Friday, March 13, 2009

God is in the Details

My first job as an Art Director in an advertising agency was a great learning experience. I was hired as an Art Director/Graphic Designer. Sounded good. It just meant that I was the only artist on staff, so I was responsible for everything visual. The co-owner of the agency (who became a close friend) was very picky and quickly discovered my lack of "paying attention to details". One big gap in my experience was being able to design (by hand) and comp an accurate layout. I was too sloppy. He was very patient while my skills developed and would tell me that "God is in the details" and send me back to the drafting table to redo the layout. He was right. As a designer, you have to have an answer to every little nuance in a design. Why did you choose a specific typeface? Why is the headline set at a specified point size? Why does the photograph go there? Why did you pick that color? Layout and design is not a linear process. It is a circular process of layout, revision, layout and revision. The decisions you make in a design should visually convince/sell the Account Executive or client. If you don't have a reason when they question your design then they send you back to try again. It is not personal when a design is rejected. You simply haven't found the correct visual solution.

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