In part four of our series on copy and design we look at the various challenges that can arise when copy and design collide.
Challenges when Copy and Design Collide
Despite the tremendous aid design can offer copy (and vice versa) that is not always the case. It can be a tough balancing act when trying to accurately mesh copy with design. In the majority of instances that something is out of sync with the other, one of these issues will arise:
1. Copy or Text Doesn’t Fit
This isn’t figurative here. If you’ve ever worked on a design or a PowerPoint, you’ve probably dealt with this yourself. When there’s too much text for a particular design it can result in the text “spilling” out and off to the side. This creates a very unflattering and unprofessional design that instantly draws attention in a very negative way.
If you’re in a situation like this and cannot alter the text, consider playing with different fonts. This can, unfortunately, be potentially very frustrating as the fonts must, in addition to being legible and avoiding spillage, remain consistent with whatever brand personality you’ve established.
The best remedy for this is to stop it before it happens. This is done by ensuring that your graphic designer and copywriter stay in constant and regular communication. If the design may be a bit too small, make sure the copywriter knows as soon as possible so that they can keep the messaging as concise as possible.
2. Disconnects Between Brand’s Voice and Visuals
Another important issue is making sure all three of you are “singing from the same hymnal”. Too often what you have in your mind as the brand personality is not what your copywriter has in mind for the personality, which is not what the designer has in mind for the brand personality.
Failure to properly open communication between all three of you is likely to result in a disconnect on what the brand’s values are as well as what it ultimately stands for.
This could be as disastrous as putting a high-energy, super busy banner over copy that is talking about the benefits of relaxing at the Bahamas… while being a company that sells airline tickets.
All of these could “technically” go with the brand if there was understanding and agreement on what the message would be. All three happening at the same time… well that is probably as bad as it sounds.
As the business owner, it is on you to make sure that either communication is flowing freely between all parties, or that you have a designer and copywriter that are fully aware of what the brand’s vision and personality are.
3. Goals Get Misaligned
If you’ve been paying attention, you will notice that the key issue that is most likely to cause issues between your brand copy and your design is lack of proper communication.
Here, the same is also true. Through a lack of communication between you and your copywrite/designer, what is all too likely to happen is either of them assuming they know what is best and going forward with their vision.
On top of establishing and maintaining regular communication, be sure that your vision is firm and definitive when relaying your orders. By making instructions clear and defined, you remove any potential for misinterpretation. Conversely, by leaving things “up in the air”, you ultimately open yourself up to seeing something very different from what you had in mind.