Perfect Copy vs. Perfect Art Direction

When I was a student, they copywriters had an entire semester dedicated to body copy. With good reason. It’s a dying art. But one copywriters should dedicate time to learn.

I remember a friend of mine (it was the blog’s co-author, as a matter of fact) had written a very nice piece of body copy. It flowed. It had rhythm. There was a cadence to it. (Always read your copy aloud after you’ve written it.) He really crafted it.

Then he gave it to his art director. It wasn’t fitting her layout, so without him knowing she contracted all the should nots to shouldn’ts, and eliminated some of the words that seemed repetitive. Short conversational lines seemed superfluous and were eliminated.

So who was right? The copywriter who wanted the copy to be as good as possible? Or the art director who wanted to layout to be as good as possible?

7 thoughts on “Perfect Copy vs. Perfect Art Direction

  1. They shoulda worked it out. The CW should have had the opportunity to write to the layout and decide what stays and what goes. It’s not for the AD to say what gets cut

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  2. Honestly, the A.D. should have brought it back to the C.W. to edit, but at the end of the day the C.W. is responsible for the copy only…the ultimate success of the ad is on the A.D.’s shoulders and they have the right to alter it as they see fit. The A.D. has to keep in mind not just the single ad, but also the bigger picture, i.e: Is this part of a campaign? Does it match the ads the company has put out in the past? Where is this being placed? Will people have time to read all that the CW has put in? Etc…

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  3. I'd ask if it was a copy led piece of an art led piece. Or rather, was it a piece with a twisted line or twisted layout? The twisted part wins.

    -Deignan

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  4. short copy and simple art direction is the perfect formula, but i agree the AD should always share his concerns with the CW and let him deal with the copy, because sometimes they write with passion and go with the flow and make great short story's for an ad!! no they should share it with the AD. ACD talking

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