March 03, 2010

Are you a passionate advertising creative?

That's a tough question for most. Because 'passion' isn't a very definable quality. Or rather there are various levels of passion. I know this guy who was so passionate about cricket that he used to mumble cricket in his dreams. And quite loudly at that. Do you dream copy? Do you dream design? Then that's extreme passion. But let's talk about passion on a more manageable, down-to-your-workday level.

Are you a designer who goes in for the very first image that appears in search? Or do you search high and low until you arrive at the perfect image for your design? (In these times of ready online image availability, we're talking about image search online here). If you're the latter, you're passionate. And you don't need this post to tell you that you are.

Do you insist on a written brief before you start a project, be it design or copy or both? Do you insist on having a clear picture of where you are going? In which case you have added to your 'passion' quotient. Briefs are your stage. You don't want to sweat it out on stage, move for elaborate move, only to find out that you are playing to the wrong audience or an empty auditorium, do you?

If you are a copywriter, do you quickly string together a few sentences that you get off your desk? Or do you spend time putting together the right words, rather the PERFECT words, reading and re-reading what you wrote out loud, to get a feel of how it sounds. And further, do you let it lie for a while, a day or two if possible and revisit it to fine tune, before you are happy to let it off your desk? If you are the latter, no one would doubt your passion.

If you're a designer, do you take time out to actually read the copy and even sit with the Copywriter to find out what she had in mind while putting words to paper? If you feel that the direction or presentation can be better, do you let the copywriter know? Or would you rather cut and paste copy onto your layout including the directions put in by the copywriter and not visit it ever again? If you're the former, you're passionate. Oh yes, you are. If you're the latter, God help you.

Do you do a significant amount of research before you give concrete shape to your ideas - talking to people, searching the web, visiting libraries, trying out the product or service yourself, visiting the factories, showrooms? Or do you shun all forms of research, even the laziest kind, and just rely on what your Client Service and their brief tells you? If you just nodded for the former, you pass the passion test.

Do you doodle before you commit your idea to a fresh PhotoShop page? Do you commit to paper first? Do you own a scribble pad? Is the scribble pad your best friend? Vigorous nods for all these questions? Excellent! You may pat your passionate shoulder and congratulate yourself because, sadly, doodling is a dying art and consequently so is finesse in layouts. (Since this is the subject of a book and not just a post, or a post within a post, let's just leave it at that).

Writing long hand:
And writing drafts. Do you write long hand? If you notice, writing longhand and then transferring it to a Word Document itself significantly improves the out put because you are actually keying in your second draft. Drafts give you the scope for improvement, tremendous improvement. You agree? Ah! Your passion is showing.

Alignment and proportion:
Are you very particular about alignment and proportion in your creative output? Do you keep working at your layout till you get your proportions right? Do you move around elements in your creative to give them the perfect placement where they can 'shine in all glory'? You do? Let no one tell you that you're not passionate.

Do you love experimenting with colour? Do you pour over magazines on interior design, painting and photography to understand nuances of colour or simply to find new combinations you have never tried before? And actually try them out at the next opportunity? Only someone passionate would do that.

Do you believe that fonts speak their own language? That each font has a personality? That fonts can be sad, cheerful, frightening, firm and a lot more? And for that very reason, they should be selected carefully? Bravo! That's passion!

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