Check out some great work from Eric Baldwin.
WS: What do you look for in a student book? And what impresses you?
EB: I look for thinking that is surprising and fresh. I look for things I wish I would have thought of. Since I am an art director with a graphic design background, I place a lot of importance on an art director’s design skills. Not only does the idea have to be surprising when it comes to an art director’s book, the design and layout are judged under the same lens.
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WS: How important is writing? Do you need to see long copy?
EB: If you’re a writer, it’s really important. If you’re an art director, as long as the ideas are great, and the execution is fresh, surprising, and beautiful, I can let the writing slide. That said, I feel really good art directors should be able to write. Personally, I don’t really need to see long copy in an ad book. But if you wrote a novel, you might want to mention that.
WS: What do you think of showing work that is not advertising? Things like art, journal writing, photography, hobbies, etc.?
EB: I like to see what creatives do outside of the office. Be it a blog or whatever art you do in your spare time. You can learn a lot about an individual’s sensibilities that way. Sometimes that work is more interesting and can land you a job.
WS: Do you have any other advice for a student or junior trying to get into the business?
EB: Work hard and be persistent. Take advice but don’t lose your voice. Learn to have a thick skin. And don’t put anything in your book that you wouldn’t be excited to make at a full-time job.