Why copywriters and designers should work together

I’m a huge fan of words, but even I know that without a little TLC in the visual department, they don’t really pack a punch. I’m an advocate of balancing letters, sentences and paragraphs with a sexy design. That balance truly flourishes when a copywriter works together with a graphic designer, whether the project is a printed brochure or a website with UX features. If you’re into matchmaking that works in your best interest, and in the best interest of your company, then this is a match made in marketing heaven.

As an in-house copywriter, I shared a desk with print and web designers. As soon as a new project idea was launched, we got together to brainstorm. Then we’d work simultaneously, marry text and design when we were at a good point, tweak (read: delete words and add headlines) as necessary, and finally present the two together. This style also works when you hire a freelance copywriter and a freelance designer, or if you introduce your freelance copywriter to your in-house design team.

“Collaborating closely with a copywriter makes it easier to start working on a project where the text is not final yet,” says freelance UX/Visual Designer Vincent Gschwindemann. “It gives the project a global coherence, we can discuss the global goals of the projects at an early stage and define how design and copywriting can play together to meet the objectives."

What’s the alternative?

I work on the text.

A designer works on the design.

You become a messenger and spend a good portion of your time sharing my thoughts and edits with the designer, and vice versa. 

My solution: Let your experts work together and bring you in when they’re ready to present something. Why? Because you have better things to do than tell your designer that the copywriter says a comma needs to go here or that the sub-headline should go there.

“I prefer to work directly with a copywriter,” says Vincent. “The feedback is more structured and better adapted to the workflow, which usually saves a lot of time.”

I prefer to work directly with a copywriter. The feedback is more structured and better adapted to the workflow, which usually saves a lot of time.
— Vincent Gschwindemann, UX/Visual Designer

Case study: Pryv website

I was contacted by Evelina Georgieva, the Chief Business Development Officer at Pryv. They needed a completely new website. Not just copy, but design too. We’re talking the whole enchilada. I looped in Vincent, whom I have worked with on other projects in the past so I knew I was bringing in the best. We attended the briefing together and set out to do our jobs for Pryv – I worked on the text, he worked on the design. I sent the first draft to the client and to Vincent. She checked it while Vincent began placing it in the design he’d created. The remainder of the text changes were made directly in the design files, which meant I would have one-on-one calls with Vincent, finding solutions together and passing on my edits directly to him. We were able to present a final version of the website to our client without her having to run messages between us.

Evelina says that the biggest benefits to her company in allowing Vincent and I to work together were “optimized resource usage, a shorter delivery timeframe and efficient collaborative brainstorming.”

...optimized resource usage, a shorter delivery timeframe and efficient collaborative brainstorming.
— Evelina Georgieva, Chief Business Development Officer at Pryv

Her experience was so positive, in fact, that she plans on using this type of collaboration for Pryv’s future projects.

Designer, meet copywriter

For companies that are interested in bringing a designer and copywriter together, stepping back and seeing what they create, Evelina does have one warning.

“I absolutely without a doubt recommend that companies work on marketing projects this way. But it’s important to understand that the success of the collaboration depends on the expertise of the team,” she says.

And she’s right – not just any old copywriter-designer pair will work. Like any solid relationship, the pair needs to share experiences and trust each other.  And when that happens, you’ve got a dynamic duo you can count on.

“A client will always benefit from the collaboration of different creatives that can develop a global vision together, challenge themselves and then apply that vision in a structured and coherent way through a wide range of mediums,” Vincent says.

Vincent and I are both open for business and taking on new projects. Is 2018 the year you launch a new website? Or maybe you need to spruce up your landing pages with an engaging, interactive design that gets you solid leads. 

Tell us about your project plans, hopes and dreams!