“Meine damen und heren, mes dames et messieurs, ladies und gentlemen… leave all your troubles outside. In here, life is beautiful, the girls are beautiful, even the orchestra is beautiful.” Cabaret
Creating atmosphere, a sense of character and an vivid sense of place with words are the fundamentals of tone of voice.
Recently I’ve been conducting ‘word harvests’ – a term I’ve invented for the activity of collecting words from inspiring and motivating scenes, places, conferences and exhibitions.
The result is the equivalent of a designer’s mood board, it forms a scrap book of language that, in a business context, informs both the design process, personality, concept materialisation and the tone of voice development.
Here’s a language mood board I harvested from The Museum of Everything:
You come in laughing
A bit like a gnome garden
The hint of something, the door into something else.
Seeing the backs of puppets from the puppeteers’ point of view
Don Carlos World’s greatest animal trainer presents Dog and Monkey Hotel
“They had a fantastic banner from a meat union with a buffalo head” “What would you do with that”
“I became friends with Nikki the Dwarf clown”
“I was drawing the smallest pony in the world…when…”
Class system and industrial revolution (and lack of space) means folk art has less value in the UK
New York: amazing collections of clown shoes
The most exclusive of games
Point your rifle to the back
Up to date shooting gallery for ladies and gents
The taxidermy version of Sylvanian Families
The death and burial of Cock Robin
Cow is made by stretching calf skin over a wooden framework
Carefully selected feathers
18 common English toads enjoying a sunny afternoon in the park with swings
A robin on a cat, on a mouse on the crow on the weasel
“Joseph Cornell never left America but created these fantasies about being in Paris with young ladies, opera singers and ballet dancers with whom he was in love”
Scientific automatic palmistry
A simple quarter inch loop stitch
Renaud’s famous marionette circus
“Somewhere between the intention, ambition and the product, the outsider artist invents his own way of doing things”
Quite a few of the quotes are attributable to Sir Peter Blake interspersed with language of my own.
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