Why Writers and Designers Need Each Other

by Laura Spencer

on June 18, 2012

in Business/Freelance design


While it’s tempting to think of the writing and design as two completely separate disciplines (and in a sense they are), it’s important to remember that they are actually complementary. Design and copy are often depicted as competing with each other, when in reality they are two sides to the same coin.

A partnership between a freelance writer and a freelance designer can be rewarding and beneficial to both parties.

In this post, I’ll explain how writers and designers can benefit from working together. If you enjoyed this post, you may also like The Pros and Cons of a Freelancing Partnership.

A Win-Win Situation

While freelance designers and writers may not think about working together, there are many situations where they can both benefit from teaming up. Here are four of those situations:

  1. To provide a turnkey product
  2. To add another perspective
  3. To free the primary contractor’s time
  4. To achieve a higher income

Let’s take a closer look at each of these situations.

To Provide a Turnkey Product

Many projects require the skills of both a freelance designer and a freelance writer. Here are just a few of those types of projects:

  • Company brochure
  • Website creation
  • Magazine or newspaper
  • Book or Album Cover
  • Menu

I’m sure that you can think of many more.

In each of the instances above, the effectiveness of the project depends on BOTH the quality of the written copy and the quality of the design.

As a design/writing team, you and your partner can offer a client both services–a complete package.

However, if you work alone as a freelance writer only or a freelance designer only, you can only complete half the project. To get the whole job completed, the client will have to hire two separate entities or turn to a competitor who does offer turnkey work.

To Add Another Perspective

Writers and designers look at the world in different ways. A designer will often see visual aspects of a project that a writer will miss and a writer will see context that a designer will miss. As a team, they bring a broader, more complete perspective to a project.

A good design/writing team can also stimulate each other’s creativity. The end product is usually more compelling and of higher quality than if each freelancer worked alone.

Plus, as most creative professionals know, it always helps to have a fresh set of eyes look at your work. In a team situation, there is always someone else who can take a look at what you’ve done and provide feedback.

To Free the Primary Contractor’s Time

To say that writers can’t design or that designers can’t write is a stereotype. Clearly there are some writers who can design and some designers who can write.

However, as a freelance designer, you’ve chosen to focus on design for one of two reasons:

  1. You’re better at design work.
  2. You enjoy designing more than you enjoy writing

If you try to provide a turnkey project on your own, you’ll end up spending some of your time on a discipline in which you don’t do your best work or that you don’t really enjoy.

Joining forces with a freelancer whose skillset complements your own frees you up to do what you do best.

To Achieve a Higher Income

Last, but not least, teaming up with another freelancer gives you a competitive edge that may ultimately allow you to earn a higher income.

Remember that there are hundreds of freelance designers out there. Most of them cannot offer both copy and design. If you can, that’s a selling point for you.

Being able to get copy and design from the same source is a definite benefit for a client. Also, as a team you should designate one of you as the primary contact person so that the client doesn’t have to worry about dealing with two people–another benefit to the client.

With a new competitive edge of being able to offer turnkey products from a single source, you may find yourself with more work and thus a higher income.

Every competitive advantage helps.

Your Turn

Do you ever team up with a freelance writer? How has that worked for you?

Share your thoughts in the comments.

Image by nicksarebi

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About Laura Spencer

Laura Spencer is a freelance writer from North Central Texas with over 20 years of professional business writing experience. If you liked this post, then you may also enjoy Laura’s blog about her freelance writing experiences, WritingThoughts. Laura is also on Google+.