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The Care and Feeding of your Designer

The Care and Feeding of your Designer

What does a designer need to survive in an agency? We really don’t need much, really — maybe some snacks, a non-regimented workspace. But we do need direction.

No, not the north-south type of direction, although, OK, at times we need that as well.

But I’ve been asked many times to create billboards. Industry code words such as “poster” or “bulletin” fall into my lap and sit there, peering up at me like those kids from a Margaret Keane painting, begging me to begin.

I’m asked to create logos. All the time. I in turn ask such questions as “What colors are preferred?” or “Are there preconceived notions of what’s desired?”

I then get those big eyes again. They’ll say things like “Make it look luxurious” or “Make it look friendly” or I’ll hear “We’ll know it when we see it.” My personal favorite, though, is to “Make it hip; you know, jazz it up a little!” If I were to direct someone doing house construction to “jazz it up a little,” I’d expect the same blank stare I give to an Account Executive.

I’ve been asked to create brochures or magazines. I’ll ask, “Do we have all of the copy and photos to complete this task?” The response is usually to “just mock something up and we’ll get you copy later.” I’m told to “put some placeholder text in.” Nine times out of 10 when I do this, the copy I expect to be a paragraph or two comes back 10,000 words over.

I like to look at designers as chefs. The account executive, on the other hand, is the waiter, the most important member of any restaurant. They talk to the client, ask what they want, get a feel for their every desire. So, when a waiter comes back, he or she can’t simply say, “The client is so hungry!” The Account Executive needs to tell the designer/chef exactly what they the client would like to eat. You don’t want the chef to “just fix something, put some stuff together.”

So work closely with the Account Executive. Put time and thought into your strategy – so the Account Executive can place a specific order.

See, designers are simple to understand. And designing is simple for us when pointed in the right direction. So forget asking us to make something nice. Ask for that steak – medium rare – with the side of scalloped potatoes.

I promise it’ll be delicious.

 

 

 

He Who Plants Oaks

He Who Plants Oaks

They say he who plants an oak tree does so knowing the shade provided will be for a future generation. Though this may be true, the growing oak provides plenty of benefits for the here and now. Watching something so frail and tender as a young oak grow, knowing that one day it will be… Continue Reading

How Well Do You Know Your Friends? Facebook Knows Them Better

How Well Do You Know Your Friends? Facebook Knows Them Better

Have you ever been out at a restaurant and seen someone from across the room for the first time in your life, and the next day the same person is suggested as “People You May Know” on Facebook? This isn’t by some coincidence or divine intervention. Facebook has a very in-depth (and somewhat creepy) algorithm… Continue Reading

Branding You

Branding You

After many months, weeks and days of planning, I finally tied the knot! One thing that I had been looking forward to was my new last name. While I have received the compliment (from more than one person) that the name Olivia Morgan sounds like a movie star name, I can’t even begin count the… Continue Reading

You Get What You Pay For

You Get What You Pay For

You get what you pay for. We all know that, but sometimes the deal seems too good to be true. So, you take a chance. This goes for just about everything in life. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is. The advertising world isn’t immune to these fly by nights and… Continue Reading

Wheelhouse Creative Adds Veteran Reporter to Talented Team

Wheelhouse Creative Adds Veteran Reporter to Talented Team

Wheeling, W. Va. – Wheelhouse Creative announces the addition of award-winning journalist Mitch Vingle to its talented team of creative professionals. Vingle brings over 38 years of writing experience to the team. Whether as a beat writer for WVU sports, a sports editor of the Morgantown Dominion Post and Charleston Gazette or award-winning columnist, his… Continue Reading

Flying in Small Planes

Flying in Small Planes

The joy of being strapped into a tin can thousands of feet above the ground. I was having lunch the other day with Jamie Bordas and Joe Monahan from Wheelhouse. Jamie was telling us of a pleasant experience he had recently had on his first privately chartered airplane trip. He mentioned that it was out… Continue Reading

The Life Lessons I Learned from World of Warcraft

The Life Lessons I Learned from World of Warcraft

Massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs, mercifully) get a bad rap for being life-sucking parallel universes. However, games like World of Warcraft are a microcosm of many real-life experiences. No, really. For those who are unaware of how World of Warcraft works, here’s the gist: you start out mostly broke, you have no skills, very… Continue Reading

A Non-Designer’s Guide to Using Fonts

A Non-Designer’s Guide to Using Fonts

To most non-designers, the words “font”, “typeface”, and “typography” are interchangeable. But, from a graphic design perspective, there’s a difference. Although there is a lot of controversy over the terminology, here’s a simple way of looking at it. A typeface is a family of fonts. A font is a specific typestyle within that family. Typography is the art… Continue Reading

The Deep, Dark Pit of Filmmaking

The Deep, Dark Pit of Filmmaking

I remember one day long ago I had the bright idea to create short films as a hobby. I thought to myself it can’t be to hard all you really need is a camera, and a way to edit video! So that’s what I did I would invite my friends over, and we would make… Continue Reading

Wheelhouse’s Weekly Top 5 | August 20 – 24

Wheelhouse’s Weekly Top 5 | August 20 – 24

Top 5 Marketing, Advertising, Social Media, Technology & Life Happenings This Week Facebook Announces Yet Another Data Leak: Facebook has been making headlines recently for a lot of things, not many of them good. This week they revealed that nearly 4 million users of the app myPersonality may be at risk of a data breach.… Continue Reading

Epic Story Telling

Epic Story Telling

I have been involved in film making and digital video story telling pretty much my whole life. My camera and editing suite have been as close to me as my own brother. I feel as if this equipment is a part of me. I love great production hardware and software, and I love making it… Continue Reading

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