Creative Observations


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I brief primer I give to my new creatives to give them a sense of my beliefs.

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Creative Observations

  1. 1. Some creative observations
  2. 2. Have an opinion. If a client is at all savvy they appreciate it. If a client is naive they need it.
  3. 3. The state of the art is a moving target and the “best of breed” is only relevant until it’s bested.
  4. 4. Copy is not always about the most economic means of saying a thing. Most sentences should not begin with bullet points.
  5. 5. Type is a design element and not merely a collection of fonts resident on your hard drive.
  6. 6. Photography can be commissioned and not just recovered from royalty free on-line scrapbooks.
  7. 7. The Internet should stop being a silent movie.
  8. 8. The Internet should stop being a brochure.
  9. 9. People with more opinions than ideas should speak less and listen more.
  10. 10. Avoid the flavor of the month, it’s what you eat when you don’t know what you want.
  11. 11. People who wear suits aren’t all stupid and people who wear all black aren’t necessarily hip.
  12. 12. Brainstorming sessions require that all participants actually speak. Nodding and looking intrigued doesn’t help much.
  13. 13. Being creative sometimes doesn’t involve a computer at all. Discover the magic hidden in most cocktail napkins.
  14. 14. Cynicism isn’t bad; petulance is.
  15. 15. Don’t trust your first idea, it’s likely to be knee-jerk or something you saw on this morning’s cereal box.
  16. 16. Never discard your first idea, it could be a stroke of genius, and cereal boxes can sometimes provide more than dubious nutrition.
  17. 17. Believe in this medium, but don’t lord it over anyone.
  18. 18. Aspire to be clever. Aspiring to be a creative genius usually makes one seem like a pompous twit.
  19. 19. On the other hand, if you really are a creative genius please disregard the above.
  20. 20. Keeping people in the dark is the result of not being very bright.
  21. 21. Every presentation is a piece of theatre. Creatives take enough crap for being theatrical we might as well use it to our advantage.
  22. 22. Think outside the box. Better yet, never get in one to begin with.
  23. 23. If you think you’re the center of the universe remember, in space nobody can hear you scream.
  24. 24. We’re often asked to be passionate in a way that doesn’t disturb anyone. That’s like making an X-rated film in which nobody takes off his or her clothes. Be passionate.
  25. 25. Committees are the result of poor planning. Consensus amongst too many people results in things like Wonder Bread or the Ford Taurus.
  26. 26. Politics are the last refuge of the feeble-minded and are only glamorous on TV.
  27. 27. A little PowerPoint is a dangerous thing, and there is rarely little of it.
  28. 28. The web is not fully grown; it’s in its adolescence. As a result it’s awkward, has an enormous sex drive, and bad skin. Be patient.
  29. 29. If you discover that you work for a really great client work very hard because if you work for a lousy one you’ll work even harder.
  30. 30. Good creative is like music; in less than one minute you have to convey a great melody line and an infectious hook. Doesn’t hurt if it has a good beat and you can dance to it.
  31. 31. Unless you have strange sexual proclivities, never kiss anyone’s ass.
  32. 32. When someone says ‘don’t bring me problems, bring me solutions’ remind them it’s okay to yell ‘fire’ if you see a burning house regardless of whether you know how to put it out or not.
  33. 33. Learn how to put out fires.
  34. 34. A blank white piece of paper gives birth to a lot of good creative; a lot of white paper covered in thick business prose often buries it.
  35. 35. Taking yourself too seriously is usually a solitary pursuit.
  36. 36. Believing you are defined by any company title you are ever given is like believing that a man’s shoe size indicates anything other than the length of his foot.
  37. 37. Thinking you can do everything is more the result of self-importance than accomplishment.
  38. 38. Lavish window-dressing means nothing if the store is empty. A lot of comps do not mean a lot of ideas.
  39. 39. If you find yourself at the top of the heap make sure you know what it’s made of.