The perfect marriage? It’s a tall tale, one that’s been recounted to us time and time again.
And whether or not you believe in “love at first sight” or finding your “one true love,” I think we can all agree there are certain complexities about partnership that Disney elected to ignore – and understandably so. After all, “Happily Ever After” is quite the hook.
As my husband, Kameron, and I near our sixth wedding anniversary, I find myself reflecting on the general concept of marriage altogether. Specifically:
- What does it take to make a marriage work?
- What does work even mean?
- If it doesn’t work, does it fail? According to who?
From my personal experience, I’ve landed on the following: A healthy marriage relies on effective communication, compromise, and respect, through and through.
SALLY PINERA PHOTOGRAPHY
OLIVIA MARSHALL PHOTOGRAPHY
And while I can’t speak for all humans – the same pillars translate to a healthy marriage between copy and design.
For the purposes of this blog, I’m about to fully dive into the marriage metaphor. Ready? Let’s explore.
Marriage isn’t about finding your carbon copy. It’s about developing a mutual understanding of one another’s differences. When you learn to communicate effectively, you can have a healthy dialogue, allowing for a productive back and forth.
The same can be said for copy and design. When the words (copy) speak to the visuals (design) and the visuals (design) speak to the words (copy), they communicate a clear message. With each component working to empower the other, what’s the result? A profoundly impactful messaging strategy that honors each counterpart and lets the other one shine where it needs to.
With each new step in the life of a marriage, the couple learns more about where to give and take, where to push, and where to step back to let the other lead. In copy and design too, the success of the marriage relies heavily on compromise. For the pieces to come together in concert, egos and agendas have to be set aside. The best creations come from true collaboration.
With your brand communications, we’re looking for a back-and-forth that challenges the standard marketing experience. And to create anything that moves the needle, we need both the copywriter and the designer to advocate for their vision all the while knowing when to take a step back to let the other to lead.
The foundation for any strong marriage is mutual respect. Acknowledging each person’s time, dignity, body, desires, and dreams is integral to making the marriage work.
Likewise, the best pairings of copy and design respect the other discipline just as much as their own. There is power in both the visuals and in the words, and neither is more important than the other. How well they work together to achieve the desired outcome largely depends on a mutual respect for one another’s contributions. Only then can the brand narrative unravel seamlessly – and that’s exactly what we’re after.
That’s how I look at it: A strong brand is really a strong marriage between the copy and the design. To me, as a Storytelling Strategist, it’s not enough to see the words alone on the page. I need to see the words in practice, with a sketch of the design, to determine whether or not it’s an impactful storytelling strategy. How strong the marriage is between the copy and the design ultimately stems from communication, compromise, and respect on behalf of the copywriter and designer. Interested in learning more about storytelling strategy? Join Story Starter!
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