Copywriters, keep design in mind!

Illustration with pink and turquoise shapes and symbols

When not working as a team, copywriters and designers can often operate from different space-time continuums.

Designers think visually—they love clean lines, lots of empty space, bold typographic headings and engaging graphics. Writers pride themselves on wordplay and want to craft copy so it tells a story—how it will look on the page is often far from their minds. Here are some examples of how copywriters can ensure their content will be designed well at the writing stage.

Structure copy for design

It’s well documented that users find long swathes of copy can be hard to digest and that graphic elements, white space and imagery are very effective for engaging a reader and holding their attention.

Keeping one idea per paragraph, including meaningful headings and creating a title that really reflects the feeling of your copy will help the designer to break up the text, use relevant imagery and create interesting graphics that mirror the sentiment of your text.

Think about what might make good graphic elements

Designers utilise a multitude of graphic elements to make text more digestible and to elucidate often difficult and dense copy. However, depending on time constraints they may not have time to read the piece thoroughly and draw from the most relevant copy.

Copywriters can ensure the most contextualising copy is highlighted by giving designers prescriptive suggestions. For example, copywriters might highlight a sentence that would make a good pull quote; or a list, which would be ideal for a breakout box to the side of the main copy; or they could pull the most interesting stats they’ve found for an illuminating infographic.

Interact often

Both designers and copywriters have bearing on each other’s work and both can hinder the process. Designers can ruin a good piece of copy through bad design elements or inaccessible fonts, and copywriters can encumber the design by not giving their copy structure or meaningful titles and headings.

Good copy creates good design and vice versa. As a result, it’s very important that copywriters and designers work together to make the most of the content and embrace a user-centred approach together.

Don’t forget the basics

When the designer receives a block of text, it’s very unlikely they will be willing or equipped to spell-check it. Copywriters should make sure their text is fully proofed and give it a read-over once it’s laid out in the design, to make sure nothing was lost in cut-and-paste.

For more tips on improving your content, speak to the experts at ALHAUS.

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