Did you know that there are awards to celebrate the best in plain language and clear documents? There is! Each year, the Center for Plain Language hosts the ClearMark awards – a time to toast the best plain language communication written for consumers by government, private companies and non-profits.
We are happy to report that Kleimann Communication Group and its partner, Graves Fowler Creative, have won the 2014 Grand ClearMark Award along with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). The Grand ClearMark Award is the top distinction of the Center for Plain Language awards. The Center for Plain Language established this annual award program to honor the best use of plain language in print and online communications by government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and private industry.
The winning entry by Kleimann/Graves Fowler is an integrated mortgage loan disclosure form created to replace current mortgage documents. The goal of this document is to help consumers compare offers from different lenders, understand loan terms and closing costs, and make informed decisions when purchasing a home. The team used qualitative and quantitative testing as well as an iterative design process to develop a form that would meet the needs of both English- and Spanish-speaking communities.
Richard Horn, former CFPB Senior Counsel and Special Advisor (now Partner at Dentons US LLP), recently commented on the outcome:
“The increased clarity of these disclosures will foster a more competitive marketplace for lenders and other settlement service providers. And perhaps more importantly, the disclosures will let consumers make better financial decisions for them and their families, avoiding costs and risks they cannot afford. The team’s hard work will arguably prevent the recurrence of one of the primary causes of the financial crisis that has cost this country so much.”