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What Comes First: Copy or Design?

What Comes First: Copy or Design?

A common debate when updating your website or investing in a web designer is the question: What comes first? Copy or Design? For me, as a designer, I always recommend copy first – and if you can’t do copy first, invest in a designer or package that offers both. 

When you have the copy first, the design is created based on the journey that the copy lays out – and the journey your business takes your lead through. 

The Relationship Between Brand Messaging, Copy, & Design

When you establish your brand, you create your brand message  – or message you want to communicate to your audience. This message then influences your copy which then influences your design. With design, we want to visually convey the message in cohesion with your copy – and in turn, your brand message and journey. If we start with design, there is no longer a strategy and instead you’ll be receiving a beautiful site that has no further purpose.

Copy First Reduces Revisions, Keeping Your Launch On-Time & On-Budget

Over the past few years, I’ve noticed that an unexpected aspect for service providers investing in website design without copy is the number of revisions required. Depending on the number of revisions, you could experience having additional time until launch or even additional charges – especially if you’re in need of last-minute large-scale revisions such as resizing text areas across your entire services page a week before (or even after) launch.

Or, if you invest in copy AFTER design, you might find your copywriter limited on space and requesting additional changes on your website to effectively deliver your message and convert your audience into clients. 

A Pretty Website Isn’t Built To Convert Your Clients

The biggest misconception that I see with clients that want to invest in website design is that they believe a pretty website is going to convert to clients. And to a certain extent, they’re right. A pretty, functional website will outperform a website that is not functional or doesn’t look good. But, a pretty website is not key to conversions. 

The key to conversions is a website that effectively conveys your message and client journey to your audience through strategic copy and design. And, to be strategic, your copy and design have to work together to convey the same message, an aspect lost when you choose to invest in design BEFORE copy.

With my Soulful Brand package, we solve the issue of trying to invest in copy and then design by offering both together. If you would like to learn more about the Soulful Brand, walkthrough our process here.