Image isn’t everything, but writers have a lot to learn

Jim Davies’ feature made welcome reading (DW 11 April). Recognition at last for the role we writers play in helping designers deliver even more exciting work.

But it must be said that our lack of recognition to date has not just been because designers don’t ‘get’ us. It’s also because in the main, writers have simply failed to develop a service that actually makes sense to the way design groups work.

The truth is, writers have a huge amount to learn from the way designers deliver their service to their clients. A simple case in point is this: when a designer delivers first creative concepts to a client they give a selection to choose from. How often do writers do that?

We need to build in feedback systems so that our service keeps improving. And don’t even get me started on the need for proper training and recruitment of our own. I mean, why don’t writers have an association? Why are we always a minor part in someone else’s professional body, like British Design & Art Direction (which stands for designers and art directors) or the Design Business Association, or even the Design Council?

Anyway, the point is something’s gone wrong in this system, because writers love designers. (Hell, writers’ best ideas look so much better when designed.)

And the truth is we have a tonne of creative and storytelling ideas that really can help designers sell their corporate clients in more exciting, more engaging and even more inspiring ways.

But until we learn to evolve the way we work for consultancies, we’re going to continue to be cut out of the creative loop. And although that’s a huge pity, it is, even more importantly, a powerful commercial opportunity that could be about to pass all of us by.

Martin Hennessey


70 Borough High Street

London SE1

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