Product Design
  • Fredrik Carlström, CEO & Chief Creative Director, Great Works America, New York

    In case you missed it, check out some great work from Fredrik Carlström.

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    FC: …I think it all comes down to how you thought about it. And how you solved the problem. At the end of the day, you have to walk in with your ideas and think that they are good, and if you don’t get hired it’s because the person who met with you didn’t. So what? You will find someone who does like your ideas and that’s where you want to work.

    WS: What do you think about seeing books with things that aren’t ads in them? Other writing, or journal entries, or photography, or art projects?

    FC: Good and bad. If you are looking for work in advertising, show that you know how to do advertising. If you can explain why your diary or poetry is relevant to me and why I should hire you based off them, kudos to you. But sometimes you see a book with lousy work, but great photography, or great something else, and you can’t help but think, “Maybe you should do this instead because you’re obviously better at it and you like it more.” Again, show anything that shows that—and how—you’re thinking and that you can speak about intelligently.

    WS: And do you have any tips for someone who’s just starting out and trying to get into advertising?

    FC: Don’t. “Getting into advertising” is too broad. I think you need to identify what it is about advertising that is interesting to you and try to go into that. Because advertising has changed so much. I don’t know what they teach you in school now, because half the agencies don’t even know what is going on right now. I just came from a meeting today where very senior people didn’t know anything about very fundamental things—the Internet, digital, media, programming, how people communicate. I think you should think about why you’d want to go into advertising because it’s not the way it used to be. It really isn’t. It’s changed a lot and it’s about to change even more.

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    Ultimately, I think any creative person, a film director, or a designer, or a fashion person, or whatever…anyone who is good at communicating with people are similar. They go to a bar, and they go, “I wonder why he ordered that drink that way?” Or, “How does this door handle feel in my hand?” Or, “Why do I come off as arrogant when I am feeling insecure?” And all those small insights about yourself and other people is the basis for stories, films, design, ads. I’ve worked with some really fantastic people in my life. The good ones are all curious and have some self-awareness.

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