Dansko Footwear package design. Part of an extensive corporate brand identity campaign for shoe company’s image and recognition. Carlos Alejandro Photography, http://www.caphoto.com
Okay, here it is. My 1st post on my 1st blog. Let’s give this a whirl.
“Marcom.” It’s a very broad yet catchy term for anything within or closely related to all things promotional, aka: “Marketing Communications.” The art director’s role is without boundaries today. And each day it’s tentacles seem to reach out even further than the day before. No, I don’t have 8 arms like an octopus. But how do we keep up with all of this stuff? I remember when I was just a kid who loved to draw. I’d grab my pad of paper and sketch for hours with a pile of pencils and markers sprawled out flat on my parent’s family room rug. I’d draw knights, dragons and large castles with deep moats circling its perimeter. Don’t forget the alligators and sea creatures. I mean, what’s a moat without those scary looking things swimming all about?
But now I’m an art director who picks up his pencil to doodle pathetic little sketches or these so called “thumbnails” (because they’re tiny like the size of your – you guessed it – thumbnail). Just quick ideas hastily scribbled down so I don’t lose the next “brilliant idea” that pops into my head while brainstorming for a client. Aside from drawing thumbnails I feel like I’ve become this kinda tech-savvy computer geek who needs to always know the latest and greatest program of the day inside and out. Computers are so far removed from my childhood days of dragon drawings but I’d be lost without my desktop screen today. I mean, without writing a full-length novel there’s just no short answer on how to keep up with it all. Don’t worry. I’m not about to roll up my sleeves and start typing on some beat-up old typewriter like buddy Jack did in The Shining. (And I’m sure my copywriter friends are breathing easier now that I’ve said this too.) But what I can do is present my personal experiences as an art director on this new blog of mine.
I figure by now I’ve approached this creative industry from just about every angle imaginable and I might as well present my wares and many tears on these pages. Here’s a concise synopsis. I’ve worked on the corporate side in the marketing division of a large financial institution. I’ve also hopped the fence to become a graphic designer and vector illustrator of sorts in a small design firm. Then I went on to create tons of displays and large exhibits with an industrial designer at an exhibit studio. I’ve been hired. I’ve been fired. I’ve been rehired. I’ve been laid off. I’ve hired graphic design firms and advertising agencies and I’ve been hired by clients as a graphic design firm or ad agency. I’ve made friends and lost friends and then rekindled those friendships again. I’ve experienced agency fat times and now their unfortunate times of gauntness. Genuinely, I’ve grown the thick skin required to survive this precarious career. But one can’t fault what one loves…
So now I’m a blogger too. (Wow, this is different.) With this blog I plan feature my design work, my advertising and brand image campaigns (or at least parts of them), various logos and “nogos” I’ve developed, my exhibit and retail display experience, some websites I’ve designed and a whole smattering of anything else related to my adventures as graphic designer and art director for the last (yikes!) 18 years. So hold on tight. It may be a rough ride but I hope you enjoy it.