When Designers and Copywriters Work Together, Everyone Wins

The relationship between copywriters and designers can be challenging. Writers think the words are the important part of any marketing asset, while designers think design matters more. The truth is, copywriters and designers need to be on the same team and work together throughout the creative process.

Less is more.

When it comes to copy, less is more. Short, playful language gives the designer more freedom to utilize space creatively for imagery, fonts and messaging hierarchy. It also allows the overall message to be quickly digestible in a world where we’re often forced to skim through content because of the amount of information being presented to us all at once.

When working together, copywriters and designers should clearly communicate with each other throughout the process and be open to each other’s opinions and new ideas. If the design becomes oversaturated because of the amount of copy, the designer should recommend cutting content. If the copywriter doesn’t feel the design is playing off the messaging, they should feel free to work with the designer towards a better solution.

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Recognize that copy is just as important as design, and vice versa.

The first step in creating a good team is to understand that both of you play an important role in creating your work. While design and copy are important on their own, they are most effective together. Build a concrete partnership and achieve stronger results.

Be prepared to change your copy in layout.

No matter how perfect you get your copy, know that it’s likely it will have to change once your designer puts it in layout. It can be very difficult to estimate how long your copy needs to be while you’re writing it, and you may also find that headlines or line breaks just don’t work in layout. Be prepared to be flexible and tweak your copy on your designer’s screen.

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Recognize the constraints your team members face.

There can be limitations associated with traditional mediums like print. The length of an article dictates the space available for headlines, subheads, body copy, captions, quotes and everything else needed to properly explore and expound upon the content.

Online resources have changed the way we engage with content. Screens let us scroll, swipe and animate information, and design and copy’s roles have become centered around flexibility. Building dynamic visuals for content that doesn’t currently exist is a core element of the screen-based designer. The copy’s ability to tell a story that echoes beautifully inside its house can inspire new narrative styles and elements.

Understanding the constraints your team members face can help you anticipate and course-correct potential rough spots before they become problems. Quick iterations where copy and design react to each other shortens cycles, feedback lessens, and a unified result is achieved.

No matter which creative team members are coming together on any given project, our combined strengths only mean great things and require collaboration & flexibility. When all creative roles work together, that’s when the real magic happens.