Within the world of advertising and marketing, there are several subgroups of professionals. One of those groups is the so-called “creatives” — the writers, graphic designers, and art directors who come up with ideas for communications tools and then execute those ideas.
Within the community of creatives is an unending debate about whether design or content is more important. It shouldn’t surprise you that writers tend to advocate for content, while designers and art directors focus on the importance of design. I’ve listened to more of those arguments than any person should be expected to bear.
Fact is, whatever the objective, neither words nor design can accomplish the job effectively on their own. The primary role of design is to attract the eye, guide the reader to what’s important, and provide the visual impressions that create a connection with the reader. The words need to convey the message that the communicator wishes to deliver. Design without content is nothing but a pretty picture, and content with design is an unfriendly jumble of words.
So the next time you hear those tired arguments among creatives, draw inspiration from the vintage Saturday Night Live commercial and yell, “Stop! You’re both right!”