Any writers ever worked at a design agency? A Pentagram, COLLINS, etc. What’s it like?

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My guess is that as a copywriter, you’ll be treated purely as an executional after thought. I’ve worked places that had mostly design studio designers and they always left writers out of the creative process. But I haven’t worked at the places you’re specifically referring to, so I could be wrong.

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Actually had the opposite, copy had to translate client speak into a story the designers could execute. Much more involved than the network I'm in now haha.

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Not Pentagram or Collins, but worked at 160over90 when they were nearly completely design-led, and did almost nothing but branding and colleges. Nobody seemed to understand what a concept was. Just bizarro world. I was frustrated, but still made some good work that I’m proud of. Be prepared to hold your tongue on saying shit like, “a POSTER is not an IDEA” to designers like you’re talking to a toddler. Also, you might write a ton of manifestos.

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This. This is very accurate. No conceptual chops.

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I have. You'll be writing a lot of manifestos, brand stories and tag lines. Also TOV guides, because while the designers cover what the look and feel you create the voice.

Also packaging. Lots of packaging copy.

Still got to work on above the line and social too on challenger brands that don't pay for creative agencies.

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Came back to say brand films. Loads of 'em.

Something that I’ve found to be true over and over in my career is that I’m not happy when I’m not the talent. And as a copywriter at a design agency, you’ll be support staff.

I’m sure all of the agencies you’ve listed are better than the design agency I work at. But I can’t imagine it makes a huge difference in how copywriters fit into the process.

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Don’t do it.

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I worked at a much smaller version of one of those. They involved me in the process, but the work - from a writer’s perspective - was really boring. Still, the people were great and I stuck around longer than I probably should have. Happy to discuss further over DM.

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Yep. Worked with many designers who couldn’t care less about concepts.

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You’ll definitely be the best writer there and everything you write that’s somewhat good will be treated like gold. Don’t let it go to your head. It’ll be on you to keep pushing yourself.

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