Gist promotes clear, plain language a reader can trust. We have no hidden rhetorical agenda. We are not interested in manipulating a reader’s subconscious to increase clicks. Our relationship with advertising consists of shooing it away with the nearest broom. We promote words that capture essence and its context, that allow a person to hold a thought in the mind and arrive at an understanding, or at least reserve mental space for such worthwhile efforts.
We have helped turn complicated issues into stories that render complexity more conversational. We translate from Engineer to English. We help multilingual academics and bureaucrats tame jargon and strike a balance between accuracy and rigor on one hand and accessibility on the other. We are oblivious to commercial potential but we enjoy ambiguity that invites exploration. The measure of our success is energetic engagement between writer and reader and earnest curiosity about what’s next.
We focus on language but add “graphics” because sometimes, as things evolve, you need what a graphic can provide, and we like to be helpful. Caution is warranted here, though, because graphics are sneakier than words; a lot can be evoked all at once, making readers vulnerable to hijacking by tangents. The best we can do is create images and diagrams that, like a good waiter or tailor, establish a tone and deliver the goods in a timely and elegant manner, then give you the space to get comfortable.
About Don Stevenson
Donald Stevenson has been improvising unique learning solutions for more than two decades. Among his clients are faculty members of the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. He lives in Charlottesville with his wife and two sons.