Skip to content

Ask The Web Developer: What Comes First – Copy or Design?

Ask The Web Developer: What Comes First – Copy or Design?

When we’re working with a business owner to help them develop a more effective online presence, one question comes up time and time again. When you’re creating a new website, which comes first: copy writing or design?

It’s not a bad question. It’s just generally less relevant than you might think. Copy and design are both communication tools: they each have a specific role to play in connecting you with your customer. In the ideal situation, your design and copy providers work together in an integrated, focused fashion to produce the best possible results.

Design and Copy Support Each Other

Good design supports and enhances copy by making your website easier to read, understand, and use. The design choices made by your web developer can play a huge role on the emotional impact of your website: human beings are intensely visual, and we use color, iconography and imagery as guides to help us decide how we feel about things. Good graphic design captures and directs the attention, highlighting elements of the copy that are particularly relevant, such as calls to action, that lead your customer to strengthen their relationship with you.

Good copy writing supports and enhances design by populating your website with easy to understand, compelling messages that motivate customers to do business with you. Copy writing can address both the logical and emotional considerations of the buyer, doing everything from spelling out the details about a product or service through reassuring the customer they’re making a wise decision with a guarantee policy.

Achieving a situation where copy and design seamlessly support each other requires effort. This type of coordination doesn’t just happen – especially if you’re assembling a team of freelancers who have never worked together before to build your website. There are distinct advantages to hiring a team of coordinated professionals who have a history of working well together. This can facilitate the simultaneous integrated development of both copy and design, an approach which generally results in a better web experience for your customer.

First Things First: Goals, Objectives and Tone

Before color schemes are picked out or a single word of copy is written, there are more important decisions that a business owner needs to make with regard to their website. In order to create the best possible copy and design, creative professionals need to know the goals and objectives of the website. As the client, you can’t communicate that your creative team knows what you want your website to do for you. It is your responsibility to identify and articulate what your website needs to do.

The next consideration is tone. Tone is the emotional “feel” of your website. Tone dictates the type of experience your customer will have when they’re on your website. Want a tasty example? Visit the Ben and Jerry’s and Breyers websites. Both companies sell tasty, tasty ice cream – but the emotional experience – aka tone – of each website is distinctly different from the other.

Before your creative team can create powerful, effective design and copy elements for your website, they need to know what you want to accomplish – your goals and objectives – and how you want to accomplish it – the tone. The time you spend covering this material is an investment in how successful your online marketing will be. Not sure where to start? Give us a call. We’re here to help.

Share This:

Book FREE Trial

We know that getting back into fitness is tough! Let us help you achieve your weight boxing workouts.

Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

Design, Photography, Illustration, Digital Imagery Manipulation, Wesbite Development

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, HTML/CSS, Wordpress


Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

Google Analytics, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Facebook Creator Studio, Instagram, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Emma Mail, Google Data Studio, WordPress, YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Microsoft Office