Hal Curtis’ “A Note to Student Art Directors” is an inspirational, simple to read article about the need for greater creativity in the advertising world. The author believes that there are formulas that are already in place and known to sell. The art director’s job is to add more originality to the simple formulas.
To put it another way, the author advises the budding art director not to forget about the word, ‘art,’ once he or she has managed to land a dream job in an advertising agency used to selling advertisements created with standard formulas.
The most essential portion of the article driving the point home begins and ends thus: “Here’s the thing…. But not the art part.” To encourage art directors to remain connected to originality and creativity – central to being an artist – Curtis offers several pointers toward the end of the article. He mentions “execution” before this. According to him, art directors must not only remain focused on fine arts but also able to convey their originality and creativity in the advertisements that they play a role in creating. These portions of the article persuade the reader to believe in the message of the author.
Although the author does not provide evidence of lack of creativity in the world of advertising, nearly everybody in the worlds of art and business is aware of the importance of creativity and innovation.
A formula that sells does not ask for anything else unless an art director has risen above mediocrity to help in the creation of an advertisement that is entirely unique. Even though Curtis does not mention this – it is quite possible for the art director’s originality to be rejected at first. Then again, as the author would advise, it is for the art director to remain loyal to art.
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