Product Design
  • Interview Excerpt: Damian Royce, Creative Director, Whybin\TBWA Group, Melbourne

    Check out the work of Damian Royce.

    What do you look for in a student portfolio? And what impresses you?

    The number one thing is being able to identify solutions for brands. When a brand comes to an agency they are looking for solutions to their problems. So the first thing I ask when I’m looking at a folio is, “Are these ideas solving problems?” And, of course, “Are they doing that in a clever and original way?”

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    When you meet with someone do they bring in a laptop or…

    Over the past couple of years, I’ve just looked at the books online to immerse myself in their work and then, in the interview, I ask them some questions and it gives them a chance to explain the ideas in a bit more detail. The other side of the interview for me is to just have a good conversation and establish what sort of personality they have and what their views are about creativity and the industry in general—not just getting a picture of them through their work. I think it’s actually a really good thing to be able to review a portfolio online before the interview because you can see the work and then get a sense for what makes them tick in the actual interview.

    On that point, what do you think about showing other creative work that is not

    I think it’s a great idea. It shows that they are curious, creative people in general. And it shows how they tick.

    You see great ads every now and then, but it’s often the things that aren’t necessarily ads that really stand out and show a real insight into how a creative ticks. I’ve seen cool product ideas, stories, songwriting, and other creative projects outside of advertising. It’s often these things that expose a person’s true value or show an “X factor.”

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    Do you have any other advice on how to build a better portfolio?

    I think one thing is to be clear about what your idea is and what it’s trying to achieve. That could be pointing out the problem it is trying to solve, the insight, the solution, and how that solution works. Highlighting the problem, insight, and solution is a great way of setting up work, whether it’s online or in a printed form. It’s something that I teach the creatives that I work with. In order to sell your work to a client, and that goes the same for a student selling work to a creative director, you take them through that logical process of how you came to an idea and why that idea is right.

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    Don’t get caught up in the execution of ideas and trends. Your thinking needs to stay true to the problem of a particular brand and finding those great ideas that can solve that problem. And also don’t focus on any one medium. An idea can come from anywhere, and it can be executed anywhere in order to capture an audience.

    Damian Royce

    Damian Royce

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