To round up a month of chat about designers who write, I thought you might like to hear from some designers who’ve made writing a part of their business strategy.

Michael Smith heads up Cog, a design studio celebrating 25 years servicing the UK’s arts and cultural sector this year. Nicola Jones is a freelance designer finding her feet with her work, clients and personal brand.

They spoke to me about what compels them, as designers to write, and the impact it has on their careers.


As founder of Cog, Michael leads by example when it comes to writing about his studio’s work and passions. Unlike those designers who write about design, Michael chooses instead to communicate directly with his client base.

“I don’t want to burst any bubbles but most people really don’t care about the minutiae of design. I write for our target audiences (clients, potential clients and potential colleagues, in that order).”

Writing has given Michael, and the entire Cog team an opportunity to build a collective personality; communicating a near obsessive love of the arts.

“Our writing is all about positioning us as the go-to agency for cultural sector projects. There are loads of agencies who work (or want to work) with our clients, it’s a competitive world. We stay ahead of the game because of our genuine love of their work. Being able to demonstrate that passion is a key part of our success.”

It’s a tactic that works.

“It’s rewarding when a client casually mentions that they’ve read a quote somewhere, and we know they can only have read it on our website.”

With closer to 25 months design time under her belt, Nic’s approach to writing is focused on creating a personal brand concurrent with her growing client base.

“My early blogs were very personal, lead by my emotions. Eventually I stopped whining and decided to branch out into helping others instead. As a designer, I try to inform my clients, adding value and hopefully even a little inspiration.”

Whether it’s a career counted in years or months, writing’s impact is the same. Knowing who your audience is, and delivering content they can’t not read will always be key. The hard part is doing it with style.