Product Design
  • Crystal English, Freelance Art Director, San Francisco

    In case you missed it, take a look at some of Crystal’s work here.

    WS: What do you look for in a student book? And what impresses you?

    CE: Unexpected ways of solving an expected brief.

    WS: How important is finish? If ideas are the most important thing, can sketches be enough?

    CE: Anyone can have a good idea, but not everyone can follow through on execution to make it great. Craft is important. Especially for art directors, but almost as important for writers too. Writers should have well-executed, finished campaigns in their book to demonstrate their level of taste and how they can collaborate with art directors. That being said, it doesn’t hurt to have a few cocktail napkins.

    WS: How important is writing? Do you need to see long copy?

    CE: We’re in the business of communication, so writing is über-important, even for art directors. Long copy never hurt and is a fun design challenge for an art director. Although, as an art director, I probably won’t read your long copy to the end.

    WS: What do you think of showing work that is not advertising? Things like art, journal writing, photography, hobbies, etc.

    CE: It can show depth. And personality. Since student books all start to look the same, it’s kind of nice to see someone’s talents beyond making ads. But only if it’s good.

    WS: Do you have any other advice for a student or junior trying to get 
into the business, either in putting together a book or how to actually start looking for jobs?

    CE: Don’t forget to go surfing.

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