Google Before You Tweet

A personal project that became a meme

In December 2009, designer Joe Newton and I created a letterpress poster for I Love Typography’s web store. 
I suggested a phrase based on my frustration with careless or ignorant Twitter users:
”Google before you Tweet is the new think before you speak.”
Of course, I Googled the phrase before suggesting it, so I knew it was original.
It was printed and ready by February, and went viral on Tumblr and Twitter – here’s the very first mention, pointing to our poster. It got picked up by Laughing Squid and Boing Boing.
It now has over 11k results on Google.
The famous author Paulo Coelho Tweeted my phrase – uncredited – on October 28, 2012, almost three years after I said it. Now he’s widely credited with the phrase, but he’s either a plagiarist or someone who doesn’t adhere to the very advice he gives. Now that’s irony.
Design: Joe Newton. Printed at Woodside Press.
Photos by Michael Surtees.
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