How we can help

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Learn about Voicebox

Our thoughts

Hello. We’re a language strategy agency. We help brands find their voice, tell their stories, and explain their things. We run ‘really flipping brilliant’* workshops, and we invented Voicebox, the ‘game-changing’* kit that helps you develop a tone of voice yourself. We can help. How?

*so say our clients.

Find your voice. Speak to the world.

Voicebox is our ‘game-changing’ tone of voice method.
Simple, powerful , playful. And in a box.
Everything you need to run your own tone of voice project.

Things we’re thinking about

Give me a (bridge) sign

I use this photo all the time. It's a brilliant example of clear communication. Recently, I decided to track down the photographer – to say thanks and pay fairly for my use of it. And there followed an unexpected and lovely little tale...

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The Infinite Library of Babel

In 1941 Borges wrote ‘The Library of Babel’ – a short story about the idea of a library containing all possible books. Now, someone has actually created it online. You're right, it's totally mind-blowing.

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John Simmons: the man who changed the words

It's exaggeration to say that John Simmons 'invented the idea of tone of voice'. But only slightly. I spoke to him about the early years of getting brands to take their 'verbal identity' more seriously.

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The 5 genius out of office auto-replies that will turbo-charge your personal brand this summer

Boring Out of Offices make me sad. That little auto-reply email is speaking on your behalf hundreds of times while you’re away. It's practically your obligation to have some fun with it.

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The invisible voice

When I talk to people about Voicebox's 11 Primary Voices, it tends to be the 'loud' voices that get the attention. Does anyone really want to be the 'neutralizer'? Yet for some organisations, having an 'invisible' voice is exactly right.

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Why I’m happy for Voicebox to ‘give away all my secrets’

One of the things people ask me about Voicebox - everything I know about tone of voice, in a box – is whether I'm 'worried about giving away all my secrets'. I'm not at all. Here's why.

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Monzo: the bank that likes to smiley

The mobile-only bank Monzo is shaking up the personal finance world – and it's friendly, emoji-packed tone of voice is part of what its customers love. I speak to Monzo's head of words, Harry Ashbridge, about what they're up to.

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A brand’s tone of voice is a powerful ‘nudge’.

A brand's tone of voice isn't just about sharpening up the marketing. It can also be a powerful 'nudge' for all sorts of other organisational changes.

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The age of Innocent is over

For the longest time, every lazy brand in town defaulted to copying Innocent Drinks's chatty, playful tone of voice. Then something changed, and the bandwagon-jumpers found a new tone of voice to steal...

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Listen. I can’t play the trumpet

What I learned about creativity and uncertainty by playing the trumpet in front of 100 strangers, even though I can't play the trumpet.

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Don’t call me a ‘takeaway cup’

Our language around recycling is so unbalanced. For instance, this isn't a 'takeaway cup'. It's a landfill cup...

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Storytelling should be more like project management. Yes, really.

If storytelling is so important, how come so many brands tell *terrible* stories? Because we're not very good at talking *about* stories. We should learn a thing or two from the world of project management...

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My nearly-famous open letter to Apple

A few years ago I wrote this 'open letter' to Apple, challenging them to change the bamboozling language of their terms and conditions, and in so doing, change the world. (OK, so they never replied – but lots of other people did.)

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This terrible toilet can teach us everything about great UX design

I was trapped in a toilet, unable to follow the simplest instructions. How had it come to this? What was it teaching me about user-interface design? (And why is user interface design my go-to thought process right now?!)

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Naming something? Forget ‘McBoatface’s law’ at your peril

The whole hilarious 'Boaty McBoatface' saga contains every lesson you ever need to know about how (not) to name products, services, brands and um, boats. Here's a reminder.

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