Form is one of my cherished topics for a couple of reasons. One, I have a visual arts background. Two, I have a poetry background. Three, I have a marketing background. All those things involve “form” in some shape or manner.
For instance, as a visual artist, I give “form” to my ideas, my “content,” via the things I draw. As a poet, I create a “form” when I begin to work with line breaks and to consider how my words, the content, appear on the page. As a marketing person, I create forms for both written and visual content. In some instances, I bring those forms together in order to create an even larger form, such as a white paper or brochure.
Those experiences with writing and the visual arts probably cause me to view form and content in a different manner than some. I think form and content are indivisible. If one is lacking, both the form and the content are affected by it. If my words aren’t given a form, they may not be coherent. If my ideas for a Write Right comic aren’t displayed in a visual format, they merely remain ideas. Those ideas have to be given a form. They are expressed through it. With marketing, the form is just as important. The form can highlight important details. It could enable customers to understand a product better. It could inspire them to buy something, such as a book.
Form isn’t pertinent only to writers, artists, or marketing; it’s important to website designers and business owners, too. Website designers have to consider how the “form” of a website will enhance or detract from the content. With business owners, the “form” often is the first impression that a customer sees. Will that form convey the business owners’ intent? Is it the best vehicle for the business owners’ content? In some cases it is, and in some cases it isn’t. When it isn’t, a new form has to be found. The point of the form, after all, is to express an idea and to express it in the best way possible.