The Relation Between Writing & Design

Why writing makes you a better designer


You know that I'm always seeking out new ways to both flex my design muscles and sharpen my skills. The comparison between design and writing is something I've been researching lately.


What sparked this interest? My lovely design clients have been asking me to do more and more writing for them - whether it be for marketing pieces or social media. Me being me, I always have to specific that while I don't have any formal education (besides K-12) in English, I do have a pretty good handle on the language. Actually - back that train up. I used to just flat out say "no". It's taken me a while to grow the confidence in my writing skills to be able to tackle these new projects. The reason I'm excited to take these things on now is because after much though, I realized just how very similar the two disciplines are.


It can be summed up in one word: communication.


Designers and authors are both natural observers. Fundamentally, we are doing the same thing and the core of it all is communication. We are essentially both story tellers.


Designers use visual elements to connect with an audience while writers communicate through written word. Understanding your audience and knowing how to connect with them is key in both disciplines as well as research and development. Environment, social and emotional context need to be considered whether you find yourself writing or designing.


As a designer, I use my tools (colour, text, shapes) to create balance. Writers combine words into sentences and paragraphs using their tools (tone, perspective) to create a rhythm.


I'll probably still preface all writing assignments with a declaration of my lacking formal education (again, me being me!), but I am more eager to take them on. While design will always be my true love, I'm interesting in growing, practicing and learning more about the world of writing if it can improve my design skills. Isn't it fascinating how it all ties together?


- Laurel



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