The Chicken and the Egg
The marriage of Copy and Creative
What Comes First?
We’re often asked why we would need copy or content for a website before we can start on the design. In the same way that you have to know a body type to decide what clothes best suit, the content in your website sets the stage for design.
Copy and creative are separate things, but they need to work together.
If, for example you establish a design first, you also designate sections where a portion of content would fit in. When you receive the content and it’s limited, the design looks bare because the content doesn’t support the space determined.
On the other hand, if the content is too long, the design has to stretch as it was not intended and can make the page look unintentionally designed as it adjusts. Neither are good options.
Planning the Wedding
- Establish the message. Each page on your website should be strategically planned and designed with a purpose to best display its message.
- Bring in visuals. There will be graphics, icons, photo and/or video that will be part of telling the story on each page.
- Create the layout. The content and the creative should come together like a couple on their wedding day. They should ‘walk as one’ in telling the story, teaching the lesson and displaying the offering to your audience.
Let’s say we are creating a History page. The content is written and needs to tell the story of a company that is well established and has built a great reputation.
Making the information real and trustworthy can be done with an old photograph of the company’s original location, a timeline with associated icons, and comments from long standing employees.
A picture at the top of the page will set the scene much better than a gallery of pictures at the bottom. The first image makes the statement and let’s the viewer know what to expect in the following content.
Both content and design are meant to be intentional and serve a specific purpose. Without engaging imagery and informative content, a website is either a pretty shell, or poorly dressed genius.