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when writers and graphic designers work WELL together…

By June 11, 2008How To

…it can be magical. Good collaboration manifests in many different ways, but the best outcome is that the writing and the design support each other beautifully. Words can be rendered useless, invisible and even ugly with bad fonts and unseemly placement and the most stunning design can be dismissed in an instant if there is no content to hold the viewer’s brain.

The copywriter/designer connection is so important because as projects develop, there is always a need for adjustment. As the design unfolds, a space may appear that is perfect for a one-liner…as the writing builds, a one-liner may surface that needs to be featured on the page…and so on and so forth. If the designer and the copywriter work in isolation it doesn’t benefit the project and can cost the client more money because it may take much longer to get it ‘just right’.

I enjoy working with designers in the following ways:

1. I create the concept for the content/copy/text and then take it to the designer. I describe my vision for the words, the tone and what words need to be called out, etc. The designer builds the graphics around the content and my vision. Then, we communicate and adjust both the writing and the design as we work…and especially after we see them together for the first time. Here is an example of a project that was created in this way:


Design by Georgia Schmidt

2. The designer creates the concept, tells me the vision, tone, etc…and I virtually fill in the spaces created for content. Again, we both adjust as we go along and once we see the two pieces joined together.

Design by Leslie Tane Design

3. And, my favorite: working with a designer from start to finish. You brainstorm as two united minds and come up with a concept for design and content that are joined, fused, totally in-tune – like this:


Design by Leslie Tane Design (and, fyi, this sheep was not dyed in real life, that is pure digital magic. Come on now, dying that sheep would have been mean!)

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