Leaving the art to the Art Directors

Only Me

I’ve had some work done on my house recently. We chose a builder, told him what we wanted and stood back and let him at it. There were times when he needed to discuss issues that arose but a few weeks later, bingo, a new kitchen that we’re very pleased with was installed.

There comes a time when everyone needs to hire a professional to do a job they can’t do. Whether it’s a builder, an accountant or a chef, these people are skilled professionals who have trained for years at perfecting their craft. Years learning the rights and wrongs. Years getting to the top of their chosen professions.

The chances are that the last time you were dining at a restaurant you didn’t return the meal along with a few suggestions as to how the chef could improve things by adding a touch more garlic and reducing the amount of dill. Which leads me to my point. I’m an Art Director. I’ve spent 4 years at art college and a further 25 constantly learning, keeping up with trends, brushing up my design skills and basically knowing what works, what doesn’t and, more importantly, the reasons for both.

Why keep a dog and bark yourself?

There are times however when I begin to wonder why a client has asked for my professional expertise at all. All they want to do is to think of an idea and design it themselves. Another request I have had in the past has been “can you do as I ask, just to show me that it doesn’t work!”

There have been occasions when a client has made so many changes that the end product bares no resemblance to the original design and then the same client wonders why the results weren’t what they expected. (Now, I do NOT believe you wanted to do that!)

So here’s the dilemma. Every one has an opinion, and there is always more than one answer but does it not make sense to trust the people you’re employing? Surely it would be one less thing to worry about if we all did what we were good at? Telling a builder how to build isn’t the way ahead. I employed a builder that I trusted and whose skills I respected. I didn’t get him to put the roof on upside down, just to show me that it doesn’t work.

We all love the chance to work great briefs and that’s where I’d love for the client’s energies to be concentrated. Great briefs lead to great work. So let’s all work together to reach our goals; work that we are proud of, that stands out for all the right reasons and, most importantly, gets results.


Paul Gibson
Art Director


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