Political Design Season

Anyone else sucked into this Fall’s political season and can’t wait to get out? Feel free to vent with me :hugs:

This is my first time going through it as a graphic designer and eugh. I enjoy design and understand that almost always I need to work with clients to encourage them to provide relevant content and good images but wow there’s something about my political clients…. I’m over political season :sweat_smile:

My venting:

  • They don’t want to write their own content (We don’t offer this service)

  • Their text is way way way too long for their final piece (palm card, postcard, etc) so it’s a back and forth with the client to cut text until it fits… which doesn’t look great but they don’t care. I even try to tell them people are not likely to read it. They disagree.

  • Pictures are a toss up. Some are great, most are either lower resolution or over 5 years old.

This year, It’s local elections in the U.S., so candidates are mostly a random selection of amateurs with dreams of becoming local big shots. They can be difficult to work with since they typically have oversized egos, want to be involved in every detail, but don’t know quite what they’re doing since they don’t typically have good campaign managers helping them.

As for not offering copywriting services, my opinion is that good design goes hand-in-hand with good copy. One is just as important as the other. With every creative management job I’ve ever had, my first hire (if not already on staff) has always been a copywriter or a copy editor – they’re invaluable.


Damn right. A few good words are worth more than a few pretty pictures.

I was not being fair. The ideal marriage is the best of both.


lol amateurs and oversized egos. So true.

I didn’t expect a comment on us not offering copywriting services but I’m glad it happened. My boss has been the writer for a handful of clients and has not felt the need to hire someone specifically for copywriting. Maybe this is because he always pushes back for clients to handle their own writing…. but especially for websites this has been a growing issue.
Thank you both! I now feel more confident to discuss again with my boss our need for a writer.

We have a few freelance writers for the stuff we do, hired depending on what it is that needs writing.

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That’s true. Not every situation requires a full-time writer. Your needs, PD, are likely case-by-case things best handled with freelancers suited for the job.

My background has primarily been agency and publishing work, where writers were essential. In several of those situations, writing was of primary importance, with design coming in second.

I have difficulty imagining not offering writing and editing skills in an agency that regularly deals with words. Pushing it back to clients guarantees bad writing (clients are never good writers any more than they’re good designers). It also eliminates a paid service that could bring in additional business.

I’d also distinguish between writers and copy editors. Writers are creative people, not all that different in personality and outlook from graphic designers. Copy editors are people who love rules and excel at fixing, rewording, fine-tuning, shortening, and clarifying.

Over the last 20-some years, most of my jobs have been some variation of a creative director where I’ve supervised creative staffs. I don’t remember seeing a poll on the subject, but I suspect most creative directors come from writing backgrounds — not design.

I don’t know your situation, IzChik, but if your workplace regularly pushes writing back to the clients, an inferior end product seems all be assured. It makes as much sense as handling the writing while expecting the clients to furnish the design work. Good writing and design are joined at the hip; I can’t see separating the two in instances where both are part of the project.

Yea, you make a lot of sense! I’m not sure the need for writing comes up often enough to hire someone full time but I like at least the option of seeking out and working with a couple reliable freelancers.

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