Journal tags: chalkboard


The Chalkboard of the Fourth Wall

It has been said before but I’ll say it again: copy is interface. Josh sums it up nicely in his post Writing Microcopy:

The fastest way to improve your interface is to improve your copy-writing.

The canonical online example is with its adorably anthropomorphised Little Moo robot personality. An oft-cited offline paragon is Innocent Smoothies with their cheeky little packaging easter egg delighters.

My favourite meatspace exemplar is right here in Brighton. The Earth and Stars pub has an outside chalkboard with a distinct personality. Over the past two years, I’ve been chronicling its announcements on Flickr.

Some samples:

Why does everyone always look at me? I know I’m a chalkboard and that’s my job, I just wish people would ask before staring at me. Sometimes I don’t have anything to say.

All the chalkboards inside think they’re so special! They seem to forget that I was here first! If I can see off the English weather, then I can certainly see off those punks!

I’m the unluckiest chalkboard in Brighton. Summer’s coming and this side of the building is always in the shade. Please come inside and tell them to move me to the western wall.

What are you looking at? I’ve told you before that it’s rude to stare! Be warned… I’m the chalkboard Kung Fu champion and not afraid to use my skills.

So bored of this job. I don’t want to be a chalkboard anymore. I wish I’d paid more attention in woodwork, I could have been a skateboard or a sun-lounger… at least I’m not a chopping board.

Stop looking at me like I’m a waste of space! I’m not just a chalkboard you know! I’m also a supporting wall. I provide shelter from wild beasts and tropical storms. Go inside so I don’t have to see you!

And my favourite:

Help me.

Walking past the chalkboard this week, I was pleased to see that it had been updated. Taking out my camera, I read the latest message:

Call me paranoid but I’m sure someone’s watching me, some are even taking pictures. I’m not sure of my rights as a chalkboard, but I feel violated. I’ll be watching you Mr. Keith!

I’m being cyberstalked by a paranoid existentialist chalkboard.

Paranoid existentialist chalkboard

Made me smile.