Are you asked to design without content or copy?

Lately, my boss has been wanting me to ‘draft’ designs (mostly layouts with photo and graphic elements, sometimes infographics) before getting copy or content. Some of these are recurring types of projects that we do every year. However, I see the copy as informing the design choices, so this has been very difficult for me.

Is this a normal process?

I am pushing to have my boss start filling out a Creative Brief before I draft designs so I don’t waste time going down fruitless rabbit holes (boss is a communications director, not a designer). Any other ideas on what to do in this situation? Are they wrong to insist that I start designing before I have copy/content? Isn’t that a bad process?

How do you design an infographic without content?
Maybe just come up with different design elements.
Different types of graphs/charts etc. to select from.
Best usage of certain charts etc. eg. when to use a scatter graph over a pie chart.

Might just come up with different heading styles, large, small, thin, with background, without.

Different bullet styles.

Graphic frames, borders, without borders, with rayons, without. etc.

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Unfortunately, you may find there’s no ‘easy button’ for turning off that flawed notion.

A former boss of mine would spit the word “template” in my direction every damned day, thinking it was a brilliant idea of his to shortcut the design process and make it so content could instantly be turned into finished design via copy/paste into a pre-existing template.

It took some time, but by repeatedly bludgeoning him with examples of design that were decidedly content driven, and pointing out the specific conceptions that could not have materialized pre-content, he finally got it and started respecting the process.

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