Atelier: a method of craft


Pronunciation: \ˌa-təl-ˈyā\
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from Middle French astelier woodpile, from astele splinter, from Late Latin astella, diminutive of Latin astula
Date: 1699

1 : an artist’s or designer’s studio or workroom
2 : workshop

Great word, though this only hints at the way it was used by Jeffrey MacIntire from Predicate, LLC in his editorial strategy presentation “The Day 2 Problem.”

In that presentation, MacIntire set “atelier” against “factory,” comparing both as opposites in editorial production models (in simple terms: how articles are created). Positioned as one of the five arguments of editorial strategy, the message was clear: there’s a major issue on whether your copy is manufactured or alive. You can churn out fluffed up writing with little heart and a high Lowest Common Denominator factor, or you can spend time crafting copy as if it was something worth paying attention to. A work of thought and intelligence. Of (* gasp! *) substance and (* shudder *) art.

As if it was something you conjured up in a small, cozy workshop.

I like that.

(Originally posted at Black Marks on Wood Pulp.)