How Copywriter Bob Bly Submits Ad Copy To Graphic Designers
I’ve learned so much from Bob Bly over the years. When I was just starting out as a copywriter and marketing consultant, one of his most helpful products was “The Copywriter’s Toolkit.” I learned how to submit copy from studying this work and his class book, The Copywriter’s Handbook.
Every print ad has two main components. First, there is the layout and images of the ad which is created by the graphic designer. Second, there are the words used in the headline, body, and call to action of the ad.
Bob Bly describes how he submits his copy copy in his article below. In my case, I write the copy and submit it to my graphic designer who happens to be my wife Kathleen. In your case, you might write up an ad and then submit it to the graphic design department of your local paper, magazine, or even the Yellow Pages. By submitting your copy, i.e. words, this way, you’ll help the graphic designer and create a better ad with fewer changes.
Bob ends his letter with an offer for one of his ebooks. I get no affiliate commission for this. I help you learn more about marketing and hopefully Bob will get some sales of this great product.
Dear Direct Response Letter Subscriber:
Subscriber BM writes:
“Bob, can I ask a dumb logistical question? How exactly do you submit your copy? And in what form? In a word Doc? PDF?
“Do you format the copy exactly as you envision it, down to the headline font and size? And what about images and charts and
things like Johnson boxes?
“Do you dictate how things look graphically or just submit the raw text for everything? Just curious about that.”
So let me briefly provide the straightforward answers to these questions, which are anything BUT dumb:
1–I submit copy to clients as a word file, single-spaced, sent via an email attachment.
2–The body copy is in 12-point Times Roman. Headlines are 14-point Arial bold. Subheads are 12-point Arial.
3–If there are graphics, I cut and paste the image into my Word document directly from the source material (e.g., Powerpoints, white paper PDF documents, websites) whenever possible, with the source referenced in a footnote.
4–If the source material is copyrighted content owned by my client, I assume they can use the visuals as is.
5–If the source is copyrighted material belonging to someone else, I still cut and paste it with a footnote into my document, but alert the client that they must either obtain written permission to use it or redraw it so as not to violate copyright.
6–I often include in the Word document for my copy some “copywriter’s roughs” — crude layouts, drawn in Microsoft Word. Note: I have collected my layout templates in a kit you can buy; see my PS below for details.
7–I clearly indicate what is a headline, subhead, or body copy; provide images for guidance; and either give layout instructions in text [in square brackets] — or using my copywriter’s roughs (see #6 above).
But, I do NOT “dictate how things look graphically,” format the copy in final form, or do a finished graphic design or layout of any kind.
Instead, I provide sufficient “art direction” (layout suggestions) so that the graphic designer can produce a finished layout that will work in print or online.
I will also, at no charge, review the layout, often several times, as it is being developed by the graphic designer and made final by them and the client.
But I do not try to tell the graphic designers how to do a job for which they are better skilled and suited than I am.
P.S. For more information on how you can get a collection of ready-to-use graphics templates for promotional layouts — everything from sales letters and postcards, to ads and landing pages — or to use it risk-free for 90 days — click here now:
Copywriter / Consultant
31 Cheyenne Dr.
Montville, NJ 07045