Branding, Design and
Illustration Services.
In addition, Attiliis authors and teaches The Creative Process For Communications For Branding For The Rest Of Us.
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creative direction

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This is a place for both creative buyers and creative directors in the business of marketing communications to share positive insights about their profession. It is hoped that peer empathy will be keenly felt by all who visit and participate* here.



Creative Direction Commentary I

The process.

No one ever came out and emphasized it, but after a few creative sessions I realized that background materials presented by the client, marketing director and/or research department were worth my complete and undivided attention. As a matter of fact, my job depended on it. The odds that the creative solution I offered would fly were much greater if it were based on pertinent information rather than what I felt like doing that day. Even with this realization proven beyond a doubt, it would have been helpful to tattoo such truth upon my arm. Because, in reality, maintaining one's creative spirit while getting in the mood to creatively enhance someone else's message doesn't come naturally. For me, it requires more than a little reflection to remember the magic feeling that works everytime...willingness. Once I've let myself become totally willing to get caught up in the focused research of others, the process can begin. Out of myself, into the work, it's not long before good, supportable ideas spring forth enthusiastically.

With the value of willingness now recognized, it seemed worthwhile to outline an entire routine. Such a mind set might enhance creativity, discipline and efficiency throughout the entire process. Once again, this is the kind of simple, common sense thing that is seldom spelled out. Only after a good bit of floundering does it hit home that a thoughtful plan could improve performance. For what it's worth, here's the general approach I bring to the table:

Gather and absorb all the available information and existing communications on the project to be done. Determine how this input fits together, relative to the target audience and marketing goals. Begin to develop a sense of feeling and style that will best carry the new message. Make note of the phrases and images which come to mind that best support the emerging direction. Begin firming up these ideas with more complete concepts that describe possible word and image combinations. Decide how to best dispense the materials, most pertinent information and appropriate feelings to the art director and writer. Request thumbnail* concepts from them. Review all the ideas to decide which is most likely to succeed. Present the decision and and a carefully thought out rationale to the client and/or other project originators.

*These initial rough concepts facilitate the creative process in a variety of ways.   Quick to do and easy to understand, they distill the idea into the simplest of forms so that its merit, or lack thereof, is very clear. Sometimes, after a great deal of creative exploration, that first thumbnail turns out to be the very best solution.
­commentary by Andy Attiliis




Creative Direction Commentary I

How to approach sidebar information.

There's no question that the addition of any element to a page detracts from the whole. So, is the addition of sidebar information in a promotional vehicle ever appropriate? 

It is a question that creative direction needs to answer with conviction when clients have extra data that they would just like to get in there somehow. Even when it doesn't do a good job of supporting the goal of the main message from any perspective. Naturally the temptation to use a device such as a sidebar often stems from the lack of other cosmetic features that might enhance readership. It is concluded that even though an extra typographical element, complete with a color tinted shape for containment doesn't make perfect sense, it's more impressive looking than just keeping things simple. While the motive is proper, the thinking needs to be adjusted a bit.

There are two criterion that should be satisfied before even considering the inclusion of a secondary design format for copy: (1) The core information itself must relate well and actually enhance the main message as a sidebar. (2) The shelf-life of the piece is long enough, say at least 6 months to a year, that the audience can feel comfortable about putting the surplus reading on hold for a time.
­commentary by Andy Attiliis



Creative Direction Commentary II

What creative directors do to keep a captive audience captive throughout an entire message.

For starters, they ask questions and listen well. To make sure the right audience and marketing strategy are identified and understood well before beginning a new project.

Then comes the concept. A golden opportunity to captivate an audience with it's first word and image combination. Extremely creative and precisely targeted great ideas produce urgent desires to see more. Their attention won, now's time to perfect the entire message. All of a creative director's writing, design and production experience will be needed here. To massage every phrase, focus every visual aspect and polish every facet of the finished art. Because great conceptual starts promise high levels of communication throughout.

And well kept creative promises move large numbers of people to pay more than just attention.
­commentary by Andy Attiliis

*For those who have writings about art direction that they would like to contribute for unlimited use, please e-mail them to aattiliis@cox.net If accepted for publication, in return for their use, contact information and a credit that is linked to your Web site will be included.




Except where otherwise indicated, all writing and creative functions displayed on this site are by Andy Attiliis.
Creative functions is a listing that highlights specific work performed on each sample.
All information found in this portfolio should be considered individual views based on the work experience of its author.

Copyright 2001 Andy Attiliis

 



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