Sadly, the design matters more than the words.

At least in the first few moments it does.

Based on pure looks alone, we all make instant decisions about whether we're willing to invest time in a piece.

If it's something we want to read, or feel that we must as part of our work, then we'll read even poorly designed material. For everything else, design is the deciding factor. Apart from attracting us, it also signals what kind of time and energy we might need to spend.

Mark Twain said, “Thunder is good. Thunder is impressive. But it is lightning that does the work.” Design is the lightning that captures attention. Copy is the thunder reverberating through the time that design buys us.

Unlike Twain's observation, though, it's not that one is more impressive or works harder than the other. It's that when they're in synch, the result is impressive.