THE WALL.

It’s what you hit when you run a marathon. A sudden loss of energy followed by your body telling you ‘I’m done, it’s all over’. But keep putting one foot in front of the other and pretty soon you’re through to the other side, with renewed energy. I was teaching students at the SCA2 last Friday, and was reminded that as creatives we also face a walls, (not physical ones, obviously, they were torn down years ago to make roomRead more

Hands Up Who’s Heard Of Frank Budgen?

We’re smack bang in the middle of the age of collaboration. Any press release for a creative hiring now contains that reassuring phrase ‘Known for being collaborative’. (To me it always reads ‘We’re pleased to announce we’ve finally found a creative who will listen to us’.) The feeling the team had creating the work is as scrutinised as what they created. But collaboration means different things to different people. For most of the team it conjures up enjoyable meetings onRead more

PODCAST: Richard Foster.

Read any article on good copywriting and you’ll find the same names appear. David Abbott and Tony Brignull usually battle for the top two slots, Tim Delaney and John Salmon fight it out for third place. But talk to writers about the same subject and another name appears; Richard Foster. Richard is the only one of the five who has worked under the other four. (He may well be the only writer to have worked under the four?) For aRead more

David Abbott Talks.

Le Corbusier – Dinosaur! Coco Channel – Granny! Paul Rand – Has-been! Irving Penn – Neanderthal! Saul Steinberg – Silly Old Fart! Looks weird doesn’t it? Because we’re not used to seeing those people disrespected, they’re lauded for their part in elevating their profession. Especially by those in the same industry, who study their every idiosyncrasy to inform their own creative output. It enables all of us who follow to start further down the page. It’s why all creative industries striveRead more

PODCAST: Graham Fink. (Part 1.)

Context. It’s the word that comes to mind every time I think about writing one of these intros. What seems familiar today was once considered very left-field, risky or just plain crazy. Each pushes the peanut along for the next generation. Take the 1988 D&AD Annual, it’s hard to believe now, but all but one ad in the press and poster section had black headlines, the one that didn’t was Graham Fink’s Metropolitan Police campaign. I was a generation behindRead more

PODCAST: Nick Gill.

He’s never tried to become his own brand, hang out at the right clubs or promote himself. He doesn’t bounce from jury to jury, job to job or club to club. And you’ll never read his latest theory on marketing in the trade mags. Nick Gill is currently Chief Creative Officer of BBH, his third agency in 30 years. We had a great chat, hope you enjoy. COLLEGE. BMP. Clark’s. Tjaerborg. Fisher-Price. John Smith’s. Health Education Association. Abbey Life. Sport Aid. Batchelors. NewRead more

BOSS No.6: Tim Delaney.

  Why advertising? I wanted to be a hotel bell hop boy when I left school at 15. But when I looked in the newspaper want ads – Junior Opportunities – they only had 2 ad agency messenger jobs. I went up to London and one of them offered me a job. What was your first job in advertising? A messenger- in a tiny basement room with 4 others. Quite Dickensian,when I look back. Did you try and get intoRead more

INTERVIEW: Andy McLeod.

Why advertising? I was quite quick tongued, bright at school, without being very academically gifted or driven. I cared about ‘stuff’ in general, zeitgeisty stuff; trends, tribes, what was cool what wasn’t, what was funny what wasn’t. I liked art and English at school and not much else. Got not very good A-level grades, which led me to Bristol Polytechnic to do a two year course in Business studies with advertising. The advertising bit of it was 1 hour aRead more

THE ECONOMIST: Venn diagrams.

The Economist was an open brief at AMV.  It meant that everyone in the creative department worked lunch hours, weekends and in downtime on posters for The Economist. This had been going on for about ten years. I turned up as Creative Director on the account, about ten years into the ‘Red Campaign’. I’d estimate that on average I’d approve one out of every fifteen ads I was shown. We’d need a campaign of ten posters to run every threeRead more

IPA POSTERS: Investment opportunity.

It’s tough for newbie creatives to get noticed. If you aren’t in an agency that produces good work it’s hard to produce good work. If you don’t produce good work it’s hard to get a job in an agency that does. One of the ways around this is to find a client that will accept good. Up and coming copywriters Mike McKenna and Alastair Wood spotted one of these opportunities back in the late eighties; The IPA Society, they heldRead more

MERRY DOWN: Year 1.

“We have a bit of an image problem with Merrydown, its main constituency appears to be students and street tramps.” Chris Carr, Merrydown Chairman. These were the only Merrydown ads we could remember seeing. (Written by Chris Wilkins.)Six sheets and fly posters were booked, so posh, long copy ads like those were out. The creative department came up with various routes, some good, some less so. Who’d have time to look at a picture, read the explanation below, then check out whoRead more

ANNUALS: D&AD 2012.

Being chosen as one of fifty people to pitch an idea for the cover of the D&AD’s 50th Anniversary Annual is great for the ego. What a great list to be on: Terry Gilliam, Sir John Hegarty, Bob Gill, Wim Crouwel, Sir Paul Smith, Phillipe Starck Neville Brody, Dave Droga, etc. AMAZING! Then comes the anxiety. What the hell am I going to do? The results will be very public and I’m up against 49 of the best people in theRead more

ANNUALS: D&AD 2004.

In 2004 Nick Bell became President of D&AD, one of his first duties was to choose the designer for the next annual. He chose me, or CDD to be more precise. Back in 2004, the D&AD Annual was one of the few places you could get a concentrated hit of good advertising and design, consequently they were collected. Getting the chance to design one was a great honour. 1st IDEA: If a thought is printed in the D&AD Annual it’s considered out ofRead more