole tone of the copy or emphasize the wrong thing. However, there are times when not everything the writer wants is possible. If a writer understands the issues a designer faces when designing a package (and vice versa) the process works a lot smoother.

Second, Roy’s letter: When I was going through the Graphic Design Success program, I did take notes (as Roy recommends) – but not on paper. I typed them in an email message that remains in my Drafts folder. I took a ton of notes – and by putting them in electronic form, I can do a simple Find if I’m trying to locate a concept or term but have too many notes to visually look through. You could do the same thing in a word-processing document, too.

– Mike K.


Hi Scott,

I am almost finished writing the Live Assignment from the program. When reviewing the letter, I’m afraid it comes across as too strong. I’m not sure if it addresses the right audience. Also, do I need to put a disclaimer in the copy stating that using this supplement cannot guarantee good health?

– Brent R.

Hello Brent,

If you aren’t sure if your Live Assignment has the right tone, try reading it out loud. You should also post it on the AWAI Member Forum before handing it in. Many of our members have used the Forum as a springboard to better copy. Start a thread in the Six-Figure Copywriting section. There are some very accomplished copywriters who post there. I’m sure several of them will give suggestions for what you’ve written.

There are some rules regarding what you can and can’t claim in a health promo. I know that we are talking about a practice assignment here – but if you are thinking about making the health market your niche, you might want to pick up “Secrets of Writing for the Health Market,” which includes a section on FDA guidelines.

[You can learn more at:]

Hello Scott,

I worked for a number of weeks on the practice assignment, and I had a lot of fun. I cannot wait to be a copywriter. There seems to be more creativity in copywriting than in technical writing, which is what I am doing now. AWAI has great program. I know that I am getting excellent training. Take care, and keep up the excellent work.

Now onto the next assignment …

– Giselle C.

Thanks to one and all. Keep those emails coming!


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Published: February 6, 2006

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