The rivalry between copywriters and designers is a ruthless struggle for supremacy at any cost.
OK, that might be overstating it a bit. But copywriters and designers certainly do come into conflict because of the overlap between their roles.
Just like judges and politicians: both believe they are working towards a shared objective for the greater good. However, they sometimes have very different ideas about how to achieve it.
For example, copywriters are very keen on using white space to enhance readability. Whereas designers might decide it’s better to lay the text over a huge watermark, reducing readability and making the copywriter hopping mad.
Alternatively, a designer might be rightly proud of an image that he or she has created and wants it to fill the entire page. However, this comes at the expense of the headline, so the copywriter vetoes it, leaving the designer furious.
Here’s the transcript of a typical copywriter/designer dispute:
Designer: “Didn’t you like my picture?”
Copywriter: “Yes, I did, but not when it was using 99% of the page.”
Designer: “You didn’t like my picture,” (mutters something inaudible).
But that’s not to say that it’s always the designer who is at fault. Sometimes copywriters act unreasonably as well.
Take this example:
Copywriter: “I just want the words in Arial Black on a white background for maximum impact.”
Designer: “Are you insane? That’s the dullest thing I’ve ever heard of… I should have just stayed at home today and let you do this yourself in Microsoft Word.”
This kind of conversation might sound familiar to you. But if both copywriter and designer have a mutual respect for each other’s talents and insights, something truly special can happen.
That’s why agencies hire managers to make the tough calls… Otherwise firms would probably have to keep a wrestling ring in the car park.