I am an art director. I went to school and learned all the cool programs — the ones that are now obsolete. I did all the faddish type treatments of the day -- the ones that are now outdated. But the thing I did in school that is still relevant was learning.
Even though I’ve finished my years of classrooms and homework assignments, The learning never stops. Technology is passing everyone by, you can’t keep up, you are lucky to hang on. The tools we use today didn’t exist 3 years ago. Knowing what’s out there is only half the battle.
The other half, or dare i say larger portion is the idea behind it.
New software, new tools, new filters in photoshop, are only a click away, but the one thing you can’t click a button to get – is an idea.
An idea, a concept – a good one, will be relevant for years to come. Don’t believe me? Take a look through an old Communication Arts sometime, and revel in the genius of those who have walked before you. Those ideas are the result of constantly looking at the word, taking in all you can, and distilling it to that idea – that nugget of connection – that makes it great.
I take refuge knowing that the great designers such as Goodby, Bogusky and Sullivan didn’t always have the stellar idea, they started out in the trenches learning long after the bell rang.
Here is a blog that shows you virgin ads done by designers. Some are better than others, but they are always learning, and I bet their next ad will be even better. I challenge everyone to always be curious and never stop learning.
And, you can check it out on facebook, too.
I’m not saying that the tools aren’t important.
But they are a small cog in the machine of advertising. A bad idea sent across the cosmos through your twitterbookblog account isn’t going to help you. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Good ideas will elevate you – bad ideas will cripple you. Our culture is quick to point out a wrong move and hang you for it. Those tools you were so excited about using are now the ones hammering your coffin shut.
Without an idea worth sharing, the tools don’t matter.
How are you making sure that the technology doesn’t overshadow the idea?
With his passion for learning and smart design sense, Shaun Crockett is finding the right solutions for Adfarm clients every day. He can be reached directly at Shaun.Crockett@adfarmonline.com