From T-Squares to Twitters

I really enjoy my job.  Generating ideas is fun. Executing is fun. Getting great results for our clients is fun. But what makes it real fun is observing how our industry adapts to change.

In the late ‘80s, I remember seeing this young turk going into our old supply room and tossing out large rubber cement tins,  “Y’all won’t be needing these anymore” and also commenting that our stat machine belongs in a museum. My old employer listened and committed to using MACs. We all had to take computer classes in Quark, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.

I began seeing my maylines, circle templates and rapidographs gathering dust. An art director thought that this would turn us into typesetters. He is no longer in advertising, hmmm. Software on typography got to be more sophisticated. Typesetting turned into a lost art form.

Back then I’d hire photo retouchers. Then came Scitex digital retouching. Very expensive at the time, it was around $300 per hour or they’re about. The Scitex equipment cost was a sizable investment. Then came Adobe Photoshop, for around $600, you could accomplish more with the image than Scitex. A lot of printers and engravers had a very large investment that became obsolete rather quickly as we embraced “the all-powerful” Photoshop.

Then came the Internet boom in our industry, dial-ups and modems were history. Bigger, faster band widths, whoo-hoo! Supplier and tutorial websites and industry blogs keeps us updated weekly, daily and even hourly! Creative folks had to learn how to execute the idea with new software Adobe Flash and Adobe DreamWeaver. Very exciting times to be in this business.

Today I work at Denver-based advertising agency CCT. Now our ideas have all these platforms to execute in. Micro websites. Banner Ads. Guerilla marketing. Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, flickr, YouTube, and whatever is next. Holy-moly! That’s a lot to keep track of for an advertising agency that is supposed to be full of leisure marketing specialists. We now have many portals to meet the strategic needs of our clients.

Folks our playground just got a lot bigger.

But one thing will never be replaced, “The Idea”, the Big Kahuna. The writing and art direction is still a critical aspect on engaging our client’s audience, to entertain. When the audience likes your ads, they like you. And that can never be replaced.

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