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What’s More Important: Copy or Design?

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in Business Management

When the ad’s intent is to generate a response, copy trumps art, says marketing consultant Ruth Stevens, writing in Direct (12/08, p. 16).

In a visual society, why is copy more important than graphics?

“When the ad’s intent is to motivate a response, it’s about selling, persuasion, and the call to action,” writes Stevens. “These appeals are delivered in words and sentences.”

According to Stevens, that makes copywriters more important than designers in marketing.

“The great direct response creative directors are all from the copy side,” she says. “Art directors are their partners, but the copywriters rule the roost.”

Do these statements strike you as a tad controversial or confrontational?

Is copy really more important than design in direct marketing, online or offline?

If so, is the contribution of the copywriter more important than the contribution of the graphic artist in direct marketing?

Or is even discussing the issue counter-productive? Is it more accurate — and useful — to say each is important, and each depends upon the other for success?

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