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What does it take to write great copy? A love of words is only the start.

The DMA’s Future Writers’ Labs helps copywriters shape the way write, enhancing their approach to language, and tackle tricky subject matters.

For this special edition of the Future Writers’ Labs, we invited designers to join the fun and work in partnership with our writers across a range of projects and experiments.

Over this 5-week immersive course, both designers and writers learned the ins and outs of working in a team to generate ideas, combine visual and verbal storytelling and see first-hand why two minds are better than one.

Our creative duos were asked to write and design on the spot (gulp); interrogate campaigns word-by-word; and were pushed way beyond their comfort zone, under the expert guidance of writer in residence at the DMA, Debi Bester.

The end-goal for students of the Future Writers’ Lab is to create a piece of work that changes behaviour - challenging what we do, not what we know. The topic at the centre of this creative session was body image.

The aim of the game: change the way people think and talk about body image, to create breakthrough models of storytelling.

The course culminated in a gallery style presentation, transforming a flat concept into an exhibition, and have the writers and designers present their work to their peers and create a campaign that could be experienced in the real world.

Interviews were an integral part of this project. Students needed to talk to someone relevant to the theme of body image and use insights from the interview go on to inform the whole campaign.

We heard interviews from a fitness instructor, personal trainer, body positivity coach, children, cancer survivors, athletes, and a life model. The insights from these interviews were real, raw and rich and provided the groundwork for each campaign.

The work produced was presented in a gallery-style format and aimed to be innovative and interactive. We saw everything from poems trapped in birdcages to interactive websites, and guerrilla marketing campaigns.

The wide range of work produced and the way it was presented and executed really benefits the coming together of real specialties and craft. As the process went on it soon became unclear who were the designers and who were the writers as each became increasingly involved with the others discipline throughout the course.

The Future Writers’ Labs aim is to help both designers and writers rediscover what they love about their work and to act as a reminder of the intricacies of their craft which is often lost in the fast-paced world of a creative.

Details for our next Future Writers’ Labs will be announced soon.

Learn more about our Campaign for Great British Creativity here.

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