Doof Doof

Doof Doof is a series of design writing workshops given by Ian Lynam.

“Doof Doof”, if you are unfamiliar, is Australian slang for techno music.

(This workshop had nothing to do with techno music. I just love the sound of that term.)

“Doof Doof” is a vernacular neologism, a localized piece of newly created verbal/visual language that has a specific application. It is a word that was somehow summoned out of the ether to describe something that already had a name.

I love words.


The Doof Doof workshop is largely about overcoming students’ fear of writing through embracing visual language and examining discursive structure.

The workshop assesses structural approaches to writing, how to flavor writing, and how to enhance writing by including one’s personal perspective. Participants assess their own vulnerabilities, their goals as designers, and learn how to be designers who might craft appealing writing—from business emails to criticism to memoir-oriented prose.

During the workshop, we explore counterpoint, authenticity, ornament, kitsch, advancement theory, interests, and influences, plus a ton more—all using intellectual, emotional, rational, dead serious, and comedic approaches to writing.


The first workshop, held at CalArts (California Institute of the Arts) in their MFA in Graphic Design program, spanned eight hours of fun, yet intensive exercises, close readings, and projects that explored the connotative and denotative aspects of writing new design theory.

If your design program needs help getting students writing, get in touch!