Creative Observations
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Creative Observations

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

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

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  • 1. Some creative observations
  • 2. Have an opinion. If a client is at all savvy they appreciate it. If a client is naive they need it.
  • 3. The state of the art is a moving target and the “best of breed” is only relevant until it’s bested.
  • 4. Copy is not always about the most economic means of saying a thing. Most sentences should not begin with bullet points.
  • 5. Type is a design element and not merely a collection of fonts resident on your hard drive.
  • 6. Photography can be commissioned and not just recovered from royalty free on-line scrapbooks.
  • 7. The Internet should stop being a silent movie.
  • 8. The Internet should stop being a brochure.
  • 9. People with more opinions than ideas should speak less and listen more.
  • 10. Avoid the flavor of the month, it’s what you eat when you don’t know what you want.
  • 11. People who wear suits aren’t all stupid and people who wear all black aren’t necessarily hip.
  • 12. Brainstorming sessions require that all participants actually speak. Nodding and looking intrigued doesn’t help much.
  • 13. Being creative sometimes doesn’t involve a computer at all. Discover the magic hidden in most cocktail napkins.
  • 14. Cynicism isn’t bad; petulance is.
  • 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. Never discard your first idea, it could be a stroke of genius, and cereal boxes can sometimes provide more than dubious nutrition.
  • 17. Believe in this medium, but don’t lord it over anyone.
  • 18. Aspire to be clever. Aspiring to be a creative genius usually makes one seem like a pompous twit.
  • 19. On the other hand, if you really are a creative genius please disregard the above.
  • 20. Keeping people in the dark is the result of not being very bright.
  • 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. Think outside the box. Better yet, never get in one to begin with.
  • 23. If you think you’re the center of the universe remember, in space nobody can hear you scream.
  • 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. Committees are the result of poor planning. Consensus amongst too many people results in things like Wonder Bread or the Ford Taurus.
  • 26. Politics are the last refuge of the feeble-minded and are only glamorous on TV.
  • 27. A little PowerPoint is a dangerous thing, and there is rarely little of it.
  • 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. 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. 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. Unless you have strange sexual proclivities, never kiss anyone’s ass.
  • 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. Learn how to put out fires.
  • 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. Taking yourself too seriously is usually a solitary pursuit.
  • 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. Thinking you can do everything is more the result of self-importance than accomplishment.
  • 38. Lavish window-dressing means nothing if the store is empty. A lot of comps do not mean a lot of ideas.
  • 39. If you find yourself at the top of the heap make sure you know what it’s made of.