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Content Dictates Design

Content Marketing and Web Design

Design is a tool used to enhance and communicate a message. Content can refer to both text and visual elements while design can refer to the same. So we want to clarify the role content plays when it comes to designing websites, print material, and everything in between.

This may sound counterintuitive, but for our purposes, content dictates design (not just any content nor just any design; see title). When we present a mock-up to a client, for them, it’s almost always about the look and feel, the layout, the colors. This process is no different than many of the purchases we regularly make. The aesthetics, bells, and whistles are what help draw you towards either Option A or Option B. For web design, you must first establish your message and voice before the creative elements can truly come to life. In essence, we must know the quantity, style, and overall message of a client's content before we can build a beautiful website to house it all. By working backwards (design preceding content), we run the risk of losing the message and producing a mediocre design, at best.

With impeccable content, design comes to life.

Using key content elements, you can essentially say, “Hey you, look over here!”. Design finds a way to bring attention to the important areas of your webpages using style, weight, size, color, letting, kerning (space between characters), and so much more. By starting out the design process with proper, meaningful content, core goals and messaging can be effectively relayed through cohesive visuals. The visual cues we create are meant to help a reader digest and understand the ideas presented. Therefore, a great design not only garners visual attention, but actually helps your web visitors consume your brand messaging.

Without impeccable content, a visual map cannot be drawn.

Being able to utilize purposeful content when designing a website not only makes our lives easier, but provides our clients with a completely customized web presence built around their messaging. When designing without content, a visual hierarchy cannot be established. This visual hierarchy helps us house and organize your web content in a way that makes not only consuming content easier, but makes navigating and locating information a breeze. Creating purposeful content and stylizing outward produces an intricate design centered on your core message and objectives. Content can be both dynamic and static and a web designer cannot account for the unkown. And, yes, filler text (i.e. Lorem Ipsum) can be used, but it lacks the bold, personal voice that designers can visually transform and emphasize.

Next time you ask your web design company to present your new design without established content, imagine your favorite cartoon character with all of its colors and unique characteristics...but with no voice. The impact isn’t there and the luster is lost.

Design should be intuitive and user-friendly, whether for websites, brochures, posters, or anything else under the sun. Design is its own language – it speaks to you in a way that is different from our normal means of communication. It interprets a need and translates that need into something functional. But it is nothing without elements, words, or ideas. They are like peanut butter and jelly, peanut butter and chocolate, or peanut butter and banana. Basically, good content is the peanut butter of the design world. It goes good with anything.