Content precedes design

I just came across this quote by Jeffrey Zeldman in my bookmarks and realized I forgot to blog about it:

Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.

I couldn’t agree more.

It seems pretty simple, right? It’s along the same lines as, “form follows function”. But regardless of whether it’s a website, brochure, poster, or whatever, I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been asked… Can’t you just design it, and I’ll give you the content later? My answer is always the same… yes, but it won’t be as good.