Product Design
  • Mike Hughes, President & Creative Director, The Martin Agency, Richmond

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

    MH: I look for humanity that goes beyond cleverness. Although I confess that cleverness is very important. I want to see signs that the student isn’t just trying to impress his or her fellow students. I want to feel that the work is strategically smart—and not just attention getting. I want to see a careful, thoughtful presentation of the work. I’m really turned off by misspellings, poor grammar, etc.

    WS: How important is finish?

    MH: Less important for a writer, more important for an art director.

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

    MH: Yes.

    WS: Do you look at actual paper books anymore, or is it all websites?  

    MH: Both.

    WS: How important is copy?

    MH: Being able to write clearly and well is an asset for anyone. For a writer—even in these minimal-copy times—it is essential.

    WS: Do you need to see long-copy ads?

    MH: I like to see something that shows at least basic writing skills and the ability to express thoughts clearly. That’s true for writers, art directors, strategic thinkers, etc.

    WS: What do you think of showing work that is not advertising?  

    MH: Be respectful of my time: I’m not going to spend a lot of time with your journal. But, yes, I like seeing things that reach beyond advertising.  

    WS: Do you have any other advice for a student or junior trying to get into the business?  

    MH: Be enthusiastic. Demonstrate a willingness to continue learning. Let me know it would be fun, interesting, and rewarding to work with you. 

    And to give you some insight into Mike Hughes, here is a video from Mike’s induction into the One Club Hall of Fame in 2010.

    Read the full interview in BREAKING IN: Learn more about the book or Buy it on Amazon

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