Wordmark style issue in user documentation?

Subject: Wordmark style issue in user documentation?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com, Leo Paoletti <LPaoletti -at- webplan -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 11:55:22 -0500

Leo Paoletti wondered: <<My company (specifically the Marketing group) is considering using a wordmark (I hope this is the right term) to name a product feature.>>

If it's a "graphical treatment of a word" and used as part of a "visual identity program", then it's a wordmark.

<<The wordmark would be a combination of two words. For example: RedBlue (this is not the actual feature name) On top that, "Red" would be italicized and "Blue" would use a normal font. I'm uncomfortable using a this wordmark in the user documentation for a few reasons:>>

The key here is to disinguish between the graphic and what that graphic refers to. Have a look at IBM and Microsoft and you'll see that they have very distinctive wordmarks, but nowhere do these wordmarks appear in the running text of their manuals. (I mention these two because they offer a compelling argument against marketeers who don't know any better and want to be distinctive.) On the contrary, you only see the wordmark as such where a graphic is necessary--such as in branding materials.

So use the wordmark for graphical purposes (e.g., in brochures), but for running text, just set the word in the same font you're using for the rest of the body text.

--Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)

Wordmark style issue in user documentation: From: Leo Paoletti

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