Published on .

At the One Show last month they handed out these programs that featured the most self-indulgent, ego-stroking portraits of awards show judges that I've ever seen. No little washed-out b&w head shots for these stars; how about artsy-fartsy, full-page bleeds festooned with creative people posing like cocky rock stars, brooding poets or tightly-wound Eastern European film directors. Sheesh. Fallon McElligott's Mike Lescarbeau, looking not too shabby in his tux, said afterward that the photos, along with the fanfare-filled intros of the show's three presenters (himself, Lee Garfinkel and Diane Rothschild), sort of shouted "Look at me! Look at me!"

Displays like this tend to reinforce the attention-getting stereotype of advertising creative people. In fact, the industry's need for frequent self-congratulation is often a matter of curiosity outside the business. But that's another issue. What we're talking about here is, to quote those oh-so-'80s Andre Agassi Canon spots, whether indeed "image is everything."

Take the issue of an agency's digs, examined this month by Warren Berger. In this post-virtual world, an agency's environment seems to say as much about its personality and culture as its portfolio. Certainly that's the thinking behind some of the more progressive expressions of interior design and planning seen in some agency offices. Aside from all the hype directed at Chiat/Day's bold experiment in re-engineering, the issue of how to design an office demands careful consideration of how people are deployed and how they're expected to interact. And in the maddeningly collaborative business of concocting advertising, this is no small thing.

Speaking of the One Show, for those who can't wait for the annual to come out next year (sad to say, I don't think the judges' portraits will be in it) we've got a sampling of One Show print in this issue, along with a handful of winners from the New York Art Directors Club awards. Are they worth ripping off? You be the judge (sorry, no photos, though).

We just got a call from a reporter at the Sacramento Bee who's working on a story about the growing use of type in commercials. We spent some time educating her and reflecting on how timely her call was. As our cover story indicates, we've been looking at enough type-driven spots lately to start daydreaming about full-fontal lobotomies. As one might expect, the TV type explosion has propelled type designers to the forefront of the creative ranks, putting them up there with directors, editors and photographers. Naturally, it's also made them aspire to start directing themselves, and many already are. The question remains, can they make the transition from character design to characterization? And is graphic design the next discipline from which will spring a cadre of trendy film directors? Stay tuned.

Finally, I direct you to two Viewpoint pieces: Jeff Goodby's wonderfully articulate memoir of Howard Gossage and Doug Hardee's tactics on strategy. They make for pleasant, pre-summer reading, something to hold you over until our next

Most Popular
In this article: