Microstyle: The Art of Writing Little by Christopher Johnson
Some of the most important verbal messages we craft are also the shortest: headlines, titles, sound bites, brand names, domain names, slogans, taglines, company mantras, email signatures, bullet points. These miniature messages depend not on the elements of style but rather on the atoms of style. They require microstyle. Branding consultant Christopher Johnson here reveals the once-secret knowledge of poets, copywriters, brand namers, political speechwriters, and other professional verbal miniaturists. Each chapter discusses one tool that helps miniature messages grab attention, communicate instantly, stick in the mind, and roll off the tongue. As he highlights examples of those tools used well, Johnson also examines messages that miss the mark, either by failing to use a tool or by using it badly. Microstyle shows readers how to say the most with the least, while offering a lively romp through the historic transformation of mass media into the media of the personal.
Christopher Johnson, an independent verbal branding consultant, received his PhD in linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley, and has worked at Lexicon, one of the country's top naming firms. He lives in Seattle, Washington.