Art & copy go hand in hand

Design is often in the driver's seat when it comes to creative development, but it's the writing that's also the foundation of any work.

Basic buddy-movie structure

In a recent online poll, ad agency creatives were asked which comes first - art or copy? It was unanimous - the structure of any communication (ad, promo, website and more) needs to be written first. Then, the designer can take the message, tone and branding and make it all come to life. Most agencies or firms will have dedicated teams of art directors and copywriters working together to create their work of art - think of it as partners on your favorite cop show or action flick! They just have great synergy and simpatico. And while the writing is often done first - a true collaboration can see both the art and copy coming together in unison.

What's the flow?

Sometimes a big idea is graphics or concept driven - like, say, using celebrities as spokespeople for a campaign. The idea may be to feature glossy black & white close ups of the stars. But then what? What's the strategy? What will the headline say? How will the whole thing be art directed based on these points? Here's where the copywriter comes in, to help steer the language, messaging and tone.

The real driver - a marketing brief.

Of course, any project should begin with a well crafted marketing brief. This is (for Gig) a one page snapshot of the business/organization/practice. It touches upon the basic elements of the brand and ends with the essential brand positioning - the image, identity and personality you want people to take away. This brief is given to the creative team to go to town...and is created in tandem with the client. What does all this lead to? A more effective and well designed/well written piece of communication.