The Real Differences between Copywriters and Art Directors

“…..everybody wants to be an art director…..everybody wants to be a star….”

I clearly remember Tim, a highly talented art director in an ad agency I worked with often, humming that little ditty under his breath in client meetings where copywriters inevitably suggested “pivots” to a design concept.

Don’t misunderstand me …. I know (as did Tim) that copywriters, and anyone else on the team for that matter, can have amazing insights and suggestions. Tim’s point was clear, though. There is a vast difference in the way they approach projects.

“They may be working towards a common goal, but as a creative species, copywriters and art directors are not all that similar,” notes this post in Digital Synopsis. “Their differences are best highlighted on a Facebook page called CW Versus AD where Caio Pena (art director), Henrique Parada (art director) and Leticia Hanower (copy writer) share their cool, quirky illustrations on the subject.”

My favorite is this one:

It clearly demonstrates the mindset of each, and the way they go about problem solving in the final product.

Writers write … it’s what they are born to do. So their idea of a birthday greeting is far more … more … than their artistic counterparts, who prefer to say it with an image:

Even their tattoos show their preference for words or design:

Of course there are similarities, too. Both dream of the same Cannes Lion as their “dream pet.” We are all human, after all.

It’s all in good fun, naturally, as words without design fall flat, and design without words loses context. The beautiful thing is how these two wildly different types of creative people work together to produce such amazing things, day after day.

Vive la différence!