Are Copywriting and Design Mutually Exclusive Skills?

by Christine Mortensen on June 20, 2014

Design and writingA young, talented copywriter we’ve worked with at Sprk’d recently found an amazing opportunity on the creative team at one of the most well-know hotel brands out there. Even though she’s focused on writing she’s also always had an interest in learning design.

She asked me a question:

As a designer, do you think the two skills [design and writing] are mutually exclusive? People have told me, “you’re either a writer or a designer”, but I’m interested in both.

Here was my response and I am curious to hear how you would have answered:

I do not think that design and writing are mutually exclusive at all. In fact, I’ve found them very complimentary. Originally, I couldn’t decide if I wanted to go to college for journalism or Design and well… design won out. I’ve now built a business around content marketing where it’s the best of both worlds and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Word and image need to work together so if you have an eye for design you can more easily compliment the words/messages portrayed via copy.

It’s an interesting question with—I’m sure—many opinions. But those are my initial thoughts :)

My other go-to thought on these things is typically “don’t listen to anyone and just do want you love.” You know what’s best for you.

I’ve also noticed that people with multiple skill sets like this or people who are more “generalists” tend to make great entrepreneurs because they have varied skills with which they can rely upon. It’s not “Jack of all trades, master of none.” It’s more like a phrase my Japanese teacher once told our class, “I have nine knives—and they are all sharp.”

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts below or on Twitter @EntUnpluggd.

About the Author

Christine Mortensen, Owner of Sprk'd Online Marketing and Design in ChicagoChristine created Sprk’d Online Marketing and Design in order to help startups and small businesses grow by creating content and marketing that doesn’t suck. By combining the learnings of User Experience Design with the principals of Visual Design, she leads the Sprk’d team to create content that drives conversions. No matter the industry, she believes creating quality content that’s relevant to user needs (i.e., your potential customers) is not only achievable but fun too. How can we help you? When she’s not busy writing about herself in the third person she can be found playing volleyball, or writing reviews of Chicago’s Bloody Mary’s.

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