Creative Outdoor Advertising
For the Love of Craft
Posted: April 28th 2016 By: Eddy Herty, National Creative Director
Wow… we live in a busy world. We are literally connected at all times. Vacations aren’t vacations, things are always needed now, not tomorrow… oh, and can you make it “Pop Hard”!? There is so much information so fast. Even when you’re “off the clock” & trying to pay attention to your 8 year old son’s explanation of why the new Star Wars isn’t as good as Episode 6… there is still a Rolodex of emails flipping through your mind. Is there ever time to make sure we do things we do not just right, but with attention & for the love of craft?
It took ten years to build Grand Central Station and two years for the Chrysler building to become the stunning icon it is today. Yes, there are moments we have to turn on a dime, crunch time, make sure we’ve reacted as quickly as possible. But I guarantee you that the constellations on the ceiling of Grand Central weren’t done in a frantic dash to meet the end of Q2… Hell no… because it was something that was going to be big and had to be done right. The love of craft HAD to be so evident that just at the mere sight of it, one would be left speechless. The time it took to create these breathtaking moments was worth every second spent. It was worth the extra time invested in the craft involved in creating it.
I love what I do, I love being able to open my Mac and
design an ad whether I’m riding an airplane or sitting at my desk. However, the convenience of technology & information can be a slippery slope. As long as heart, good intent, and a knowledge for your craft is present, things generally turn out okay to great. It’s when convenience, lack of heart and intent, and a basic to low knowledge of craft prevail that expectations of an entire industry go awry. When even the best succumb to the demands & pressures of “Get it done”, that’s when we lose sight of what made our craft beautiful to start with.
Take a glance at the work of an incredibly talented Art Director. Below you see a simple idea that was beautifully executed with a passion for what he does. The intent was sincere, and some time (not an enormous amount) was spent on composition, a simple concept… just doing it right the first time.
Now look at work from the same designer (below). This is utilizing the same mind, same abilities and talents as above, only in a situation where technology has produced a false expectation that work should be rushed, cranked out and just done because it’s what the client wants. Instead of discussing what the client needs, the below was created. Craft and pride in brand were pushed aside in favor of immediacy.
Despite the ads being created in two totally different decades, the difference in craft is obvious. Let me be clear, in no way am I questioning the Art Director’s abilities, or calling him out. In fact, it’s just the opposite…as an industry, we know we have the ability to do incredible work. We have people, like this Art Director, who are capable of creating amazing ads, who would prefer to put in the extra effort to design something amazing! So, why we as an industry are willing to forgo something great for something mediocre is a question we all need to ask ourselves.
Now, I get it... Sometimes there is no time, sometimes it really is last minute, and the best we can hope for from a creative standpoint is getting hierarchy and legibility right. But those opportunities where there is time, when a client is willing and wanting to build something new and unique, let's do it right! Let's avoid hours of countless revisions and focus that energy into something that we were born to do... Creating something beautiful. By slowing down to truly understand where our clients are coming from we will be more successful at
elevating our clients business. More importantly, more successful in helping clients communicate what matters to their customers. We’d be surprised at how the end product might turn out… how the “stars” would appear to line up the way they should. When that happens you’re not just creating a beautiful design, you’re building upon a craft, a passion which ultimately strengthens a brand.
So next time you see an amazing painting, a beautiful spreadsheet (I’m sure those exist), or even the constellations in Grand Central, think about the heart & passion that was poured into it. The many times it would’ve been easier to rush through & be done with it. But, instead, they & the people that supported them didn’t. They created something beautiful for the world, for their client… for the love of craft.