How Writers Can Work Effectively with Designers

how writers can work effectively with designers

A bachelor of science degree in communication is a great way to launch your career as a writer. But if your writing skills take you to a career in marketing, communications, or working for a public relations, advertising or digital agency, you will need to be able to work effectively with other creative professionals.

While writing is typically a solitary endeavor, creative work is often the result of partnerships or teams of people. This means there are many benefits for writers to understand how other creatives think and work. This is especially important when it comes to designers, who will be charged with matching the written words to a graphic layout, webpage or other deliverable.

Many writers are not trained in design, however.  This means that, especially early in their careers, writers will need to learn how to work effectively with designers. Here are a few things writers can do to partner successfully with designers to produce high-quality, collaborative work.

Approach Working with a Designer as a Learning Experience 

While writers and designers are both creative, they work using different languages. Writers work in words and focus on building sentences, paragraphs and entire pieces within the confines of the rules of grammar. Designers, meanwhile, communicate through visual elements. 

But these two ways of working do not need to result in a language barrier. To the contrary, writers and designers can learn from and feed off each other’s ideas to successfully collaborate. That is only possible, though, if they are willing to learn from each other. Many writers who have worked with designers for several years insist they still learn something about visual presentation every time they work with a designer on a project.

Write with Design in Mind

One of the most counterproductive, yet common, mistakes a writer can make in working with a designer is to focus only on the words while believing the designer should be the only one concerned with the design. This can especially be problematic if the copy the writer is creating needs to match and fit within an already-established design or layout. 

Asking to see what the designer may have already created and asking questions about available word and character counts—and writing to those requirements—can make the process of working together go much more smoothly. It can also eliminate the rework required if editing and revising are required to make the copy “fit.”

Focus on Communication (To Keep Everyone on the Same Page). 

Communication is the connective tissue between writing and design. Asking questions, listening to and acknowledging creative ideas, and working together to manage deadlines are what define successful writer-designer partnerships. 

Do your part to ensure the success of that partnership, and you are likely to discover that a designer can be the best friend your words can ever have!

Start your career as a communications professional with the Bachelor of Arts degree in communication from Carlow University in Pittsburgh. Choose from multiple program-specific tracks, each of which will provide access to hands-on learning opportunities, such as developing your news writing and research skills or polishing your broadcasting skills. Classroom and real-world practice help you hone problem-solving, team-building and critical thinking skills, all highly sought after by employers.