Making your book better.

Like most creative/advertising agencies, we see our fair share of aspiring young creative teams coming in for book crits. One thing that has suprised me recently is how fewer individuals or teams are constantly working on their portfolio.

I'm not sure what the reason is, but it's a shame. You see, at this stage in your development you are improving faster than at almost any other time in your career. Every campaign is an opportunity to massively outdo the last one. Flogging around the same book for months making slight amendments to your campaigns is counter-productive for three reasons:

1. Ideas you do now will probably be a lot better than the ones you did six months ago.

2. Everyone in advertising has an opinion, and most of them are different. If you keep changing your ideas back and forth depending on who says what, you're just twiddling.

3. If your book was already really, really good, you would have a job by now - or at least you would be on a constant string of placements at very good places with a chance to make that happen (sorry).

My estimate based on nothing much in particular is that a team of two people should be able to come up with a whole new book of ideas in a couple of weeks, even if (as most of them are) they are holding down jobs and trekking round agencies daily. Keep only the pieces of work that get a very good reaction generally. Everything else is just cannon fodder for newer, better stuff.

If you do that, and you keep refreshing what you have, and not being too precious about your current ideas, things will happen quicker for you.


  1. Spot-on, I think you're right and I think it's because graduates have worked so hard to complete those projects for the end of year shows that they feel like 'this is it - this book is going to get me a job', and they get precious about it, instead of seeing that as the starting point.

  2. The problem with sitting back and touting around the same book for months on end is that if you're not thinking of new ideas, there is no motivation to get out there and look for inspiration, and if you're not constantly looking for inspiration and feeding your brain, the ideas will only get harder and harder to come by.


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