Writing’s on the wall even at design’s briefing stage

Thank you for your comment last week pointing out the growing appreciation of the writer’s craft, both in its importance to business communications and the way it complements graphic design (DW 13 March). My company is certainly seeing the hard evidence of this in the way leading designers now introduce us to projects at an earlier stage.

But much of our experience shows we still have a way to go before many designers collaborate entirely effectively with writers.

I’m thinking of literature or information design projects where the visual concepts chosen to depict something, and even the structure of the piece, are all in place before the key message has been put into words. This can lead to the unfortunate situation where the message has to be shoe-horned into a concept, often making it less clear as a result.

A copywriter, whether writing ten words or 10 000, needs to isolate the key message for the identified audience before doing anything else. So it helps to get one involved early in the project

We can summarise the key messages in a few lines and suggest a logical structure that suits the budgets and formats you have in mind. Most importantly, it can make coming up with the visual concepts so much easier.

Richard Owsley

Writers

Bristol BS1 6EA

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