Copywriting is just as important as design

So designers have suddenly caught on to the fact that those funny grey blocks which get in the way of their precious design, photography and illustration might actually have a value in the clients’ communications needs (News, DW 15 January).

Copywriters, like myself, have for years found a gulf between designers who design for the awards system on purely visual grounds, and those who use copywriters’ input from very early stages to help define and refine the brief.

Good copywriters work with good design and communications practices from early stages of a brief – even a pitch. You can’t build that communications idea, from pitch to concept on to cover and headlines, if you are pitching on the basis that the client will cobble together some words.

And a good chunk of my copywriting work is the result of clients not actually coming up with the grey stuff and realising that they need help at the last minute – annual reports (which are the most time critical) are a prime example.

I’m writing this in a week when, in 15 years of copywriting for some of Europe’s leading companies, I have just had my name credited on a suite of literature for a major client alongside the designers, photographer and printer. Thank you Luxon Carra and Hogg Robinson. Even a tired old cynic can be touched.

Mike Hill

mikehillcopy@compuserve.com

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