Designers must learn to see words

as more than a grey tint on a page

Jim Davies’ article on the role of the copywriter in design (Opinion, DW 9 February) was a welcome appeal to the industry to see words as “more than grey tint on a beautifully designed page”.

Let’s face it, most designers would have a hissy fit if asked to use supplied photography or a logo designed by the managing director’s nephew, but they will happily flow in text that has been created by a client whose last venture into writing was an A-level English essay.

There seems to be an unvoiced theory that while design, photography and illustration are the exclusive property of those gifted, trained and educated for the job, any fool can string a few sentences of text together. And, moreover, that as long as those few sentences look right on the page, then it doesn’t really matter if they read well.

If that’s the case, then why not just leave the lorem ipsum in, and write a few headlines? After all, that’s what’s taught at college. And that’s the problem. Until degree courses start to educate undergraduate designers on the relative importance of copy (the long stuff, not just the headlines) to design as a communication tool, then it’s going to be an uphill struggle to integrate writing into the design process when those designers start working in the real world.

Allison Traynor

Business development manager

Redpath Design

allison@redpath.co.uk

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