Do Graphic Designers Also Write Copy?

If you are working on a new project or design, you might think that it will streamline the process and cut costs to have your graphic designer work provide the copy for your designs as well. But are graphic designers able to write copy, or should you seek out the help of someone else?

As a general rule, graphic design and copywriting are tasks usually completed by two separate people. While many graphic designers are capable of writing simple copy, content comes in many different forms. Therefore, it is best to seek out an experienced copywriter for the best results.

High-quality content and design are key to standing out in today’s digital world. Keep reading to find out if graphic designers write copy as part of their design process, and how these two elements work together to make a design flourish.

Do Graphic Designers Write Copy?

When it comes to creating any form of content, there are so many elements that come together to create an outstanding finished product. If you’ve hired a graphic designer to work on your website or brochure design, you may be expecting them to provide the copy as well. However, in most cases, you’ll find yourself disappointed.

Typically, graphic designers work on the visual elements of a design, and not the overall message provided in the text. While they may choose the typography that is used, it is the job of a copywriter to produce a clear and concise message in the form of written content.

While there are some graphic designers that may offer copywriting as part of their package, design is going to be their area of expertise, not copy. Therefore, you may find that the copy for your project is lackluster or not delivering in the way you intended.

Just like there are many areas of graphic design, there are many different forms of copy. Some of these forms include:

  • Web copy
  • Print
  • Email
  • Ad
  • Social media
  • Blog
  • SEO
  • B2B
  • Direct response

Copy is not one-size-fits-all. A copywriter is going to know which writing approaches work best for which type of content. Just like a graphic designer is going to know which elements work best in different areas of design, or when to use Placeit over Photoshop.

Is Copy Important in Graphic Design?

In terms of creating captivating content, copy and design go hand-in-hand. If a design doesn’t have a clear message and content that delivers, then it doesn’t matter how attractive or aesthetic it is because it won’t do anything for the reader. Likewise, great copy is pointless if the design is undesirable or not capturing attention.

For example, let’s say you have a flyer with a beautiful, eye-catching design. Now imagine the flyer has lack luster copy that doesn’t seem to fit the design at all or doesn’t provide a clear message as to what the design is trying to convey. The flyer has now failed to do what it was supposed to.

However, if you can get copy and design to work together, you can produce high-quality content that delivers.

Do Graphic Designers Need to Know Copywriting?

Just because copy is important for design, doesn’t mean that graphic designers should be expected to do both. After all, coffee and cream make a great combination, but you don’t expect them to come from the same place.

Graphic designers already have to keep track of so many different design elements and programs, they can’t be expected to know all the best copy approaches and trends as well. The key here is to hire a graphic designer and a copywriter that can collaborate to create a high-quality design or product to visually deliver your message.

However, having somewhat of an understanding of copy and the copywriting process could be beneficial to graphic designers. Because much of the content we consume and create is a blend of copy and design, having some knowledge of each one can help when planning and producing design that will need to have copy added at a later time.

For example, web designers should have a clear understanding of how web copy works, so that they can design the pages in a way that will help the text stand out and deliver the information clearly and attractively to visitors of the site.

How Do Graphic Designers Work with Copywriters?

In our content heavy world, you will often see graphic designers and copywriters working together to create the visual messages we take in on a daily basis. And while the approach isn’t always the same, the end product is a blend of design and prose that works to deliver information in the easiest and most appealing way possible.

So, how does it happen?

Typically, the client, graphic designer, and copywriter will meet up to discuss the goals of the project and work out the best way to tackle it. Sometimes the copy comes first. Other times the design is completed, and the copy is added in afterwards.

In the latter case, designers will often use filler content in their design as an outline so they can get a clear idea of what the finished product will look like when the copy is completed. Copywriters work with content outlines as well, so they know which language to use that will best deliver the message and blend with the design.

Regardless, the design and copy work in tandem to create something that will meet the client’s goals and appeal to their target audience. This is done as a collaborative effort in order to create a complete product.

Final Thoughts

Hopefully, this article gave you a better understanding of whether graphic designers write copy. Though, copy and design work hand in hand, a different set of skills and knowledge is required to create each one.

Whether you are a graphic designer, copywriter, or small business owner looking to DIY your products or designs, it is important to understand the clear difference between design and copy, and how they work together.