Words and images that compliment each other perfectly are usually conceived by, or under the guidance of a seasoned creative director. Not only do they excite and compell, they concisely communicate what's needed within the parameters of an existing brand. When the brand has not yet been defined, these first communicative efforts should become the standard for further development of corporate identity.
The ability to provide creative direction is most often built on experience gained in one or more of the other creative areas. Proven art directors and writers are prime candidates for advancing to a creative director position. With backgrounds that normally include a degree in a communications related field, plus varying levels of professional design, writing, illustration, photography and production exposure and/or experience they have been learning how to create messages for many years. For those who are so inclined, such a work history gradually suggests a routine that facilitates the development of compelling concepts. A way of thinking that furthers uniquely meaningful word/ image combinations and the capability to present them successfully. Drawn from a long career in advertising agencies, the disciplined approach taken by Andy Attiliis facilitates productive creative direction.
a. Review information and materials supplied by the marketing director and/or job originator. Make use of a job information form to organize and consolidate necessary input. b. Determine how this input is creatively relevant to the target audience and/or marketing goals. c. Begin to develop a sense of feeling and style that will best carry the new message. d. Record the phrases and images that best support the emerging direction as they come to mind e. Refine these ideas with more complete written concepts that describe possible word and image combinations. f. When there is a creative team*, decide how to best dispense the materials, most pertinent data and appropriate feelings to the art director and writer. g. Render thumbnail ideas. These first rough concepts benefit the creative process in a variety of ways. Free from the pressure of having to be perfect, they encourage spontaneous thinking. Quick to do and easy to understand, they distill an idea into the simplest of forms. Such a modest approach reveals conceptual merit, or lack thereof, immediately. Even after much creative exploration, an initial thumbnail sometimes turns out to be the very best solution. h. Review all the ideas to decide which is most likely to succeed. i. Present the decision and a written rationale to the client and/or other project originators. j. In some situations, to help make the final concept selection, provide the client with a fax survey form, e-mail survey form or multiples of enlarged thumbnails for a focus group study. k. With approval of the concept, oversee, direct and approve art direction and writing of the finished project.
*Not all creative project scenarios use a full creative staff. In many cases, a very experienced independent professional is the best choice for creative quality and efficiency. When there is not a creative team, Andy Attiliis can also provide art direction, design, illustration and writing as necessary.